Please see our player page for Tommy Kahnle 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.

I don’t know if there’s a more frustrating pursuit than finding enough pitching in fantasy baseball. Usable middle relievers used to grow on trees. Now the good ones are picked and what’s left probably tastes sour. Nevertheless, we forge ahead trying to find a bandaid for our fantasy staffs where we can. In deeper leagues those won’t be brand name, rather bargain brand bandages. At least we’re far enough into the season that some early injuries have healed.

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Another week, more exciting prospect call-ups, as Keston Hiura is now a full-fledged Milwaukee Brewer, and Brendan Rodgers is rumored to be on his way to join the Rockies as I write this.  If you play in a shallow league, perhaps you had the opportunity to grab Hiura off the waiver wire and are now a little more invested in his major league baseball career than you were a week ago.  If you play in a very deep league, chances are both Hiura and Rodgers were drafted back in March even in re-draft formats, and perhaps have been owned for years in an NL-only, dynasty type league.  No, we deep-leaguers aren’t going to be finding guys with Hiura’s or Rodgers’ upside floating in the free agent pool too often, so we have to get much more creative.… and on that note, here are this week’s players that may be more realistic targets in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues.

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NL West | NL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

We move to the AL East, an interesting division for dark horses. For a division with so many wins, there’s a large amount of uncertainty for who’s in the ninth. Required disclaimer: these aren’t players to draft outside of nuts-deep leagues. These are spec plays at best and probably just a name to remember should one of the top guys go down.

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Closer news is nice, but how much fluctuation is really happening in the first eight games of the year?  Zero is the answer… but what about Kenley Jansen?  If you drafted him, you are riding that gondola to closer purgatory as his draft slot is an inexcusable smorgasbord of devilishness.  In layman’s terms?  You are burnt.  So like closers, I also cover their well being of your local neighborhood holds guys too.  Early season patterns of usage are a key to early season effectiveness.  Managers stick with guys early that have had a good spring and can be relied on to get tough outs. It is no different than later in the season, but some of the faces change because of poor spring, injury returns, and dreaded attrition factors that all relief pitchers battle.  The role of the relief pitcher is completely expanding,  as more former starters are being used in multi-inning appearances.  Would it completely blow your mind if I said there have been more multi-inning appearances of four strikeouts than there have been starts with seven-plus innings?  Boom, mind blown.  The Peacock effect is in full bloom.  Following the Devenski Effect of a year ago, the multi-inning reliever is going to become a hot commodity fantasy-wise… hopefully by Wednesday.  The K-factor, the “free inning” factor, and the way you can time a relief pitcher on a down starting pitcher day is the exploitation factor that can vault your rates into the next level.  It happens subtly and takes diligence on the wire, but two-3 K’s and rates per day at the cost of merely a few innings (as compared to a starter maybe going 5 innings and throwing 85 pitches) makes me wanna puke.  Thanks Gabe Kapler.  So keep an eye out for multi-inning relief cave dwellers and the goodies that they supply.  Or just stick around here and learn about everything else that is happening around the bullpens around fake baseball!

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Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

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Chicago_White_Sox

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…James Fegan, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago White Sox!

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SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd.  Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good.  Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad.  If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of options available.  Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition.  What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer?  How about WHIPs greater than 1.40.  These players need to come with a warning label.  “Implosion likely to occur.”  I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three.  Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively.  Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer.  Unless you’re Brad Ziegler.  Then it’s okay.  (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one).  Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.

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You’d think with a lineup featuring Prince Fielder, the Alfredo would go down fast and leave a mess for someone to clean up. I mean, I know Fielder is a vegetarian so maybe there were too many meatballs? How else can you explain it? It wasn’t Sunday so ‘Any Given Sunday’ need not apply and Any Given Thursday just opens the door for all the days of the week to claim coincidence as its catch phrase. We can’t have these things, there must be a reason! Yeah, there are no reasons. To the antithesis of all baseball nerd reasoning, Alfredo Simon pitched a complete game yesterday against a reasonably good Texas Rangers offense, only giving up one hit and two walks in the process while K’ing five in the shut out. Alfredo was giving up 1.45 HR/9 to go with a .383 wOBA to lefties on the year going into last night and faced a team that had five reasonably good lefty bats in their lineup. Let’s just stuff this one away in Gray’s Sports Almanac and move on with our lives without giving it a second thought, shall we? Yes, let’s. So without further ado, the guy who isn’t Grey will lead you through the rest of what he saw from yesterday for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

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Here’s what I don’t like about SAGNOF.  Writing about crappy relief pitchers is a large part of what the SAGNOF Special is about, because Saves Ain’t Got No Face sometimes means there are a lot of terrible relievers in a position to get saves.  The past week or so has been rough as we’ve seen Tommy Kahnle and Edward Mujica get pounded.  For that matter, the performance of the entire Rockies bullpen is making us long for the good ol’ days of LaTroy Hawkins.  The situation in Boston (Junichi Tazawa vs Jean Machi) has little clarity and there was not a single save for Boston, Oakland or Colorado in the past week.  It’s been brutal out there for those scrambling for saves and it’s made me yearn for that time when I could recommend A.J. Ramos and Shawn Tolleson and legitimately feel good about it.  Because of the nature of SAGNOF in 12 team or deeper leagues, this late in the season, I’ve no choice but to recommend these at best mediocre relievers because there is literally no where else to turn for saves right now. (Fortunately in 10 team leagues it’s more obvious that these types don’t need to be rostered).  There just isn’t enough time in the season right now for the Joe Smith’s of the reliever world to have any real chance to see saves this year due to injury or failure of the current closer.

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Here’s some things we know about Hector Olivera. A) The Braves say he could arrive with the team on Tuesday. B) The Braves are throwing him into the fire like they’re you at a backyard fire getting rid of all pictures of yourself from high school so no one can ever do a #tbt to you. The Braves president of baseball operations said Olivera will do a few days in the Gulf Coast League, then start moving him through the system. That’s fast, since he only has a week of Triple-A games under his belt. C) There’s no C. D) B was really long so there’s no D either. E) Olivera may not need much minor league time. He’s not exactly a rookie, he’s 30 years old. F) That’s a Latin 30; he may really be 44 years old. G) Money. H) oly smokes. I) am Grey. J) This preseason, I said this about Olivera, “After watching Olivera hit, he looks like Hanley Ramirez. Out on a limb like the Tootsie Roll owl, Olivera could hit 12-15 homers, steal 6-9 bases and hit .275-ish. There’s obviously a huge amount of risk, upside, downside and unknown here. He reminds of another import from this offseason. Call him The Cuban Kang.” K) And that’s me quoting me! L) MNOP Q) Would I own him? R) you serious? Of course. S) CarGo. T)he time to grab him is now. U) I’m talking to. V) Great TV show! W) Great movie! X) Great black militant! Y) Cause. Z) Fin. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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