Posts Tagged ‘broxton’

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

People seem to devalue closers in h2h leagues, viewing them as one-category wonders that can’t be trusted to either retain a job or post consistent saves from week-to-week. While the latter half of that statement might be true, that doesn’t mean closers have less (or no) value. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

People seem to devalue closers in h2h leagues, viewing them as one-category wonders that can’t be trusted to either retain a job or post consistent saves from week-to-week. While the latter half of that statement might be true, that doesn’t mean closers have less (or no) value.

It’s important to remember that there is always safety in numbers. Rather than getting a few good closers, stockpile a bunch of decent closers. There is no reason to be carrying Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Paplebon as your only closers. I’d much rather own George Sherrill, Matt Capps, Rafael Soriano, and Huston Street, plus fringe-relievers like JP Howell and Fernando Rodney – or you can substitute in Andrew Bailey, Leo Nunez, David Aardsma, CJ Wilson…you get the point. To break it down further, for a 25-man roster you need to have at the least three closers, but hopefully five or six depending on the roster spots available.

You can guarantee that your team will win at least one category by accumulating fringe closers. Doing so means you only need to worry about winning five other categories. With a cadre of “below average” closers, you’ll have one step up on the competition because your team only has to win 5 categories out of 9 to take a week, whereas your opponent has to take 6 out of 9. It’s that simple. Build a strong base of closers and an average team will be in a much better position to post a near .600 winning percentage.

You might be concerned about the ERA/WHIP ramifications of carrying crappy closers. I wouldn’t worry – you can pitch upwards of 70 IPs a week, so your starters will have more to say about your ratios than your motley crew of closers.

So, before your league mates figure this out, obtain cheap closers. Trade the Papelbons, Riveras, Bells, Nathans of the world for a combination of two lesser closers. In 5×5 h2h, there is really no such thing as a quality closer, only a quantity of closers.

Relievers you should be jumping on (in order):

Florida Marlins — If for some reason, an owner soured on Leo Nunez (and he is available in 77 percent of Yahoo! leagues), I’d be jumping on him right quick. Sure the Marlins haven’t had a save chance in 12 games, but the first person to get the opportunity was Nunez, not Dan Meyer. Also, according to the Miami Herald, there is no target date for Lindstrom’s return. If you have Meyer, I’d still holding onto him; however, if someone more attractive (like CJ Wilson) becomes available, go for it.

Texas Rangers – Frank Francisco has hit the DL for the 99th time this year. According to’s T.R. Sullivan, Francisco has a mild case of pneumonia. Those rushing to grab CJ Wilson shouldn’t get too enamored with him as Francisco is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. Still, Francisco hasn’t been the picture of health, so having CJ Wilson (especially if you are a Francisco owner) is a good insurance policy for those speculating for saves.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Much like with Francisco, Jonathan Broxton has a murky injury situation. Since Joe Torre said that Broxton’s big toe was something “that won’t be 100 percent anytime soon,” people went to the wire in droves to add Ramon Troncoso. Much to their chagrin, Broxton picked up back-to-back-to-back saves on July 18, 19 and 20. He pitched three innings, allowing one hit and two walks, while striking out six. Still, there is no telling when the big fella might reaggravate the toe. If I owned Broxton, I’d also pick up Troncoso (if he’s available). If you’re trolling for saves, you could do much worse (cough: Joe Beimel).

Oakland Athletics – Don’t fret Andrew Bailey owners. There isn’t a changing of the closer guard. Michael Wuertz received the save opportunity because Bailey had pitched three innings over the past three days. However, this does show that Wuertz is a very valuable middle reliever. He is on pace for 105 Ks and has posted a 2.78/1.01 ERA/WHIP. He’ll get the odd save chance as well, so you could do worse than to roster Wuertz – I mean he has two less saves than MacDougal and so many more Ks. Also, there are wisps from the San Francisco Chronicle that Bailey was injected with Synvisc recently in his left knee. Wuertz just got a little more appealing.

Washington Nationals – It wouldn’t be a closer carousel without mention of the Nationals. While MacDougal seems to be doing well (2.37 ERA and five saves), it is mostly an illusion. His ERA is shielded by three unearned runs and a healthy 1.68 WHIP (which keeps going up). Oh and don’t forget his atrocious 7:11 K to walk ratio. Lately, new manager Jim Riggleman has said that he will “[look] at a closer-by-committee with MacDougal, and Joe Beimel.” So, if you’re in a deep league you should grab Beimel if he is available. Still, don’t expect too many returns, as the Nats have only 26 wins, doing there best to make the Amazins look good.

Trade Bait: much like if there is a fluke injury, you should understand the chart below. If you’re in a deeper league, you should probably handcuff the following closers as the trade deadline approaches (the appropriate handcuff is listed below):

  1. George Sherrill (Jim Johnson)
  2. Matt Capps (John Grabow)
  3. Chad Qualls (Jon Rauch)
  4. Huston Street (Manny Corpas)
  5. Bobby Jenks (Octavio Dotel)
  6. Kerry Wood (Chris Perez)
  7. Heath Bell (Edward Mujicia)

If there is a fluke injury to a closer, please refer to the handy dandy closer chart below.


All stats as of July 21.

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: All-star Game, National League Pitchers Edition

Welcome to June’s “I’m a Believer” column. Yes, I got the name from a Monkees’ song. And yes, I like the song. Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote it, as well as many other songs by the Monkees? Isn’t Neil Diamond cool (Red Sox fans)? Therefore – fantasy baseball love notwithstanding – aren’t I cool (hello, transitive property)?

Didn’t think so. But at least you now have “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer…” stuck in your head (Co-Stan-Za, by Mennen).

For this month’s version, I’m focusing on your Major League All-stars. Yesterday I discussed the National League’s position players.

I’m a believer in:

Heath Bell – Joe Nathan, Jonathan Broxton, and Ryan Franklin – those are the only relief pitchers ranked ahead of Bell this season. Bell, the 42nd ranked player in Yahoo! leagues has a .261 BAbip this year, which is a bit below his career norm of .307. Unsurprisingly, his ratios are a bit lower than normal as well. However, there shouldn’t be an impending massive correction. Bell will continue to post an ERA around 2.00 and a WHIP around 1.10. What will limit Bell’s value in the second half is the fact that the Padres are abysmal – sound familiar Adrian Gonzalez owners? If you can, trade off his impressive first half for a comparable closer like Fuentes or Brian Wilson and some pocket change, go right ahead.

Ryan FranklinFranklin is much like Heath Bell, except his ratios are even better (0.82 ERA and 0.82 WHIP). Also like Bell, Franklin’s BAbip is out of line with his career norm. For his career Franklin has posted a .273 BAbip; this year it is .196. Good luck keeping that up. I’d be moving Franklin if you can get decent value for him.

Jonathan Broxton – Broxton has been unreal this year: 3.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 65 Ks in just 40.2 IPs. Broxton’s BAbip is also a little better this year compared to other seasons (.309 for career vs. .260 in 2009). Still his Ks more than make up for any correction that might occur. While Broxton’s WHIP might rise, his ERA should probably decrease. He’ll continue to push Joe Nathan to be the top reliever in the game.

Francisco Cordero – Cordero is the 11th best reliever (statistically) and has the ninth most saves. He has been a steady reliever since switching to the National League in 2006. The save numbers will be there, however his ratios (1.75 ERA/1.14 WHIP) will not continue to be this good. Continuing the trend of NL relievers: Cordero’s 2009 BAbip is .264 compared against a career number of .306. His WHIP should remain low (in the 1.20 range), but his ERA will most likely rise (settling around 3.30 or so).

Francisco Rodriguez – K-Rod has been just as good as ever this year: 22 saves, 1.73 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a serviceable 41 Ks in 41.2 IPs. Before the season, people were predicting doom and gloom for the 27-year old reliever; however a switch to the senior circuit may have recharged his career. His WHIP is right in line with his last three seasons, while his ERA is a bit lower than usual. Care to guess why? A 2009 BAbip of .231 compared to a career BAbip of .267. So there could be a minor correction in his ERA, but he’ll likely continue to be a very useful closer.

Chad Billingsley – Billingsley probably isn’t having the year you think. Sure he’s been good, really good in fact, but would it surprise you that he is the 23rd ranked starting pitcher in Yahoo! leagues? What is nice about Billingsley’s season is the number 119, as in the ninth most strike-outs over the first half. His ERA and WHIP are right in line with his career. I ranked Billingsley the ninth best pitcher coming into the year, and I don’t see him finishing the year outside the top 20.

Matt Cain – Everyone is talking about how much improved Matt Cain is this year (he is the 10th ranked pitcher). Outside of his win-loss record, I’m not sure people are correct. His K:Walk ratio and HR allowed are almost dead on with his career average. So, why is his ERA almost one point lower than normal? Well, his BAbip is .269 which is a little lower than average. I’m not hating on Matt Cain by any stretch (I did rank him as the 10th best pitcher going into this year), I’m just saying that his value is a bit inflated. If you can capitalize on this, sell high. I’m not sure Cain will continue to be in the top 10 among pitchers through the second half. Also, Cain was struck by a line drive Friday. Still, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, x-rays ruled out any fractures in the elbow.

Dan Haren – Haren, the number one pitcher in fantasyland, has been unconscious: 9 wins, 129 Ks, a 2.01 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. His ERA is 1.00 – 2.00 lower than his last three years and his WHIP is 0.30 – 0.40 lower over that span. His BAbip this year is .233, while his career is .289. In addition, Haren’s career first half ERA/WHIP is 3.08/1.06, while his second half career ERA/WHIP is 4.12/1.33. This could be the year he puts it all together. However, I won’t bank on something until it occurs. Given his tremendous first half, I’d be trying to move Haren now.

Josh Johnson – Everyone’s preseason darling, Johnson turned in the ninth best first half among starting pitchers on the strength of his 102 Ks, a 2.82 ERA, and a 1.11 WHIP. There really aren’t any red flags with Johnson’s first half – his BAbip is in line with the norm and his first half/second half splits are quite similar. Johnson will likely continue to be an elite pitching option.

Ted Lilly – No one likes Lilly as much as I do, well aside from independent evaluators (Lilly turned in the 12th ranked starting pitching performance according to Yahoo!). I ranked Lilly the 16th best pitcher to start the season and he is making me feel good, with a line of: 101 Ks, 3.18 ERA, and 1.11 WHIP. The HR ball has hurt Lilly throughout his career, so you’d expect his 2009 line to reflect a decrease in HRs since his ratios are better. Not the case, my friend, as he is on pace to give up more HRs than anytime in his career. There are also no red flags with his BAbip or first/second half splits, so enjoy the Lilly-ride.

Tim LincecumPhenom(enal) freak Lincecum posted the second best first half: 149 Ks (the most in the majors), a 2.33 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Lincecum is poised to become the Albert Pujols of starting pitchers. Man, is he good.

Jason Marquis – Marquis hasn’t really been a useful fantasy player (the 465th ranked player in Yahoo! leagues): 58 Ks, 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The ratios are usable, but the lack of Ks and poor home ballpark really limit his value – them be the reasons he is owned in only 56% of Yahoo! leagues. In deeper leagues, he’ll be a good match-up option, but it shallower (10-teamers) he is fairly worthless.

Johan Santana – I guess I’m saving the second best for last. I am on record as not too worried about Santana’s struggles. What is wrong with this line: 109.1 IPs, 107 Ks, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP? Ok, over his last 37.1 IPs, Santana has only struck out 18 batters, while posting a 5.79 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Santana’s strike-out to walk ratio is down to 1.14 over his last 28 days, which is nowhere near his career norms. Unless he is hurt, that number should correct itself and he should bring his ratios back in order. If you can buy low on him, I think that is a good speculative play.

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h2h Corner ~ Red Light District, the Closer Carousel

Closers do most of their work late at night, often after most upstanding fantasy managers have gone to bed. They necessitate early checking of box scores and Fantasy Baseball 101 to see if they secured the win for the home team. Continue reading