This is the end. Beautiful friend, the end. We’re at the end of our 60 game sprint and I hope this finds you in the championship game. This is going to be a tough week to sift through to find viable streamers – both hitters and pitchers – that also have something to play for. Let’s start with Mr. Happy himself, Drew Smyly (3% ESPN, 9% CBS). The Giants lefty has thrown 16 innings and has posted an eye-popping 39.1% strikeout rate. Granted, he’s only gone a max of 4 IP in any start so far, but Smyly should help out in strikeouts and ratios. The Giants are still in the playoff fight and get a matchup at home against the Rockies tonight. Colorado currently has a 1.7% chance of making the playoffs according to ESPN and just placed slugger Nolan Arenado on the IL with a shoulder injury. Over the last 14 days, the Rockies have posted a team wOBA of .286 against lefties. During that time they’ve walked just 1.3% of the time. Check that out. Over 155 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, they’ve walked just 2 times. There might be one more play against the Rockies, but we’ll get to that soon. Let’s take a look at some other under the radar options to help you win your fantasy championship.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Matt Barnes 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.
Rookie Alec Bohm continued his explosive September Friday night going two for three with a run and an RBI in game one and one for three with a run and his first career steal in the second game. Oh my, did he just steal a base! *swoons* Alec’s underwhelming power to start his career has made it hard on hilarious jokesters like myself who just want to pun all day and improv all night. No bombs for Bohm? What about a nice lip balm? Does that work? Fret not, Bohm-dot-com has picked it up lately with two Bohm-bombs in the past week. So maybe Alec is more of an opposite field contact guy than a ding dong dinger guy? Or maybe it’s his first year in the league and once he adjusts he’ll be a monster and yes I’m absolutely going to draft him everywhere in 2021? Melikes the latter one most. His manager thinks he’s a future 40 home run hitter and Gabe Kapler seems to know exactly what’s up. *hard cough* But forget about the power for a sec, Alec has multi-hit games in nine of his last 20 starts, and has hit safely in all but two games this month. He’s slashing .359/.400/.551 with three Bohm bombs and 14 RBI in September and that’s no joke! I almost wrote this lede about another scrubby Red Sox prospect, but I didn’t (you’re welcome!) because I noticed Bohm was a BUY and was still criminally under owned at less than 35%! What gives? He should have been scooped up in August. Bohm could be the dot, dot, dot…spark your team needs to dot, dot, dot…explode in your final week of fantasy. I’m sorry, I have t,–and you have to pick up Bohm and win your final week. This kid’s gonna be a star–ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Byron Buxton went (3-for-4, hitting .270) and hit his 11th and 12th homer. This is the 2nd time this year he’s homered in three straight games. Prior to this year, he had never homered three games in a row. What could be if Buxton could only stay healthy…*wavy lines* “Whoa, dream sequence! What’s this, a rainbow with a map to its natural end? I will follow this! Wow, only three years later to find the end of this rainbow, I should’ve drove! Hey, look…a pot! Let me see what’s in it…neat, there’s gold, and Buxton being a 40/20/.260 hitter in 162 games, and a young Pamela Anderson, and a battery for my calculator watch that I couldn’t find after the Radio Shack by me went out of business…this dream sequence is amazing!” *wavy lines* Oh, man, here I am still with a constantly broken Buxton and calculator watch. Dreams don’t exist. For 2021, Byron Buxton is going to once again be a total wild card who could be a top 20 outfielder, or act like one for about 80 games. 80 games of Buxton still comes out to…*plugs numbers into calculator watch*…8.6? Ugh, why’d Radio Shack abandon me? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After blowing the game in epic fashion Thursday night and then blowing another game same-day, hours later even epicly-er the Philadelphia Phillies have finally said enough is enough. Their relievers are rocking a icy 8.07 ERA, with an even more inflated 10.93 ERA in the ninth inning. Wow. That’s like Red Sox-relievers-bad. So who did they reach out to? Who else but the awful reliever experts, the Boston Red Sox, and Philly acquired Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree Friday night in hopes of bring some stability to the late inning relief. In return they send RHPs Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta to Boston. Pivetta, a sabremetrics darling, will likely slot into the starting rotation immediately despite his ugly 15.88 ERA, 1.94 WHIP. He’s given up 10 runs in just three games this year so he should fit right in with this pitching staff. Still, dude strikes out everyone. A 10.32 K/9 in 2018 shows flashes of what could be a valuable starter some day. I have streamed him many times in the past and he’s burned me even more times, and I look forward to this happening again real soon. Connor Seabold (2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 58/11 K/BB in the minors), could also likely find his way into the rotation at some point this year, given the lack of competition at the big league level. Back to Phillies, Workman should immediately take over as closer and could see a boost as he’s better than his 4.07 ERA and 1.80 suggest and has converted all four of his save chances this year. The Phillies are a considerably better team so the save opportunities should be more frequent. Workman is likely already rostered in most fantasy leagues, even though he probably shouldn’t be. However, his successor in Boston, Matt Barnes, is still unowned in most leagues, and that is likely to change quick. If you’re as desperate for saves as I am for positive feedback Barnes and his 5.59 ERA are the obvious choice for save chances for Boston going forward. He notched his first save of the year Friday night allowing just one hit. Pick him up if you really need the saves or you just hate yourself.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now that the season is upon us we can start to make more informed decisions. We have a general idea of what rotations may look like and which teams are considering leaning on their bullpens more heavily. It still involves a good pinch of guesswork but with waivers opening, we’ll need to jump to some conclusions. Good luck in your sprint seasons.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?
Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.
Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m back from vacation and ready for another week of madness with Grey Albright Fantasy Master Lothario. Lots of news with the All-Star Break approaching and we hit on all of it. We touch briefly on the London games, learn that Grey doesn’t watch “normal tv”, always bets the over, and doesn’t understand the overseas scheduling. We try to make sense of the Red Sox bullpen. Discuss Brendan McKay’s debut and his value going forward. Name some possible second half bounce backs, hit on some breakout second baseman, and touch on what to expect from Dylan Cease. But the show culminates in the unveiling of the Sogard Cycle, a new tool to predict the five to six weeks of hit hitting from The Accountant each season. It’s the Razzball Fantasy Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s not easy making a reliever as an MLB closer these days. The ball is juiced and more hitters than ever have figured out that swinging for the fences pays off even with some extra strikeouts. Those factors equal plenty of blown saves these days. The pitching landscape is changing. You need to take more cracks at saves than ever, even if you strike out, too.
Yesterday, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 11th and 12th homer, hitting .304. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the greatest living hitter, and I’m not living in a hyperbolic chamber, while dining out on superlatives to describe how hot Gurriel’s been since he returned from the minors. On our 30-day Player Rater, he’s a near-top 10 hitter over the last month. His father, Yuli Gurriel, calls his son every day and asks him how he does it and LouGu Jay R is just like, “Father, I cannot explain my success with the white ball.” And Yuli’s like, “Careful with the coded language because I learned the hard way people don’t like racism. Who knew?” LouGu Jay R may simply be a hot bat, but there’s something to be said for a guy who has been hot the entire time he’s returned from the minors. Maybe this is LouGu’s floor vs. ceiling. At least one Junior is impressing on the Jays. “I got a better butt.” That’s Vlad Jr. modeling in front of a mirror for ESPN’s Nude Magazine. However, the song Vlad Jr. sings to his reflection is apt, “Gurriel, you knows it’s true.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?