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.

Snap, snap, claw, claw, save.  That’s The Save Vulture Dance.  Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide.  The save vulture is a scavenger bird.  They see weakness in others’ misfortune.  A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. Snap, snap, Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, claw, claw, save.  Save vultures have trouble reproducing because they’re usually overweight guys who would prefer to listen to sports news than what the girl they’re dating is talking about. Snap, snap, Freddy Peralta, claw, claw, save. The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust. Snap, snap, Joe Jimenez, claw, claw, save. Teams are trying to flip their closers for prospects at the trading deadline. Snap, snap, Yoan Lopez, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, claw, claw, save. If you can stash setup men right now, it’s advisable because over the next week closers are going to change rapidly. Snap, snap, Daniel Hudson, claw, claw, save. You may not be able to get to waivers to grab the closer replacement, so I’d forget bench bats until the trading deadline and hold some setup men in case your closers are traded. Snap, snap, Aaron Bummer, claw, claw, save. It’s especially important to make sure you have new closers coming in if you’re about to lose closers who will become setup men on contenders. Snap, snap, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Kyle Crick, Nick Anderson, Nick Wittgren, Craig Stammen, Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc, claw, claw, save. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since there was only one game this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different. This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys.   “Hello? No, I’m changing buys — B-U-Y-S.  Thanks, you too!”  That was GLAAD calling me about potential insensitivity. I have not triggered anyone in almost three days, unless you count that I told someone in Oregon that their state flag should be a cornucopia of Birkenstock and patchouli.  As for a Buy on Madison Bumgarner, you know that expression, “If you’re alive long enough, you will see a time when Samoans are skinny, petite men who request silver dollar-sized coconuts to cover their nipples.”  You don’t know it?  That’s because I just made it up!  Sucker! The expression I just made up is accurate, however (as far as I’m concerned, and, sadly, this isn’t a democracy, and I’m the one that matters).  The expression’s root is from the actual expression, “If you live long enough, you’ll experience everything.” I say this because who would’ve never thunk I’d be buying Bumgarner, ever. His 9.3 K/9 is the highest it’s been in three years; his walk rate of 1.9 is about as elite as it gets and he’s going to be pitching with a new team shortly, and you have to think that team will provide more win opportunities than the Aints. Also, Bumgarner strikes me as the type to get hyped up about competition, and a playoff race could bring out his best.  Unless he’s traded to the Dodgers, then the world might blow up. Was that why there were those earthquakes? Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know what is fun this time of year?  The bullpen shuffle.  Whomever is closest to the computer or phone wins the waiver game in most cases.  Well… that’s now the case with the Padres with the trade of Brad Hand to the Indians.  The waiver wire is set ablaze for one Kirby Yates, but is he the guy forever, or the guy for now?  I am leaning that the trade door in San Diego is gonna revolve one more time and see Yates come out the other side a bullpen piece rather than a closing man.  Hand’s still a valuable commodity, granted he won’t be a full-time closer with the Tribe, but his peripherals and Cody Allen‘s shakiness as of late… will lead to a “sometimes” situation.  Hand is a hold in all leagues because he should get a shot for every third save or so with his new club.  Add in the K-rate over 13 and he has intrigue that only a dozen or so non-closers have. Back to Yates though, since this is the afternoon post and Grey has gone over it this morning and most likely will after this in his buy post, but Yates has value for now.  In fact, he’s had value for most of the year in holds leagues, with a 11+ K/9 and a ton of success in the setup game in the reliever farm known as the Whale’s Vagina. So why am I so hesitant to give him the go?  He is a journeyman reliever whose value is never going to be higher than right now, or in eight days with some saves to his name.  So if you swung and missed at the waiver wire add for saves with Yates, grab Craig Stammen for free and just wait.  Waiting is always a good thing, especially with a maybe-closer in the making, albeit one with not much quantity potential.  More bullpen goodies and post all star tidbits after the bump.  Cheers!

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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!

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Here’s what I’ve said previously about Aaron Hicks, “Open Up and Buy AH, because owning Aaron Hicks is Nothin’ But A Good Time!  Also, a good time is searching any girl’s name from Rock of Love with your parental controls turned off.  Okay, I have a few Bee Tee Dubs here.  Unless you have a child, you don’t set parental controls on your TV.  You can filter what you see without magically stumbling on porn.  The internet though?  You need parental controls on it, no matter if you’re home, at work, 12 years old, 64 years old, at school or on the john.  You can Google something as innocuous as “Persian cucumber” with no parental controls and all hell breaks loose in your search results.  “Oh em gee, I just wanted a recipe for a cucumber salad!  And, wow, I didn’t know Omar Sharif had so many nude scenes.”   Bee tee dubya II, we’re due for a terrible 80’s hair band renaissance.  Someone needs to do a cover of a Poison song.  Bee tee dubya III, there is no bee tee dubya III.  Bee tee dubya IV, I have this nugget in my brain that says, even though I was only 14 years old, I knew how awful Poison was at the time.  Like, when they did Your Mama Don’t Dance, a big part of me knew they were absolutely terrible, even then.  Any hoo!  Hey, any hoo’s initials are Aaron Hicks.  Coinkydink?  Thinks not.  He’s on a 162-game pace of 25 HRs, 15 SBs and a .260 average.  Of course, that doesn’t matter.  We just want a hot player at this point, and, on our 7-day Player Rater, he’s near top 25, and should be owned everywhere.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, the royal we (which is me wearing a Burger King crown) have been here before, but every year it’s the same story with Hicks, until he gets hurt.  Hey, he’s more predictable than that hair band renaissance apparently!  For now, Hicks is healthy, and should be owned.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The news that Hunter Strickland has fallen down and needs a time out for punching a door has sent a reliever ripple effect down the closer ranks.  Since this is the Holds week and this is the most pertinent info going, I figured we would roll with anyways.  So roll with the suspenseful animation of holds love and glory for a little bit, and while you are at it, temper your expectations of reliever-dom as we dive into the Giants reliever sitch.  So Strickland got all mad, punched a door, broke his hand.  The Giants are not short of ex-closers that have had time in the limelight.  Sam Dyson gets the first look as expected, because Mark Melancon is not ready for prime time… yet. Dyson got the first save chance, nice!  Smooth sailing.  Then on Thursday?  Yaks up 2 runs and gets yanked for a guy I just brought to light in Reyes Moronta.  The story isn’t that intriguing as I wish there was some Usual Suspects twist where Mark Melancon was Bruce Bochy all along and he just uses the nickname ‘Verbal’  from his me-ma.  Dyson seems to be the guy, until the trust level is at a reasonable level of fortitude for the previous 52 million dollar man in Melancon.  The Giants aren’t going anywhere fast, so involving assets of tradeability like MM and Dyson are a boon to not only your fantasy team, but real life baseball.  So the Giants may start to implore an Oprah approach to saves.  You get a save, and you get a save, and you get a save!  The save chase is great and fun until you are on the losing end of it.  So enjoy the stat heist that you may have with Dyson, soon to be Melancon, and eventually everyone.  More saves and holds goodies after the bump.  Cheers!

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Choosing the right closer is hard enough when there is only one to choose on draft day.  Tons of factors to guide your hand…  Jump forward 50-plus games and when the situation has multiple faces and not a ton of situations from which to choose: is it worth the squeeze?  The White Sox closer situation has gone from one, to a few, and back again multiple times this year, and now it has swung back to Joakim Soria after garnering the last two saves.  The conundrum here is that Nate Jones had gotten the previous three save chances.  Than if you scroll the calendar even farther, Jace Fry got a save and retread Bruce Rondon also factored in on one occasion in mid-May.  So with a team that only has 13 saves all year, better than only one other team, the Marlins (who are a complete and utter disaster for saves). So when chasing saves, and we all do it, even you, the guy who can’t make eye contact way in the back…  It is part of the FAAB chase and the most alluring I might add and frequent drain of funds. So with a team that has flip-flopped three times in 50 games, with 13 saves and on pace for a MLB bottom-three in save chances, is it worth the headache of this guy or that guy?  I wanna root for the Mexecutioner, and some guy named Nate, but they are basically like part-time lovers, and I would rather stream the spot with great counting stats that matter.  Soria’s K/9 is in the mid-10’s which is admirable, but on a game-to-game basis, the save chase comes down to volume, not the here and now.  Yes, Soria should be owned, and yes Jones should be owned.  But I am just bringing this up for your sake of saves hope.  If you can pair either one of them at the right time, obviously when they are on a hot streak of two saves in 10 days, do so and upgrade your save booty.  Advice over, bits of tid to follow.  Cheers!

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I mean, who doesn’t like a good old Kenny Rogers reference?  I appreciate it, but was more keen on Islands in the Stream, which in reality still works for this post.  This week, I wanna focus y’alls attention on when to keep relievers of hold value or when to fold them and grab someone new.  I wanted to bring this up because the near-leader in holds currently is Juan Nicasio.  (Who for all intents and purposes is a fantastic Holds pitcher when you just take into account the hold total of 12.  Which trails only Archie.)  The hold total is great for holds leagues says captain obvious.  The peripheral stuff is absolutely poop though. Commander Poop, for the full nautical theme.  He checks none of the boxes from the non-hold league boxes, his  K-rate is just a tick above 9, HR/9 at 2.0, a BAA over .300 and an ERA over 6…  Those are not the four checks that I was referring too.  So for mixed leagues, the guys you want to own are all over these standards: The K-rate has to be at or above 11 K/9, which includes over 60 relievers in baseball. HR/9 has to be tiny, think under 0.50, BAA against has to be anything at or below league average of .243.  And lastly, the ERA has to be respectful, but not the end-all-be-all of determinations, because unluckiness does happen with relievers.  So when doing your homework for reliever adds, make a checklist of those three stats and let the ERA be the tie-breaker in determining your add.  In holds leagues, quantity does matter, but if you are only going to eat one banana why buy the whole bunch and let them ruin all the other categories?

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A little over four years ago my girlfriend and I moved in together. Or, more accurately, I moved from my mom’s basement to my girlfriend’s basement. Shortly after the move, my lady and I were having dinner with my grandparents. It was during this meal that I received some of the only praise I’ve ever received from my grandfather: “Nice work Donkey, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free!?”

You’re probably wondering what this is going to have to do with fantasy baseball. What’s the milk going to be in this analogy? And is Bartolo Colon the cow? Of course he’s the cow! But not for the reasons you’re thinking. He has big bones, people! Cut Big Boned Bart some slack! I’m going to leave you on the edge of the toilet seat in your office bathroom, contemplating this analogy for just a little longer.

First, I need to add a preface; the following bit of fantasy baseball theory is mainly geared towards season long rotisserie leagues. If you only play head to head leagues you can feel free to flip back to that pornhub tab for the last few minutes of your bathroom break. Unless of course you’re looking for more sage life lessons from Grandpa Donkey, in that case stick around.

In recent seasons you may have noticed the league-wide pitching numbers are on the decline across the board in a big way. Starting pitchers are throwing fewer and fewer innings while giving up more and more runs. Whereas only a couple years ago it may have taken a 3.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP to win those categories in your league, this past season a 3.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP was plenty to land the top spots in many roto leagues. I’ve compiled some data in the tables below to support these claims.

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This is the best time of the year, next to when Shark Week is on TV.  All the movement in real baseball sends a ripple throughout the fantasy universe and in most position player cases, the player is owned to the moon or already a contributor.  Not so much in the realm of baseball’s forgotten warriors: the setup men.  As teams scramble for bullpen help, it creates an everlasting (not really forever) waterfall effect that resonates to the new and old team.  Take for example the Yankees/White Sox trade it has created job questions for five separate relievers: Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Clippard and Swarzak.  Now with all the hype surrounding trade rumors, it is best to identify the team who gets the bullpen help first, than the trading team second.  Because the trading team usually is where the goodies are at.  Anthony Swarzak looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the setup options, and yes, Clippard will be closing, but Swarzak will be there when Clippard gets dealt again whether it’s before or after the non-waiver trade deadline.  So to summarize here, be speculative but not crazy.  Pay attention to the reliever deals in place and realize that some pitchers get moved down a few pegs, but on the reflexive, some move up. Have at some juicy reliever tidbits, Cheers!.

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