As many of you know, I’m in the NL-Only Tout Wars and LABR, so every year I take part in an industry NL-Only league with the CBS peeps (and Donkey Teeth, BDon, Itch…Now that I think about it, it’s all Razzball people and CBS’s Scott White) to try to find my footing like a drunk sailor hearing about a peg boy for the first time. If you don’t know what a peg boy is, don’t google it, which is what someone says knowing that will 100% cause someone to google it. Some might mock, some might mock draft, but this is my draft prep, and am happy to take part in this league. Until about 25 minutes into the draft, and players go for way too much, and I start getting hungry and I just want the whole thing to be over and ermahgerd! But, for those first twenty-five minutes of the five-hour draft, I’m laser focused. For this league, I once again use Rudy’s NL-Only rankings, and his War Room (it’s free with a subscription). I won’t try to get you to buy it anymore. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse put a cape down so I can walk over the water without getting wet. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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Been a while since I gave you a roundup of news, so guess what? Here’s a roundup of news, or in the case of Josh Jung, a guy who I added to the rankings. First off, what Prospect Itch said previously, “The best Texas prospect since Gallo, Josh Jung brings full-field power, plate discipline, and a plus hit tool along with functional defense at the hot corner. I’m trying to acquire him in my 20-team OBP league and suggest anyone seeking potentially affordable third base help consider the same in their leagues. Speaking of affordable, anyone know a reasonably priced hitman to take out Grey?” Okay, that’s not cool. Hold on one second, are you telling me the Rangers have a decent prospect? I call BS. I thought the Rangers gave up after finally figuring out how to spell Saltalamacchia. Oh, I know, this is the Rangers just trying to sneak Michael Young back out at 3rd base, and spelling his name differently. Jung, you’re nothing but a Freud! Podcaster Ralph told me the other day, he thinks Jung is a 25-homer, 3-steal, .280 hitter. Not sure how much time Jung sees this year, but the draft season is still Jung! Sorry, hashtag never again. I added Josh Jung into my top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball with the projections: 21/6/25/.272/1 in 170 ABs, but obviously those could go up if he breaks camp. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s unlikely you haven’t already heard, but ICYMI: esteemed national baseball writer Boob Nightenfail tweeted Thursday evening that the Mets had a done deal with Trevor Bauer. Then not even like five minutes later, all the cool kids tweeted how this, in fact, was untrue. Fast forward less than 24 hours later and Bauer signed a deal with Dodgers, along with some dumb hype video I haven’t yet and never will bother to watch. I’m just glad all of this is over, because I am so over Trevor Bauer. I hope he goes back to being the mediocre pitcher he’s always been. He’s jack diddly without pine tar, and that’s a fact!
Oh, Boob. Thanks for the laugh! As for the rest, here’s the best:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The little team that I always forget about until the regular season is over and ask myself “wait — the Athletics made the playoffs?!” This team is filled with exciting fantasy hitters at their top of the lineup who will provide solid fantasy production to your team. Marcus Semien and Ramon Laureano both should go 20/20 with great run totals (80-90) and decent RBI totals (65-75.) Then they’ve got the three burly sluggers in Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Khris Davis who could all flirt with 40 HRs and 100 RBI. They’ve also got three starting pitchers with sexy names who could break out in a big way this year in Sean Manaea, Jesus Luzardo and Frankie Montas — but everyone is drafting them as such. And at the end of the game they have Liam Hendriks, he of a career 4.72 career ERA before 2019, who came out of nowhere to close out 25 saves with a 1.80 ERA and 13.1 K/9. These guys have postseason written all over them in my eyes. But you guys already know about all of them! Below you’ll find a few sleepers I think could have solid fantasy value in 2020 based on their ADP.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.
- Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
- Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
- Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
- Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
- Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen. Please, blog, may I have some more?
We close out the American League bullpens with the AL West. It feels like all of these teams have something to offer either in closer speculation or high wattage non-closers. Remember the golden rule of the saves chase: don’t overpay for closers. Opportunities come if you’re active on the wire.
I didn’t realize how upset I was about the sign-stealing scandal until I started writing this. If you’re an Astros fan and I’ve offended your delicate sensibilities below, you can go and discard them along with your stolen championships.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The sun is setting on the final days of fantasy baseball in 2019. If you’re fending off the wolves here are some relievers with a shot at a sneaky save over the next few days. Cut the fat and for that matter, any player not likely to get you a stat in a category of need no matter how big the name. Adding these names is the fantasy equivalent of Bran’s time travel/warging of Hodor. They probably stem the tide but may ruin something (like a ratio).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cougs’ brother bought a place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; I mentioned to Cougs at one point in the last five years of marriage I skied once twenty years ago, and that’s the story of how I drafted a fantasy team falling graciously down the side of a mountain. That’s right, ya boy went skiing this past weekend, and was drafting from a ski lift! Thankfully, Geronimo Berroa is no longer in the league, because I might’ve ended up with him on my team because I kept screaming out his name during each round. So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an AL Only league that was hosted by Scott White of CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than your aunt after two cocktails. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues. Or closet buddies, if you’re reading fast and/or experimenting.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team AL-Only team and some thoughts:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The trade of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood to the Reds means one thing, the Dodgers are signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. I’m kidding, in the non-funny way. Maybe it means that, but I kinda hope it doesn’t, so Muncy, Pederson and others have room to play. Not sure why the Dodgers rehired Dave Roberts, but I’m impressed the Dodgers realized that Dave Roberts had zero capacity for managing a team. “What’s he doing?” “I don’t know.” That’s two Dodgers execs watching Dave Roberts juggle three VHS copies of the movie Platoon. “I don’t think he understands what we meant when we asked him to juggle platoons.” “Yeah.” “So, we should trade Puig?” “Maybe trade like five guys.” “Okay.” So, Puig goes back to the Reds, but they’re no longer an island nation in the Caribbean. Now, they’re in Ohio. In five years, people will be like, “I forgot Puig played for the Reds for three months.” Yes, I think he’ll likely be traded in July. Either way, he will get everyday at-bats and should get a nice boost in fantasy value. The Reds were surprising solid last year on offense, and I see no reason why that would end. For 2019, I’ll give Yasiel Puig projections 73/27/83/.273/11 in 502 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing. In comes one out goes the other. Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer. The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya. Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer. The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”. Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin. The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent. This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams. Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative. Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’. The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie. Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do. More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?