Please see our player page for Sergio Romo 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.

Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Maybe they thought they were safe by bringing Kelvin Herrera as a Linus blanket until Doolittle returned.  Maybe they were comfy with the veterans that they had lined up just in case.  Well that “just in case” just happened.  Herrera is now on the DL and Madson assumes the role of all roles. (Until Sean Doolittle comes back from a stressed out foot.)  The Nats had such promise in preseason and even after the acquisition of Kelvin, to be a good bullpen.  Former closers, like most men, are there to do their job and file their income tax returns on time like big boys.  Well, they disappointed me and definitely the owners of Doolittle.  Since July 3rd, or basically the last time Doolittle pitched, they have four saves.  Four, fore, for!  Only ahead of teams like the Padres, Blue Jays and Angels.  By the way, if you are scoring at home the Angels haven’t had a save in 27 games.  That is actually more mind-blowing than a team with decent starting pitching to only get four whole damn saves.  Makes save-chasing on Madson or the like seem glum.  So save your FAAB bucks for another day because Sean should be back within the fortnight, no idea if he mastered his emote dances yet though.  Not that it really matters, but a save earned is a save kept.  I know that works with pennies, wasn’t sure if that helped with counting stats at all.  The season is coming down the stretch, do you have what it takes oh glutens of the SAGNOF?  If you feel weary or just on cruise control because of Fantasy Football, than relax take a gander on some useful bullpen stuff, followed by the rankings…

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?

Winking is the oddest of human expressions. Physically, it looks like a fusion of pain and happiness. You’re smiling, yet utterly frustrated because you can’t complete the process of connecting one eye to the mouth on the same side, which is what the purpose of a wink feels like. I know there are examples of winks where a person just closes one eye without the movement of the mouth, but that’s just a one-eyed blink. Cognitively, winks are intentional. One cannot be tricked or scared into winking. It is not a biological response mechanism. They have a purpose, yet are difficult to deduce because of the ambiguity. You know what’s not vague? Jesse Winker (34.1% owned – increase of 17.5%) is good at baseball. 13.8% strikeout rate and 15.1% walk rate! .294/.404/.429 slash with 7 home runs. Hard hit rate of 45.1% and 5.7% swinging strike rate! Now, the power isn’t spectacular (.135 ISO) and he does struggle a bit against LHP (.218 average), but he’s still only 24 years old, so the power may keep developing. What gives me the most optimism, though, is that he is not completely inept against lefties. The strikeout rate is higher than against righties, but it’s still only 18.8%, but the walk rate is a robust 17.4%, 3% higher than against righties. The approach seems solid and the BABIP is only .250 against lefties. It’s only a matter of time. TREASURE

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I want to transport you back to Jason Heyward‘s first career MLB at-bat.  They called him The J-Hey Kid.  Bobby Cox called the then-20-year-old a future Hall of Famer.  Reggie Jackson said of the sound of the ball off Heyward’s bat, “Everyone’s hits sound like they’re ‘in AM’ and Heyward’s hits sound like they’re in stereo.” No one questioned why Reggie Jackson was commenting on a then-Atlanta Braves outfielder.  Darryl Strawberry said Heyward reminded him of himself before his career was derided by drugs.  Nothing ominous there; don’t read into that at all.  Then-president Obama said, “Heyward’s legacy will be maintained as well as my own,” and the accolades flowed.  Then, in his first at-bat, he homered.  He won Rookie of the Month accolades in both April and May.  Was selected, as a rookie, to the All-Star Game and now you better not let anyone ever hear you compare Heyward’s rookie exploits to Acuña or you will get popped in the mouth.  Well, that was an abrupt reversal.  This year, at the age of 28, he has five homers and zero steals while hitting .287.  He’s a different hitter.  Brucely, until this year, he hadn’t been a hitter for five years, but more of a defensive specialist.  He’s hitting .410 in the last week with a homer and I could see grabbing him for average and runs as he’s now The J-Okay Kid.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season.  Rewind four months ago and look at your team…  If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach.  Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen.  The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web…  So now we look at Jeurys Familia.  Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him.  From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245.  All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer.  Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357.  Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage.  Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins….  Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team.  So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t.  I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.

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

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Kelvin Herrera was traded to the Nationals, and immediately lost his fantasy value — from a total geek to totally chic back to Game of Thrones’ Reek.  From a SAGNOF hero to a SAGNOF zero.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*life flashing before eyes right before death* Wow, that’s a lot times I picked up and dropped Chase Anderson.   Is it weird I can understand where Mike Tyson was coming from when he said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children?  Some of these players — Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Chase Anderson — come to mind that make me want to eat someone’s children.  Not really (yes, really).  Why couldn’t Chase Anderson do this when he was on my team?!  *lines tacks up on desk, slams head down*  I’m okay!  *blood dripping from forehead like Abdullah the Butcher*  I can’t see!  *screaming at intern*  Getmeahandiwipesoicansee–Okay, I can see again.  I’m still seeing blood though.  Yesterday, Chase Anderson went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.13.  The peripherals are still not there for Anderson — 6.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 5.17 xFIP — so I won’t be going back in on him.  That doesn’t mean it won’t make me think about salt and peppering some kids if he pitches well again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The value of Michael Taylor is that he can play centerfield better than anyone else on the Nationals roster.  I get that defensive metrics are not a fantasy stat, but it keeps players like him in the lineup from day-to-day.  With the emergence of Juan Soto and the impending return of Adam Eaton, it causes a luxury that most teams don’t offer.  Four decent to great outfielders that all offer a different set of skills but all rosterable in most fantasy formats.  I think the biggest question we have to ask is: Is Juan Soto going to stay up when Adam Eaton returns from the 60-day DL on the 8th?  Given what we have seen from him based on on-field merit, absolutely.  Making Eaton or Taylor the fourth man on any given day is the right choice, but I am leaning that Eaton or Soto form a nice rotation based on what the skipper has said about Taylor: “He wins games with his play on the field” is the truncated version of what he said.  He isn’t wrong, and basically Taylor is the Nationals version of Keirmaier. Similar skill set, maybe a bit more speed for Taylor, but their main asset is their propensity for great glove work.  Listen, I get and hear all the prospect thumpers saying there is no way that Soto comes out of the lineup, but to think that he doesn’t sit occasionally upon Eaton’s return is just plain naive. Eaton won’t play everyday, because he is about as durable as a street watch bought in Chinatown. So if you are a Taylor owner, be semi-nervous he should be owned for SAGNOF appeal, but not a pillar that is in your lineup for any other counting stats.  Even if the are getting better over the past 14 games to what they have been over the course of the year so far. So to summarize on the SAGNOF love, Eaton coming back, Soto, Taylor and Eaton will all lose 4-6 at bats a week, all is well and all are ownable.  SAGNOF Monday starts off your week with class and style.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Forget about raising the Jolly Roger, let’s just salvage the poor thing.  The closer there, Felipe Vazquez, or the artist formerly known as “One Inning Willy” is struggling.  Which sucks for me personally because I tabbed him and the suspended one preseason to be the valued goods in the ranks of relievers.  Welp, you can’t predict injury, criminal activity, or attrition.  Judging that one closer is bad compared to if one is good, the eye test always wins out.  But Vazquez has been bad, and with an injury asterisk.  Blowing 4 saves in the last 10 games is just bad karma regardless of if your name is Mariano or not.  Bad luck, sure.  Injured…?  More likely, which is bad.  The propensity for him to be a every day or two out of three closer may be changing within the near future, not only to ease his pain with the stress of pitching the ninth, but to get a second look at one of the viable arms that has the look on paper of a closer.  That triumvirate of Michael Feliz, Edgar Santana and Richard Rodriguez have pitched spotty the last few times out, but should be owned in deeper leagues where saves are like the Sahara.  Cuffing yourself, even though the news on Felipe has come back clean, is the best advice I can give as a bullpen junky.  Just in case is better than a dollar short.   Other bullpen and closer bits of tid on the way.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?