Please see our player page for Trevor May 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.

This was the hardest draft of my life. I kid sometimes you can draft something like four of five guys in my top 20 overall, unless you’re in a league with 11 other Greys. Well, this league felt like I was in a league with 14 other Greys. This draft was like everyone was sitting in my head and moving my arms and I was Howdy Doody and my team turned to doodie and GET OUT OF MY HEAD, I scream as I take two Dusty Baker collectible toothpicks and jam them into my ears. Honestly, this league kinda filled me with joy. Y’all are so good. I was very impressed with everyone’s drafting. No teams jumped out as complete messes. Well, except for mine. It was like you flew out of the nest, turned around to me your Daddy Bird, smiled, and then motioned for a woodpecker to take out my branch so I would fall to my death. Why are you working with woodpeckers behind my back?! (By the by, we just added ten more RCL leagues due to demand — Play against a hundred of your greatest frenemies! — signups) Anyway, here’s my 15-team, mixed league, NFBC Draft Champions recap:

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Holds Ain’t Got No Face! 

These poor schlubs. No one’s favorite player is a middle reliever. The middle reliever never gets the girl. The signed middle reliever rookie card never fetches more than a buck-fifty on eBay. 

Yet these working-class heroes continue to go out every day and grind away to bridge the gap between the billion-dollar, sexy starting pitchers and the dark, mysterious closers. 

So here’s to you Graeme Lloyd! Here’s to you Mark Eichhorn! Here’s to you Matt Thornton! And MY personal favorite player of all time — here’s to you Jeff Nelson! 

 

From a fantasy perspective, the middle reliever has been a non-factor since the beginning of roto baseball. In your standard 5×5 leagues there’s just no room for a player who barely contributes in any of the 5 pitching categories. However, after years and years of heart attacks from being forced to draft Fernando Rodney because they missed the closer runs — cardiologists have created a new fantasy category to prevent such cardiac conditions: saves + holds 

Below I’ve ranked the top-40 non-closers for saves + holds leagues. In true Kerry-fashion, I’ve manufactured my own ranking system. I’ve ranked these guys out into three categories: sv/hlds, limiting runs, and K/9 — the three categories that middle relievers can consistently help you in. Limiting runs is a combination of ERA and WHIP — basically, in one inning, a reliever needs to keep guys off the bases — and if there are already guys on the bases — keeping them from scoring runs. You know — like the job of every pitcher! 

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Reds trading away their closer, Raisel Iglesias, for Noé Ramirez is the kind of deal that will be used by future generations when they dissect when baseball clearly wasn’t about winning. This makes sense from the Angels’ perspective, clearly. Nothing that Angels like more than las Iglesias, and now they have two of them, having traded for Jose Iglesias earlier this offseason. This is not a black and white world, so I could see them trading for Emilio Pagan to balance their shoulders. Mike Trout will need to learn the Spanish nursery rhyme, “Aquí is the Iglesias, aqui is the personas, aquí is the pescado without a championship.” All I Noé is that dude is an 88-MPH middle reliever and what are the Reds doing? I like Amir Mrs. Garrett as much as the next guy, but he’s their closer now? I thought they were trying to be competitive. Why is “not being competitive” even an option? Okay, I’m about to burst my ulcer. So, Raisel Iglesias will clearly be the Angels’ closer, and has the stuff to be a top 3 closer. Last year he went 12.1 K/9, 2 BB/9, and 2.87 xFIP, and is nearly that dominant in his career, not just goofy 60-game seasons. For 2021, I’ll give Raisel Iglesias projections of 2-3/2.52/1.06/84, 34 saves in 67 IP.

On a more somber note, wonder what the Heaven’s Gate guy would’ve thought about the Angels trading for Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias. That’s gotta be a sign, right? No? Well, he would’ve thought it was. Side note:  the phrase “what in the holy eff” was invented for the HBO Max Heaven’s Gate documentary. As for Jose Iglesias, I’ve already drafted him in one 2021 league. Yes, I’ve already drafted a 2021 fantasy baseball league, I’ll try to go over it later this week. It was super late when I went to Iglesias, but I was hoping he could save my batting average’s soul. He’s a high contact, nothing else guy. For 2021, I’ll give Jose Iglesias projections of 64/8/68/.283/6 in 472 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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The esteemed Commander Daniel Pants has been called to the Spice Wars where he will defend the season of fall against the armies of Pumpkin Spice. If you’re interested, we’ve set up a GoFundMe to buy Commander Pants and his Zipper Platoon a collection of ascots and sweaters. If you’re feeling generous, you can get him one of those Eddie Bauer sweater vests that just screams, “I’d totally be out in the woods if I wasn’t so busy drinking hot coffee on my veranda waiting for my bitcoin investments to start paying off.”

Like any good lef-tenant would do for his Commander Pants, I gathered intelligence on the fine baseball players playing the balls on Friday night. And when I was done looking through the shirtless paparazzi photos on Sports Illustrated, I even looked at some of the boxscores. Here’s some of the best performances from Friday night and what they mean for your baseball team.

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I kicked off the bullpen parade last week with the AL East. It’s a safe place for us reliever analysts with mostly secure jobs and quality arms. The tradeoff for that comfort is following it up with the AL Central. The odds are far better that all five of these projected closers will be changed out than none of them being replaced. There isn’t a ton of depth either. I suppose that’s what happens when you refuse to spend money. Let’s push through this muck like a swamp on dagobah and hope a little green man imparts us some wisdom in rearranged syntax. Did no one else take a hit of acid for this? Just me? Ok. Fire up the Rage Against the Machine and on to the pens.

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It’s June, in case you don’t own a calendar or Mayan solar stone. Fantasy owners can no longer afford to hold their breath in any given category. Now is the time to take your shots on middle relievers and hope they earn you a save or two. It’s nice if they can give you strikeouts or stellar ratios in the meantime. Check your wire for the names below.

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The Padres sent Chris Paddack down to Single-A to limit his innings. When Nick Margevicius heard the news, he said, “Damn, guess I’ll be limited too.” Padres, “Nah, you good, throw 270 IP if you can.”  Paddack being sent down to the minors feels like an encapsulation of all that’s wrong with baseball.  Or at least that element.  That whole manipulation of young players element.  Paddack won’t pitch in Single-A.  He’s going for a rest.  A vacay, of sorts.  A little ‘how’s your father’ in Lake Elisnore at the House of Alfredo Griffindoor. He has to be back in 20 days (due to service time), and he will be. My guess is in two weeks.  Why any team thinks it’s better to shut down a guy early and start them up again vs. shut them down in August is beyond me. Member how well that helped Julio Urias? He needed surgery to correct things. To put it in laymen’s terms, shut down your car in the dead of winter and restart it or leave it running while you run into CVS?  Okay, maybe the Consumer Value Store scenario depends on some of your janky neighborhoods, but you catch the drift.  Either way, I’m trying to hold Paddack in most leagues; he’ll likely only miss three starts.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Chris Archer (6 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 5.73) allowed four homers to the first five hitters he faced in the 2nd inning.  The only way things could look worse for Chris Archer and, specifically the Pirates, is if Austin Meadows hit all four homers wearing different colored sombreros.  “Hola!  I am Austin Prairieritto!”  “Hola!  I am Tijuana Meadows!”  “Hola!  I am Roberto Hernandez!”  “Hola!  Imagine my exclamation marks are in the front of my sentences but upside down!”  Okay, I’m Daffy like a duck talking about a Spanish Meadows when it was the Braves who mollywhopped Archer.  A Spanish Robert Loggia, “Archer is a pitcher that don’t throw straight.”  As I said yesterday, it’s not whether the record of four straight hitters with a home run is going to fall this year, it’s only how soon and with how many homers total.  8 straight hitters with a homer?  9?  12?  Yesterday, Brian McCann (2-for-4, 4 RBIs) hit his 4th and 5th homer, going Yardo Montalban hitting them where da plane da plane goes.  Josh Donaldson (1-for-4) hit his 9th homer, managing to control his Hulk-smash anger until the appropriate time — at the DMV.  Nick Markakis (1-for-2, 2 runs) hit his 6th homer for his 2nd Sparkakis in two days, and Ozzie Albies (1-for-3, hitting .270) hit his 10th homer, 3rd in two games.  ProContractsAreWhatWeKnow dot com said Albies earned $17.87 between homers.  Albies looks like he’s come out of his May funk, but he still has no place to move up in the lineup.  Well, maybe he can replace Austin Riley, whose average has dropped eighty points in a week.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s getting ugly in the reliever market. Injuries, ineffectiveness, and promotions have wrung much of the top talent out of the scene.  Much like the bazaar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle there’s stuff everywhere, but it’s hard to find what you need. Also, there’s a basket with a cobra in it. You just have to hope the Rock shows up and start throwing people through walls. I don’t actually know what the fantasy baseball equivalent of that is. I’ve gotten off track here thinking about the Rock’s ridiculous biceps, as per uzhe. I’ll wrap up this lede in ramble with a comparison Jumanji’s theme: the only way to win the game of relievers is to play and win.

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