Please see our player page for Tony Watson 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.

Am I recycling a headline pun? Yes. We have two weeks left in the baseball season, are you going to hold it against me? Oh, you are? Fine. I don’t blame you. Just as long as you don’t hold it against me when the closers I offer up gash your ratios. The 2020 season has been very, well 2020-ish in regards to bullpens.

  • Stefan Crichton was the reliever that made sense to get the Diamondbacks closer gig based on performance so of course, they handed it to the struggling Kevin Ginkel. That experiment turned bad quickly enough. Crichton has gotten the call since to earn three straight saves.
  • Ken Giles goes back to the IL just as quickly as he returned from it. That does it for his 2020. Rafael Dolis should stay firmly atop that pen.
  • It appears more is going on with Brandon Workman than Joe Girardi just trying out all his closer options. He came in to a tie game last night and served up a homer and RBI triple. Workman had last appeared in the seventh (of a nine-inning game) and walked two while giving up three hits. Hector Neris has moved back into the closer role but literally dropped the ball in his last appearance, resulting in a balk that led to that runner scoring from second. Something is barking in his kinetic chain if I had to guess.
  • Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the San Francisco waters Gabe Kapler starts getting all Gabe Kaplery. He used Tony Watson to face the bottom of the order in the seventh and went with Sam Selman for the ninth. G’abe la vie.
  • There’s no lack of blown saves for the Cardinals back end options. I really can’t tell you who gets the next crack it. Maybe the just say yolo and try to let Alex Reyes cook in the ninth.
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Are you tired of me complaining about how drastically so many bullpens are changing week to week yet? WELL GUESS WHAT? I’m gonna do it again. And probably again next week. Just assume I do it until Grey agrees to kick me a bonus for every change to the closer board. Even with the upheaval, most of it’s at the lower rungs. Which is nice at least. Tiers are football slate themes with the NFL kicking off last night (all you baseball purists making a face at the mention of football can go watch a Colts-Jaguars TNF game).

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Take the opportunity this week to sneak some adds by your leaguemates who could very well be distracted by the impending start of the NFL season. Things are happening around the league on the waiver front. The last crop of rookies are getting their shots. Some IL returns are happening. Time to push your chips in.

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

During the summer of 2019, Yoenis Cespedes was so taken with the song Old Town Road that he wanted to film his own video remix with a wild boar and Sam Elliott. Not knowing where to begin, Yoenis called Sammy Sosa to advise on costumes because of Sammy’s flair for western wear and Yoenis found the music video director in an aisle at Sam’s Club and thought he had a Sam-only clause. Sammy Sosa was blunt with Yoenis, “You’re not a vaquero, are you? Then get off that tartan bandana and put on a fringe jacket!” Yoenis feared he looked like Dolly Parton in Rhinestone Cowboy and Sam Elliott was on the phone with his agent about this gig, when it all went wrong. Cespedes fractured his ankle, going from 100 legs to 103-ish, and his 2019 was over. Cut to 18 months later (it only feels like 18 years), and Yoenis is back, and healthy. During the break, I gave you a Yoenis Cespedes sleeper, and I’m doing what they call, in rodeo parlance, filling a barrel with two clowns. Every time Yoenis has been healthy, he has been worth owning. Will he stay healthy? Who cares! In 60 games, Yoenis has as much a chance at being the NL MVP as Pete Alonso. Yes, it hurt me to say that. Obviously, it didn’t hurt as much as trying to pull off an Old Town Road remix at Ranchero de Yoenis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Anyone who plans on engaging in a little fantasy baseball fun over the (hopefully) upcoming 60-game season has certainly been thinking about the overwhelming number of meaningful changes that have occurred over the last several months.  There are so many alterations and unusual circumstances, and so much incomplete information, that it’s been hard for me to begin even preparing for how to attack things in 2020.  How this all translates specifically to AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues is yet another wrinkle that it may be tricky to successfully iron out before it’s too late.

I have a few teams that have sat “frozen” since as early as November that will re-open for FAAB and waiver wire moves soon, plus at least three more deep-league drafts to do over the next few weeks.  As I begin formulating some strategies for addressing these teams, I’m going to start by checking in on some deeper-league injury situations.  Since I’m writing this several days before players are expected to show up at their new camps, there will likely be a flurry of news and updates soon, but for now let’s take a look at some of the health news that’s come in over the last week or so.  We’ll keep it deep league by checking in on some players outside the top 300 in NFBC ADP this year, listed in order of earliest drafted to latest drafted. These are guys that we might have forgotten about and who might get ignored in standard leagues regardless of whether or not they’re ready to take the field, but who, if healthy, might help those of us who are going to need to get a little more creative with our roster construction.

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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?

Head-to-head fantasy baseball encompasses some of my favorite parts of fantasy – rivalries, strategies, and ties. Okay, maybe not that last one, but overall, it’s my favorite format to play. Like in roto leagues, you’re focused on compiling stats in your scoring categories (homers, runs, steals, strikeouts, etc.), but your matchup resets each week and you’re on to the next opponent.

Punting is one of my favorite strategies in H2H Categories, mostly because it allows me to not pay a premium for saves or speed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a) punting both or, b) fully punting either, but I do recommend a version of punting that I feel gives you an advantage over your opponents.

Here’s our disclaimer – This is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. You know your league and your in-season management ability. If you’re an owner who is excellent at scooping up new closers, then punting saves is a reasonable strategy to explore. These strategies are also not meant to be half-assed. If you’re leaving your draft knowing you need to find steals on the wire, take the time to find those steals. Now that you’ve been warned, enter the punting dungeon……if you dare.

 

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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The ax fell yesterday on Luis Severino‘s elbow. That ax was wielded by Dr. James Andrews, who was wearing a Jason mask at the time of the news conference. A reporter stands, “Doc, do you think Severino can avoid Tommy John surgery?” Dr. James Andrews, breathy like Kathleen Turner with an unmistakeable Charleston accent, “I do declare,” Dr. James Andrews pats his mask with a handkerchief, “Severino’s time under the knife will be short, but his stay on the Injured List long.” He then scratched his arm with the ax and accidentally ripped his doctor’s lab coat. “If there’s no further questions, I will be going,” Dr. James Andrews stood, sticking out his arms in a Jason pose, and slowly left the stage. So, Severino and Dr. James Andrews have been acquainted and if you drafted Severino early, you’re ess oh el as they say in Acronyms R’ Us chatrooms. I’ve removed Severino from the top 40 starters and top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in fantasy baseball:

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In last week’s preview, we covered the Arizona Diamondbacks. For this week, we’re deep-diving to the bottom of the NL West to find the Giants. Many naive San Fran fans will tell you that this is their year since it’s an even year (2020) but that’s a pretty stupid notion if you look at this team. The championship days are certainly a thing of the past and it’s crazy just how far this team has fallen since then.

If you have any comments or questions, reach me here or on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Also, if you want to see some other team previews or my bust picks, click here!

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