Greetings, deep-leaguers, let’s get right to it this week — it’s hot, we’re tired, and paying close attention to fantasy baseball is starting to feel like a bit of a chore rather than the most fun thing on the planet. If you are grinding it out and frustrated in a league or two, just think about how sad you’ll be this winter when there are no box scores to check and players to disappoint you!
Last week we looked at players aimed at ultra-deep leagues — we’ll continue to search for those 5%-or-less-owned guys, as always, and also dial it back a bit and throw in some players of the medium-deep variety this week (in the 10 – 20% owned range in CBS leagues). With that being said, you know the drill: here are a smattering of players that may be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, or other deep leagues.
Just for reference, as I was out and about, the “cult” classic by Lisa Lisa was on. Now you can admit it or you can lie about it, but if you hear this song on in the privacy of your own aloneness, and you turn the radio up. I’m sorry but it’s true. If not, it is completely just me and I have some severe music intangible listening ability that is slightly off. Where was I? Bullpens you say, bullpens I say. The first real bullpen post after the trade deadline is always a tough tell. The good contending teams basically stack up the depth of their pens and make the most unique and usable reliever an after thought, or a “questionable” own in holds leagues. I hate that this happens, because you roll along all season with a set it and forget it holds option and poof, they go to a contender and now are fourth fiddle. And nobody remembers the fourth fiddler in the Charlie Daniels’ band. If you do, climb out the basement and stare at the sun awhile, you two have missed each other’s company. So if you are sitting on names that changed to a contender that are now tertiary in line for a hold, move on. Grab a first-chair guy maybe on a lesser team, or even from that guys old team. This time of the year, if trying to capitalize on the utmost hold capabilities, there can be no allegiances. No saluting your past accumulation and move on. I am adding in a chart this week that shows holds and chances for the last 30 days to lessen the load on your research ability. After all it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job, why not stay and hang out with Smokey?
Nathan Eovaldi was sent to the Red Sox for Jalen Beeks. That’s right, Beeks in Tropicana. Orange you glad they’re Trading Places? We can only hope Dan Aykroyd comes to the games in black face to switch out Beeks’ briefcase. *insert Eddie Murphy laugh* Sigh. I miss Eddie Murphy. Speaking of aging comedians, I was watching Comedians in Cars Yadda and, boy, Jerry Seinfeld got old and bitter, right? He’s becoming Robert Klein, Jerry Lewis and, well, lots of old comedians. Any hoo! Eovaldi is getting passed around the AL East like Johnny Damon. Thankfully, he can throw better than him. Moving to Fenway does not help Eovaldi. I won’t tell you he had a 2.12 ERA at home and a 5.18 ERA in away games, except to tell you that while telling you I won’t say it. It’s not completely fair, though, because players are just better at home, in general, wherever that home is, but Fenway is unforgiving, especially if you’re not white. (I kid.) Eovaldi should provide value in the right matchups, but he’s far from a ‘start every time out’ guy. As for Beeks, he was placed inside a gorilla suit and shipped off to a much better landing spot. He appeared on Prospector Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects list. You scrolling for him, “Uh…Um….Is he here….Where is he….Oh, there. Geez.” Yeah, he’s deep, and he’s simply a streamer for this year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Turnarounds midseason are the waiver wire wet dreams that we all hope for. Now add in that they are included in one of the most prolific hitting offenses. Now, throw some salt on it and say that he is going to play everyday because of spectacular defense (which I have preached before). That player is Jackie Bradley Jr.. Yeah, I get that his season long stats are pretty much garbage and as a whole have been not rosterable in most 12-team or lesser formats… but (and there is a always a but), he has started to come out of his shell and is profiling more of the .270 hitter based on deeper stats, including the last 10 games of actual functioning stats that he has produced. His hard hit rate over the last 14 games played is higher than Just Dong, Mookie and any other Red Sox batter you wanna throw in my direction. That 51.6% during that span is in the same conversation league wide as some legitimate fantasy heavyweights and in the top-20 overall during that time frame. Now I get that this is the SAGNOF post, but we are getting to that… he has 2 steals in 11 games, but with more there to come with increased OBP over the last month, higher BB % and since he has hit over .400 for nearly 11 games played, that’ll only help his SB totals. So if JBJ is sitting on waivers, filter out the stats and look at a shorter time frame before you throw some shade on the Red Sox defensive dynamo. More SAGNOF love and goodies for all things saves and steals after the jump. Happy Independence day, cheers!
Is it still “the beginning” of baseball season? I’m thinking no. We’re now a little more than 20% of the way into the year – still an extremely small sample size, but enough that we can see patterns starting to emerge, and it’s getting easier to evaluate fantasy teams’ strengths and weaknesses. If your team is going to have an overabundance of power or strikeouts, or will have trouble contending due to a complete lack of speed or saves, you’ve probably figured it out by now. While you don’t want to panic over poor starts by players that are still likely to turn things around and help you, there’s no reason not to be pro-active if you know your team is lacking in a certain area. Of course, this is easier said than done in a deep league, where there are few serviceable players sitting on the waiver wire, and trade partners may be hard to find since every team probably feels stretched thin and owners may not feel like they have a true surplus in any category. All the more reason to be extra vigilant about free agents, potential trade scenarios, setting your lineup properly, and anything else that can give you an edge based on the rules and parameters of your league… you don’t want tuning out for a few days in May to cost you valuable points that could make a big difference in September. For now, we do our usual: look at a handful of players that could be relevant to those livin’ the deep league life.
Trevor Cahill hit the DL. Fun Fact! If you have Hill in your last name, there’s a 100% chance you’re injury prone and will be on the DL for the majority of the season. It’s a curse that began when Curt Schilling put ketchup on his ankle. With Cahill being DL’d, the A’s brought up Dustin Fowler to, uh, hit. Yo, A’s, you lose a pitcher and bring up a hitter? Michael Lewis is right, you do do things differently! Speaking of do-do, how about those A’s?! I’m being unnecessarily harsh. A thousand apologies to the 1,200 A’s fans that are three-quarters of a mile away from the field, just past foul territory. Any hoo! Here’s what Prospect Ralph said about Fowler, “Fowler hints at an enticing set of fantasy tools. His combination of power, steals, and the ability to hit for contact make him a potential five category contributor in 5×5 roto formats. Could return a .270/20/20 season if his surgically-repaired knee holds up. If only we could surgically repair Grey’s brain.” What the hell, my dude! Fowler should start at center over Canha, who should now platoon with Joyce, who should be out of the league. I didn’t grab Fowler anywhere, but I could see it for a power/speed combo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
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!
Scott Boras is pushing this “MLB owners are in collusion” narrative, and what better way to push that agenda than have Mike Moustakas turn down a $17.4 million dollar qualifying offer from the Royals to re-sign with them for $6.5 million. Boras is playing a long con here, and no one’s seeing it! But I see it! *takes index and middle finger and points at eyes, then points at picture of Boras* You know who Mike Moustakas needed as his agent? Regina King. She is doggedly persistent. Have you ever seen Regina King quit? Oh hell no. There’s no quit in that woman in every role she’s in. If Scott Boras were married to Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire, Cuba would’ve signed for chump change, and never waited for his quan moment. Moustakas needs to hire Regina King, stat! So, I haven’t changed anything in my projection and ranking for Moustakas in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball with this re-signing, because that was the baseline I was projecting off of anyway. Now to see if I can get Regina King to do my auction bidding for me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into the post, there are a few RCL drafts this weekend that need you! You as in you you. Why are you looking over your shoulder? I’m talking to you! Sign up for a league, and if we don’t fill them, you’ll get your money back, but let’s assume they will be filled because you like to win some cash-money. Yes, you you still! Also, in those leagues are JayWrong and MattTruss, so you know the leagues will be talked about on the site. Anyway, the roundup:
It’s the Winter Meetings, Part 2: This Time Free Agents Are Really Signing. Starring as Eric Hosmer is Turtle!
Starring as Wil Myers is your goofy friend from high school who now works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car:
Trailer Voice, “What if all of MLB’s owners weren’t in collusion….But just the rich teams!” In the last few days, the Padres, Twins and Rays got some deals done, which is kinda like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Some ‘perts will likely move Hosmer down in their rankings, but I always assumed Hosmer would be a Padre, and ranked and projected him as one in my top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. There, I said, “Here’s what I will say when Hosmer signs, “I made the case last year that Hosmer was Joey Votto Jr. I called him Kangaroo Embryo. I just thought of a kangaroo wearing a Kangol, but I’ve never thought about an alligator wearing an Izod shirt, I’ll have to discuss this with my shrink. At one point, Wil Myers said he’d move to the outfield for Eric Hosmer to come to the Padres, and I thought to myself, “If I were Hosmer, I’d tell Myers to please not do me any favors.” San Diego is like the Trojan Horse of cities (for baseball and just visiting). It’s like this, “Oh, man, San Diego is gorgeous. What’s this, 77 degrees every day? I can get used to this!” Five minutes later, “I am bored out of mind.” Five minutes after, “Damn, can we get out of here?” Ten minutes after that, “If I see one more white person in flip-flops I’m going to readily embrace going to Tijuana.” Any hoo! Hosmer isn’t exactly a home run hitter. His fly balls were goofy low last year for a guy with 25 homers. He was the third lowest for fly balls (22.2%), fourth highest ground balls and the 29th lowest for Hard Contact. He does hit a decent amount of line drives, and feels like a 23-26 homer guy with a few more fly balls. He might be Kangaroo Embryo this year, but to emulate Joey Votto Jr. he’s going to need to elevate the ball more.” And that’s me quoting future me!” And that’s me quoting me quoting future me! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:
Analyzing the Jefe’s work in the top-500 and finding things you disagree with is difficult business. Not many come at the king, unless summoned to do so, and survive the fall. I almost feel like some kind of twilight zone GOT episode where instead of medieval type barbs, we argue over swinging strike percentage and spin rate. Loser walks down Second Avenue to get the freshest matzo ball soup. No matter, here I sit looking over Razzball Top-500 for 2018 to see where rankings may be off for the good and the bad. For other positions it may be an easier exercise, as the rule of thumb with relievers and closers is SAGNOF and Grey’s rankings show that his approach to that acronym hold true. Drafting closers to me is always a value-type drafting situation. Don’t be last, but don’t be first scenario. Unless the value is too deeming and obvious that when it’s time to jump, you ask how high. The second rule of the reliever fight club is don’t get sucked into a run on closers. Wait your turn and get value at other positions and than if you get stuck, SAGNOF is always in your back pocket. Every year the closer market is a fluctuating beast that tempts you with fruit and flowers to jump on the next hot waiver wire add. So be patient in your closer endeavors and the stat will run its course as long as you stay proactive on the free agent market. So here is my stab at the King and who is underrated and overrated in his eyes.