Happy Sunday and I am so pleased to be back writing this weekend after some much-needed time off with the family last week.
Did I miss anything? Oh, just the trade deadline and some wild bullpen swings. So not much, right?
Let’s dive right back into the deep end of the pool and start with some reader questions.
How The RotoFantatic Data Monster Works
Paul Mammino (@pmamminofantasy) has created the Data Monster, a tool that I firmly believe can help you win your leagues. A quick summary of how it works is here, but for a full glossary of the terms, how they are used and what they tell us, go to RotoFanatic and check it out. It’s all there for you to play with to your heart’s content; we are all looking for that winning edge, and Paul’s work can help you to that end.
- Throws pitches with high expect whiffs rates.
- Throws pitches in zone with low expected swing rates; called strikes are a good thing.
- Throws pitches out of the zone that are likely to generate swings.
- Throws pitches that are hard to hit well (low location-based xWOBA)
|All Data According To Data Monster|
- Josh Hader
- Liam Hendriks/Craig Kimbrel: Who is the closer on the South Side? They now have an embarrassment of riches. Tony La Russa is going to have some fun with this one. Look for him to mix and match as he learns when to deploy his best weapons with the game on the line. Pure hunch: it will be Hendriks.
- Mark Melancon
- Matt Barnes
- Aroldis Chapman: Chapman seems to have worked out most of the kinks but is now on the Covid-IL. This should open opportunities for Chad Green, Jonathan Loiasiga and maybe Zack Britton.
- Edwin Diaz
- Alex Reyes: Watching a potential innings limit here. See notes below on other relievers to target at the end of this piece.
- Kenley Jansen
- Will Smith
- Ian Kennedy: “Enjoy the last few days of Kennedy’s tenure as closer in Texas, and be sure to add Joely Rodriguez if you have not already.” This statement aged poorly. Kennedy is closing in Philadelphia and Rodriguez went to the Yankees. Oops! Spencer Patton looks to be the closer in Texas. For now.
- Ryan Pressly
- Raisel Iglesias
- Emmanuel Clase/James Karinchak
- Diego Castillo/Paul Sewald: Two weeks ago I was wondering (to myself, of course, I don’t speak such things out loud at my house, for all the looks I get muttering about bullpens), how will the Tampa Bay bullpen sort itself out with the pending return of Nick Anderson and so many options already? And then Tampa turns around and trades Castillo to Seattle. My bet is that he will continue to be the top option there, with Paul Sewald also having value as a stopper, strikeout guy and maybe even a few vulture saves.
- Jake McGee: I need to give proper respect to McGee. He’s done a swell job for San Fran and has really solidified their pen.
- Gregory Soto
- David Bednar: Richard Rodriguez landed in a setup role in Atlanta leaving the chair open for Bednar.
- Jordan Romano/Brad Hand/Joakim Soria: Is this a full-blown committee? Hard to say. I still think Romano is their best option even after trades to acquire Hand and Soria. Soria went on the IL this week with a finger issue, and on a night that Romano was off, Adam Cimber got the opportunity and converted for Toronto. Would not surprise me at all if they play matchups here and both Romano and Hand get chances.
- Lou Trivino: Quietly still has the job in Oakland.
- Daniel Bard
- Alex Colome
- Scott Barlow
- Dylan Floro: With the trade of Yimi Garcia last week, Floro ascends to the mantle in Miami. A good stopgap for now, but most likely not the long-term closer there. Saying that, who knows what happens?
- Dillon Tate/Cole Sulser/Tanner Scott
- Cincinnati Reds: Lucas Sims is coming. Michael Lorenzen is there now. I am interested to watch this one develop in coming weeks.I still think Sims will be the last man standing at the end of the year, and I may die alone on this hill.
- Washington Nationals: Kyle Finnegan is the guy to watch here. Both Wander Suero and Tanner Rainey were sent to the minor leagues. Gabe Klobosits is a name to earmark here too.
- Spencer Patton: the new Texas closer. For now.
- Tyler Clippard: Just no. Please don’t do this to yourself or your fake team.
- Chicago Cubs: The trade of Craig Kimbrel was expected. I can’t say the trades involving Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera were unexpected, but the void created in the Cubs’ bullpen is now a black hole. If I had to bet, I would go with Codi Heuer, acquired from the White Sox in exchange for Kimbrel. Kyle Ryan and Manuel Rodriguez could get opps too. One to watch; it’s unsettled.
Other Relievers to Target
We take a look at several relief arms here who could provide benefit to you depending on your league context. Looking for the next guy up for saves, especially this week when the looming Trade Deadline could reshape some bullpens? Looking for holds or strikeouts, maybe a vulture save or two in a really close league? Take a look below.
- Blake Treinen: has 22 holds, and handcuff to questionably effective Kenley Jansen
- Adam Ottavino: Ottavino has 17 holds on the year, but he also, very quietly, has seven saves. He’s also got 47 strikeouts in 40.1 innings and has value if you are looking for depth, vulture saves, or strikeout help.
- David Bednar: continuing the trend here, I think Bednar is the guy who gets the save chances in Pittsburgh with the trade of Richard Rodriguez to Atlanta last week.
- Nick Anderson: with Diego Castillo traded and Pete Fairbanks fighting injuries, the closer role in Tampa Bay has been wide open, and right now, Matt Wisler and Andrew Kittredge appear to be the most able-bodied right now. But Anderson is lurking with a near-return and could get high leverage chances quickly. Grab him if he’s free in your league.
- Collin McHugh: staying in the Tampa bullpen, McHugh is not thought of in the same breath as their other high leverage guys. But check this out: 3-1, 1.51 ERA, .91 WHIP, and a staggering 59 punchouts in 41.2 innings. The best part is that in most leagues, he has dual eligibility in the SP and RP slots, providing much value to savvy owners who know he will give you multiple good innings whether he is an opener, a bulk reliever, or coming in as a stopper. He should be far more owned than he is.
- Lucas Sims: I can feel your eye rolls. But I fully think Sims will be inserted into the closer role when he comes off the IL next week. Stash him if you have room. He will have to contend with Michael Lorenzen too, but my lean is that Lorenzen will be a multiple inning weapon for the Reds.
- Paul Sewald: If you were paying attention this week, you know the Mariners designated Rafael Montero for assignment. He will get vulture chances even with Diego Castillo in the top spot, allegedly.
- Devin Williams: should close in Milwaukee with Josh Hader out on the COVID-IL this week. Grab him if he’s floating on your waiver wire.
- Jonathan Loaisiga: see above. Should get some opps with Aroldis Chapman on the COVID-IL as well.
- Michael Kopech: he’s just nasty and in a multiple-inning role can help you with Ks.