Please see our player page for Kyle Finnegan to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Well hello there, Razz-folken!

Sorry, I’m working my way through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (on Book 6 of seven — fantastic, trippy, masterful stuff), which contains some very interesting folken indeed. So that’s where that came from.

I’ve got some news for y’all. I am no longer the Injury Guru around these parts. I had my fill of ’em last year, let me tell you. Not sure my brain could handle tracking all that madness for another season (assuming we even get a full one…). Alas, the ever-so-talented-and-witty Keelin Billue will be manning the Ambulance Chasers column. Instead, I’ve become the official Bullpen Guru of Razzball! In addition to the weekly SAGNOF recaps, I’ll be in charge of our brand-spankin’ new Bullpen Chart, tracking who’s closing and who’s setting up across the MLB. Side note: I’m still waiting for the day SVHD becomes the standard category.

What I’ve got for y’all is just a good old-fashioned tiered ranking (catered toward the 12-team standard 5×5 audience). I could pretend I’m doing this for the people, but really this is as much for me as it is for you, dear reader. I’ve had my fantasy hockey helmet on, helping Viz over the on the Razzball Hockey side of things. Haven’t paid the best attention to the goings on in MLB — I could use a little brush up on how bullpens are looking.

Welp, I’ll quit dillydallying and get right to it. I’ll update these rankings eventually as things change throughout the course of the offseason. Some big names are still homeless as of now (you can find notes on them under the rankings themselves). These rankings stem from a combination of my genius brain and Rudy’s projections, which of course you can see over on the World Famous Razzball Player Rater.

I lied; I’ve got a little more dillydallying to do. I want to make it clear this is a focus solely on guys in closer situations. I’m looking at this through the lens of saves. I would personally rather own a Devin Williams type than a crappy closer like Cole Sulser in most instances, but I didn’t want to jumble up my tiers with guys who aren’t likely to get saves with any kind of regularity. Devin Williams, Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Loaisiga, etc. do not appear in what you’ll see below. Maybe I’ll get around to some HAGNOF rankings, but you can always pop over to the Bullpen Chart and the Player Rater to find guys to help you with holds. And one last note: even though you see numbered rankings, they’re more of a formality. I treat everyone pretty much equally within their respective tiers, and it could shake out to where any one of them could out-rank the other. Is that a cop out for “hindsight is 20/20” purposes? Maybe! Oh, and the stats you see are 2021’s totals. Duh.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here you will find bullpen charts for each team. Bullpens are a messy business to track, but the purpose here is to highlight each team’s closer(s) and setup men. You can more or less expect the chart to read left-to-right in order of importance, but again, it can be a fluid situation day-to-day, week-to-week (looking at you, Tampa Bay Rays!). So, not only are we highlighting saves options, we’ve got you saves+holds folks covered, too! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While drafting this NFBC 2022 fantasy baseball team, I’m simultaneously deep into writing my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, which will be released starting around mid-January. (Our Patreon already has the bulk of them; as I finish each ranking, I put it up on there.) Was a fun experiment to see if not having completed rankings would change my drafting. If I haven’t yet decided on whether or not I want a player, would that let me be more open to drafting someone? I’m not sure. My guess was it might’ve. For unstints, if I didn’t want, say, Cody Bellinger again, would I be a big enough dolt to draft him again since I haven’t finished my rankings? Would I be a large enough idiot to actually draft Cody Bellinger again in 2022 if I hadn’t yet finished my research? Would I have an obvious screw loose, potentially appearing like a person who doesn’t have an actual brain, and draft Cody Bellinger again? Would I be a large-scale imbecile that would draft Cody Bellinger again if I simply hadn’t finished researching? Surely, I would not, right? Because I rostered him in multiple leagues last year, so I don’t need something as silly as my own rankings to know Cody Bellinger sucks giant Great Dane balls, right? RIGHT?! Actually, wrong. I’m just that dumb. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap; it’s a 15-team, two-catcher, draft and hold league that goes 50 rounds and has no waivers:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

San Francisco Giants closer Jake McGee was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday afternoon with an oblique strain. Big Jake has racked up 31 saves this year, and paired with some stellar ratios (2.72, 0.91 WHIP) has been a big part of how solid this bullpen has been all season long. Welp, that’s over now but the Giants’ season certainly isn’t and for a first place team fighting to avoid the Wild Card play in there are saves to be had in this bullpen–the question is who? Tyler Rogers (2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 45/9 K/BB, 12 saves, 27 holds) is the obvious first choice but in his first chance to shoot his shot Friday night he looked real shaky allowing 3 hits and 3 ER in his inning pitched. He gave up back to back singles before allowing a go-ahead home run to Travis d’Arnaud. Welp. Next up could be Dominic Leone, who owns 14 holds on the year and an impressive 1.76 ERA, and 1.04 WHIP. He had a rough outing last Wednesday but overall has been reliable with a sub-2 ERA over the past month. Finally, Tony Watson (4.13 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) could see chances in this pen. He’s been prone to blow ups but he’s got that ever elusive closer experience that managers seem to gush over. So yeah, the only thing clear about this bullpen shituation is that we all hope Jake McGee returns soon. Manager Gabe Kapler seems optimistic about a return before the playoffs, but oblique injuries always seem more oblique to me. As I mentioned, there should be save opportunities for the “best team in baseball” over the next couple weeks and if I needed a closer I’d grab Rogers, Leone or Watson in that order. More likely than not they all get their chances as SF revs up for the postseason–but Kapler seems like the loyal type, so methinks Tyler Rogers gets the another shot fill the Jake McGee void next time out. That’s a roger, Rogers!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We hear, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels…” as the Think Different commercial plays. The middle of a black onyx stage opens, and slowly someone rises. First, we see their Yankees cap, then the glorious sheen, black-as-night mustache, which blinds us, it’s so beautiful. Finally, we see it’s Nestor Cortes Jr. in a black turtleneck and dad jeans. Nestor clicks on the microphone that is around his ear. “Thank you, Ashton Kutcher, for that lovely intro. Now, as many of you are wondering, how am I on the Yankees, and their no facial policy, with this gorgeous mustache. That answer is quite simple, actually. It’s due to my incredibly fast-growing facial hair. I shave every morning. I want to direct you now to my 500-slide Powerpoint explaining how my mustache grows in so fast.” Not only does Nestor Cortes Jr. have a fast-growing mustache like he’s out of the 1970s, he also has a 1970s vibe to his pitching. His release point changes with just about every pitch. Is his father, Nestor Orlando El Duque Hernandez Cortes Sr.? Last night, Cortes went 6 1/3, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.60 in just under 80 IP, which is nothing to sneeze out, unless you’re allergic to quality fantasy starters. The worry with Cortes, much like it was with El Duque, he throws about 89 MPH. It’s a precarious game trying to keep MLB hitters off balance all the time. So far, Cortes has done it, and I’d try him for the rest of this year. For 2022 fantasy, Nestor Cortes Jr. feels like a guy who could be exposed as a gimmick. Now, excuse me, I want to get back to watching his mustache PowerPoint. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Congratulations! 

I can only assume that congratulations are in order if you are reading this.  The journey that we have been on this season has been a blast, and I am very fortunate to have you riding shotgun!  The road ahead is definitely not for the faint of heart, but the finish line is within sight!  

I once had been out with some friends and taking in some liquid courage, when a friend challenged me to a race.  Now, I have never been the fastest guy on Earth (I had the Molina-Esque speed), but had been exercising and felt a little spry…or it was the buckets of Captain Morgan that we had consumed.  Either way, I was feeling a little cocky and thought “what the hell”.  

Fast forward about two seconds and I am lying face-down on the concrete with instant regret and unknown knee pain.  No, the need didn’t buckle under my tremendous speed, it was the after-effect of tripping over the speed bump directly in front of me.  Yes, loyal readers, the speed bump is a metaphor for preparation.  Don’t just start sprinting into this weeks’ matchup!  Look around, or below you, and determine the best route or angle to victory.  

So without further ado, here are the tools needed to avoid those pesky speed bumps preventing victory!

Interleague Matchups:

Hou v Ari-Arizona will gain the DH 

Det v Mil-Mil will gain the DH

7-game weeks: Minn (Double-header), NYY, TB, HOU, TEX, SD, SF

5-game week: Mil

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

This is The Save Vulture Dance. Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide.

[spoken word intro]
The save vulture is a scavenger bird. They see weakness in others’ misfortune. A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. And if you don’t give up, or give in, you may just be okay…OKAY!

[lyrics]
Snap, snap, Giovanny Gallegos, Genesis Cabrera, Alex Reyes, claw, claw, save.
Save vultures aren’t reproducin’ cuz they’re uze overweight guys,
Preferin’ to watch sports highlights than listen to the girl they’re datin’. Sighs.
Snap, snap, Joe Barlow, Spencer Patton, claw, claw, save.
The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust,
The orange reminds them of all that Orioles’ fuss.
Snap, snap, Cole Sulser, Tyler Wells, No One Because The O’s Won’t Win, claw, claw, save.
Teams that flipped their closers for prospects at the trading deadline and are now losin’,
They still haven’t figured out who’s closin’.
Snap, snap, Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Kyle Finnegan, Dylan Floro…*huff, huff, out of breath* …keep on going!…Anthony Bender, David Bednar, Carlos Estevez, Chris Stratton, Codi Heuer, Rowan Wick, claw, claw, save.
Guys who have just sucked and teams needed to look elsewhere,
Desperate, you look like Walter White in his underwear,
Snap, snap, Emmanuel Clase, Adam Ottavino, Johnny Lasagna, Andrew Chafin, Sergio Romo, claw, claw, save.

[spoken word outro]
Now ya know, if you need saves in the final month. [sax plays us out] Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaves. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Adam Ottavino notched his ninth save of the season Friday night pitching a scoreless ninth inning, allowing a walk, and striking out two to lower his ERA to 3.51. Matt Barnes has lost all his steam and possibly will to live and Manager Alex Cora’s options include a couple of Garretts: Garrett Whitlock with his 1.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and arguably Boston’s most consistent bullpen arm all season, or Garrett Richards (4.86 ERA, 4.60 WHIP) who has a 0.90, 1.00 WHIP in his past 10 IP in relief. So yeeaah ignoring Hansel Robles, the answer is clearly Adam Ottavino who has done the job before and set up Barnes all year. Grey told you to BUY Adam because Robles scarred him for life, and as far as late-season closer adds go Ottavino could be a real cherry. Or should I say Fenway frank? As hard as this team has stumbled post-break, they still appear to be trying to win baseball games and there should be plenty of save chances to be had as they battle for the wild card. I’d grab Ottavino wherever I needed saves. But wait! We’re not done yet, as this headline is doing double duty today. Glenn Otto pitched five scoreless innings in his Tejas Rangers debut Friday night and allowed just two hits and struck out seven Astros. “His name is Otto, he loves to get blotto!” Thanks for that Ottoman! If you dominate the Asstros like that you have my attention, sir, and his 3.20 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 134/24 K/BB rate in the minors this year show me he might have the stuff to hang with the big boys. With half the Rangers starting rotation on the COVID list, Glenn should get another shot next week versus Colorado. I could see streaming him if you’re as desperate for pitching as I am for positive feedback. There you go, a two-fer lede! Not bad right? Larry David might even say it’s pretty good. So go play the fantasy lotto and grab one of these Ottos!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?