We’ve reached the All Star break. That’s a little more than halfway through the fantasy baseball year. Since there was no real baseball yet this week, we’re going with a Closer Report/SAGNOF mash up. Bullets are freestyle and rankings are below. Tiers are HR Derby themed with some of my favorite moments in Derby history…

  • The All-Star break also serves as a time for teams to take stock of where they stand and consider whether the should be trade deadline buyers or sellers. The interest in Will Smith is heating up. That means there’s a stash opportunity. Pick your favorite between Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, or Reyes Moronta. There’s something in my gut telling me Moronta might be the guy long term.
  • Greg Holland and Craig Kimbrel both gave their owners a bit of solace going into the break with a save each just prior. Holland is the shakier own with the Diamondbacks minimally invested in him. Let’s see what a few days off do for two aging arms.
  • Grey told you to roster Liam Hendricks. I told you not to drop him. Hope you listened because, surprise, rushing Treinen back was probably a mistake and it’s showing. Treinen may never be a guy cut out for the solo closer mantle. He’s likely an elite fireman with multi-inning capability.
  • The top of the stolen base leaderboard isn’t particularly surprising with Adalberto Mondesi and Mallex Smith at the top. It gets interesting from there. Christian Yelich is third, Elvis Andrus is fourth, and Jose Ramirez is fifth. They’re likely matchup based with pockets of steals coming in the first half. It’s an interesting top 5 nonetheless.
  • Right behind them in sixth is Kevin Kiermaier. If you’re after steals, check the wire for him. He’s been a popular add but could be there. KK gives you some of everything.
  • Joey Wendle, another Ray, is right behind him. Wendle’s had about the worst injury luck you can have. He’s back now and sporting a solid .257/.341/.371 with 3 steals in the last two weeks. His playing time has some risk with Brandon Lowe’s return. Wendle can play all over the diamond, though.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

The album Electric Ladyland by the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave us two of the all-time great guitar riffs. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was decades ahead of its time in 1968. All Along The Watchtower may be a Bob Dylan cover but Jimi owns that song now. It’s opening lyrics are fitting for this column, “There must be some kind of way outta here, said the joker to the thief. There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.” Are you rostering a joker or a thief with your spec add? It’s certainly confusing and there’s little relief in sight. Nevertheless, we press on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Much like the famous Doors song that shares it’s name, bullpens are drawing near.  (Minus the Oedipus complex that the song explores.)  I mean, it may… but that is gross and I don’t wanna associate my bullpen goodies to that.  Moving on, shall we?  This year has been the SAGNOF-fest that we always come to expect.  Closers up, closers down.  Trades and attrition.  It happens every single year and it is the reason why the waiver wire is what it is: So we can get the new third closer for the Twins.  The chase for saves never ends, well, I mean it ends for season-long leagues, but for dynasty and keeper leagues, the times never change.  Saves are a category.  A deeply hated and often cursed at category that will always be debated about.  Whether or not to invest earlier picks then normal to get a stud, or just fill in with hope-so’s and also rans.  There unfortunately is no right or wrong answer because both strategies work as long as you are a waiver goblin.  So with the final post of the year, much like the other years that I have done this, we look to next year…  This year’s counting stats and information don’t matter, we want to know what lies on the horizon. So let’s find out!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I did some complaining last week about how the plethora of six-man rotations this time of year dilutes the two-start pool and makes two-start forecasting quite difficult. And while all of that is surely true, it’s also true that at this point of the season is probably the easiest time all year to get your greedy little hands on some quality two-start streamers. If you’re still reading this post midway into September, you’re in the minority. Week 25 is the finals in most H2H formats, the semis just about everywhere else. And if you play in one of the weird no-playoffs H2H leagues, odds are there aren’t more than two teams in serious contention at this juncture. Point is, there just aren’t that many people exploiting the two-start scene anymore. From this point forward, you should be able to snag some usable streamers without much trouble. Of course, if you’ve made it this far, I’d like to think your staff is strong enough to succeed without the help of fringy waiver adds.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re almost into mid-September, which means the fantasy season is growing a little long in the tooth. It’s a stressful time for those of us still alive in H2H land — the fantasy baseball playoffs can be a depleting time for both your liquor cabinet and your liver functionality. It doesn’t help, then, that this is the time of the year when managers — especially those of teams out of contention — like to mess around with their starting rotations. I don’t blame them; it makes perfect developmental sense for the White Sox, or any other team, to move to a six-man rotation in order to see what they have in arms like Andre Rienzo or Erik Johnson. But as a weekly leaguer, this sort of rotation shuffling can be maddening if you’re trying to gauge the two-start landscape. This is all to say that now, more than ever, it’s imperative that you check and re-check the probable pitchers prior to locking your weekly lineup. Good luck in the playoffs, my friends.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?