Please see our player page for Michael Lorenzen 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.

After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Jose Berrios continued his 2nd half slide, going 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.78. His ERA in the 2nd half is 5.37. That’s…uh, what do I call this, thesaurus? Synonymous Rex? No, I’m asking for another word for bad, not for another word for thesaurus. Ooh..What’s this, an ad for a thesaurus film festival? Pulp Fabrication followed by Schindler’s Menu? Very provocative! Saw recently at another site an article dated late-June for how Berrios could be the AL Cy Young.  *makes Michael Scott grimace face* His BABIP in the 2nd half is .354 (up from .276) and his LOB% plummeted to 66% (from 78.3%), while his Ks skyrocketed to 10.2 K/9 (from 8), and his walks went the wrong way too, which is up from 1.8 to 3.3 BB/9. It’s simplistic to say he’s missing out of the zone. Which is why I’m going to say he’s also missing in the zone. He’s throwing everything either off the plate or dead center. This all feels fixable for 2020, but there’s no time left and you need to move on in shallower leagues. Now, excuse me, I’m going to take in The Shawshank Refunding and Batfellow in a twin picture show. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Coming into last night the Baltimore Orioles were the fourth lowest scoring team in the league with 321 runs scored. They are still the fourth lowest scoring team today, but they did manage to score a season high 13 runs against Mike Clevinger and the Clevinger Indians. I mean Cleveland Indians. To be fair to Clevinger he was only responsible for seven of those runs over one and two thirds innings. Not exactly what his owners were hoping to see in his return from the IL. Am I the only one that thinks he looks like 2017 deGrom? And which one of them played Mitch in Dazed and Confused? But enough about that. After raking in Triple A and being called up to Baltimore back on June 3, Sisco has done very little. On Friday night he exploded with a homer, a double, a single, three runs and five RBIs! For my points readers, he had 18 points before this game in which he totaled 15 more nearly doubling his season total. While it was a great performance, Trey Mancini is the only Baltimore bat I’d consider owning. I say no thanks to Villar, in case you were wondering, but I do have a points league perspective. So I guess if you need saves he’s cool. You cool, man?

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Jordan Yamamoto (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 0.00) is the 1st pitcher to begin a career with back-to-back outings of 7+ scoreless while allowing three or fewer hits in the modern era.  The modern era meaning from 1908, not from 2017 until now when baseballs were filled with helium, which caused Party City stores to close nationwide.  This is exactly what everyone expected when the Marlins called up an 89-MPH fastball that was flame-retardant.  “How fast does he throw?”  A scout recently said to another scout who was holding a speed gun.  “I’ll tell you when the ball passes the plate.”  The scout sticks chew in his mouth, scratches his sweaty armpit, then, finally, “89-ish?  Maybe.  I might’ve just been taking a reading of that bird that flew overhead.”  This goes back to my recently prophesied conspiracy theory that I introduced the other day regarding Zack Greinke.  When everyone is throwing fast, it actually keeps hitters off-balance to throw slow.  The Slow Pitch Theorized Conspiracy for Hardball (SPITCH) is fully realized now that it has an acronym.  If you’re willing to gamble a bit, I could see grabbing Yamamoto in any league to see if he can keep it going. This could also hurt Zac Gallen’s chances of a promotion, and I don’t know who gets bumped for Caleb Smith.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Earlier in the preseason, I delved into the holds tiers for fantasy bullpens.  It exists right here in the Fantasy Relief Pitchers for Holds.  That was more a broad brushstroke of fantasy bullpen goodness that goes on here at Razznation.  Now that we are thumbs deep in draft season and the players being more prominent in roles are starting to show their purpose we can get a better grip on who to won and who to covet for the ugly step sister of saves the hold stat.  In more cases than not, following a “drafting for holds model” holds true, but holds are such a fluid stat… more fluid than the closer role.  So drafting the elite guy every year looks like a great idea, but name the guy who lead the league in holds multiple years in a row or, hell, twice in their career?  It’s a short list, whose names are not that awesome or even around anymore.  So for drafting for holds, whether it be in a straight holds league or a saves+holds league having the edge up on bullpenery is key.  The strategies for each of those leagues is basically the same as the elite holds category earners and they should be drafted after the last “donkeycorn” closer to come off the board.  If you draft an elite closer, always cuff your closer with the top holds candidate on that team. Next, do what I just said twice and grab your second closer’s backup/holds guy.  That will give you two closers, their back-ups for the “just in case” moments and holds.  Then your last pick for your bullpen will be an independent guy that has a K/9 rate over 9.  That is my finite strategy for drafting holds in any league. It gives you five guys that you can bank on every day in a “set it and forget it” type situation.  Don’t fall in love with your options, as like I said, bullpen fluidness is blah and you can find a hot hand on an off day.  So now that strategy is out of the way, let’s look at the more finite tiers of holds!

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Alex Cobb woke up in the middle of October and told his significant other that he was happy to be moving on from the Rays.  It was time to get out of the AL East.  Sure, Tropicana Field wasn’t unfriendly to his needs as a pitcher.  Over his career, he had a home ERA of 3.10.  But, ya know what?  It was time to move on.  Then, he woke one day in December, and told his significant other that at the Winter Meetings, NL teams would be ‘chomping on the Cobb.’  Then, off her reaction, he asked if she’d excuse the pun.  Then, one day in January, as he scratched his flip-flopped feet on the deck of his boat in the Gulf, he thought about how maybe the Rays weren’t a bad club to pitch for.  Then, in February, he called the Mariners’ front office with a voice modulator asking them if they needed a veteran starter.  Then, in early March, he bought a Korean language Rosetta Stone as he prepped to play overseas.  So, Alex Cobb signed with the Orioles, and *sighs* starts against the Yankees and Red Sox still, but now in Camden.  His starts are gonna be like this:  pitch is thrown, batter swings bat and screams, “Nailed it!”  This feels like a move that could lead to a 4.05 ERA or a 4.85 ERA.  I’m no longer interested in owning Cobb and have moved him into my top 100 starters and down the ol’ top 500 overall.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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The most important thing in fantasy baseball relief-dom in terms of holds is consistency.  Without consistency of opportunities, of placement in the bullpen, and a team’s consistent success in utilizing their bullpen to your fantasy advantage… you get left out out in the cold when it comes down to accumulating a stout holds based relief pitching corps. Until there is a shift in the utilization of bullpens for the benefit of fantasy, more so, the leagues that use the hold stat.  I will admit that I am more of an eye test person than a numbers guy.  Numbers scare me.  They prove too many things that don’t factor in the human error factor and the good ole eye test.  So against my better mental state, I used numbers from the past five years to show that the bullpens are being used more frequently.  Not just by some teams, but by all teams.  I know, duh.  This is something that we all eyed to be happening than Smokey goes in the opposite direction like a dyslexic salmon and gets some data to prove the incline of a stat that he holds so near and dear to his fantasy bear heart.  Well sit back, relax, it’s going to be a fun ride on the holds bus this week as we do some research and than put the top-50 relief pitchers into hold tiers.  Enjoy!

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The inter-webs may something different, but I am here to learn you that it is going to be a committee instead of what the searched answer may be.  It’s not looking fantastic for Trevor Rosenthal as he was pulled from the game on Wednesday with an injury and then sent home for further testing.  So that leaves a “collage” of relievers chirping to get a shot and maybe a re-emergence of Seung-Hwan Oh.  My guess is that it becomes a complete match-up based issue for their skipper Mike Matheny.  (Name that I wanna hone in on here is Tyler Lyons though.)  This, after all, is the bullpen report and he does, like the aforementioned names, pitch from the bullpen.  Lyons, over his last 14 appearances, which coincidentally is after the last earned run he allowed, has pitched to the tune of a 0.00 ERA, 18 K’s (good for a 14 K/9), and only has allowed 2 hits and 3 BB’s, good for 5 baserunners against 44 batters faced.  If you don’t have a calculator watch handy, that is a .032 batting average against.  So in laymen’s terms, he has been awesome.  It is the holds post for the week, so he had 5 of those to boot.  Hot teams, breed hot bullpens.  It is a fact.  Chasing holds, find a team that is over .600 in win percentage over the last 15 games and roster any guy that is in the pen that sees leverage situations.  Returns will come.  Advice and morale of the story given, now onto some other factoids of deliciousness for the week in bullpen/holds news.  Cheers!

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You know what Tuesday’s are good for… SAGNOF.  And remembering to put your recycling out.  Funny enough, I am correlating the two this week.  Co-mingling, if you may.  This week, I wanna bring something old, something not so new, and he wears blue… pajamas.  (Because p-jays make the man.)  Let’s look at some old SAGNOF gold and the familiar name that is Eric Young Jr..  Hell, this is SAGNOF, it ain’t a beauty contest… it’s not even that B.S. 15-buck prize from Monopoly when you land on the community chest.  Why I like E.Y. Jr. is multi-faceted; First, he is on a team where he doesn’t have to throw base-running as a caution to the wind.  The Angels are second behind only the Reds’ legs in steals, and with an 80% success rate, they prolly won’t be choosing another tact to manufacture runs while Trout is mending his fin.  He isn’t sexy, and he has a track record of being a good for a few games then falling off a plateau, but since receiving regular at-bats, it is in the same breath as Trout going down.  He has an OBP of over .410, and if you think it’s kind of a fluke, check his minor league stats prior to call-up.  His OPS was at .950 in 44 games at Triple A with 15 steals.  The days of stealing 50-plus bases ala 2013 are long gone, but if you need to find a place for a steal here or there, check the Angels ownership and steals totals.  Maybin, Simmons et al.  So with that, let’ see what else is shaking in the 90-feet of thievery department.  Chart added for flavor.  Cheers!

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The theory of SAGNOF is simple, don’t pay for saves on draft day.  This theory is, well, in theory, correct in most instances.  Saves and Holds categories are won every year by being a straight waiver wire assassin.  The “fluidness” and volatility of the position makes it such.  Saves and Holds are a success driven organization.  It is basically the frozen concentrated orange juice stat of the MLB.  So fortunate for you, I am sorta of your Billy Ray Valentine.  I agree in principle with the “don’t pay for saves” theory, except I usually implore you to get one of the top-12 guys instead of filling in the holes and playing the guessing game late in the draft.  As I stated in my last post, there are easily 6-7 closer jobs up for grabs this year,  and that doesn’t even include injuries and save speculation types.  That leaves about 12-15 guys who could garner saves or gain the job even before the job is theirs.  Drafting for speculation is fun when you have a Kimbrel or Melancon or Oh in the bank already, but when you are basically relying on luck and happenstance in the save game, it basically means you are taking an early punt or hoping to be better then everyone else at the waiver wire.  Odds aren’t always good depending on waiver rules, because not everyone lives in their mom’s basement has all the time in the world to do waiver wire adds all day once breaking news erupts.  So for the average Joe’s out there, here are five sleeper save guys and five sleepier holds candidates to consider on draft day.

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