Since last weeks entry one thing has become extremely evident to me in regards to my own fantasy teams. I either dominate with my pitching staff or lose because of it. All this of course can be related to closers. If I draft two or three of them, it's nearly impossible for me to be below third in pitching categories. If I for go closers I'm usually tops in strike outs, and wins, be near or at the bottom in WHIP, ERA and SV of course. So what's a happy balance? Do you draft closers or do you wait for the waiver wire?
Naturally this is all a matter of opinion but from now on, I'm drafting at least two sure fire guys in the middle rounds, and going from there. Never again will I go into a draft with the intention of speculating for saves. Which means no Chris Ray/Chris Perez/Jason Motte/ anyone not a closer drafted to my team.
On that note let's get to the business.
Randy Choate of the Tampa Bay Rays now has three saves on the season, making him a popular pick up in AL only leagues and in standard mixed leagues alike for those speculating for saves. Given how unsorted and ineffective the Rays bullpen has been this season I've completely passed on this situation. I still fell the Grant Balfour, and Dan Wheeler are better suited for the job but he could potentially be this years George Sherrill.
Andrew Bailey may very well be the best pitcher in the world. Ok that's a great exaggeration but can you really argue against a guy that has 4 W,3 SV, 2.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 40 K in 34 IP AND is eligible at SP and RP in some leagues. In my ESPN head to head league when I saw that he was available he was a must add after all if I can pick up a couple saves form a starter there can't really be any harm can there?
Francisco Cordero has just many saves as Jonathan Papelbon does over the past three seasons. Each with 92 SV, though Cordero generally is thought of as the lesser talent, and thus is available four rounds later or for the equivilant of $10 at the draft table. The smart, thrifty owner puts their money in the Cordero basket.
Top Ten Saves Leaders-
1- Heath Bell- 15 SV, 26 K, 1.27 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
2- Brian Fuentes- 15 SV, 22 K, 4.95 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
3- Francisco Rodriguez- 15 SV, 28 K, 0.70 ERA, 0.97 WHIP
4- Francisco Cordero- 14 SV, 22 K, 1.57 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
5- Trevor Hoffman- 14 SV, 15 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP
6- Jonathan Papelbon- 14 SV, 28 K, 2.25 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
7- Brian Wilson- 14 SV, 28 K, 3.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
8- Jonathan Broxton- 13 SV, 45 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.68 WHIP
9- Ryan Franklin- 13 SV, 16 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.81 WHIP
10- Brad Lidge- 13 SV, 27 K, 7.20 ERA, 1.84 WHIP
Surprise Save of the Week-
Chris Sampson- 2-0, 3 SV, 15 K, 1.91 ERA, 1.24 WHIP- Well let's face it, I'm not really surprised by this anymore. Sampson now has three saves on the year, filling in when LaTroy Hawkins was injured. If you were/are looking for a middle with a chance to pick up a save then Sampson deserves some consideration. But in all reality he doesn't figure to factor into any saves when Jose Valverde returns to action.
Guys to Watch-
Tony Pena- 5-2, 1 SV, 21 K, 3.12 ERA, 1.38 WHIP- With Chad Qualls battling fore arm stiffness Pena is the obvious choice to be the fall back option. He's already matched his career high in wins with five, but wins are hard to speculate for relievers so it's almost not worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is near 2.5 K/BB ratio (2.45) and his solid 6.59 K/9 career ratio, which is up this season to 7.27 K/9. With good dominance and control Pena could easily step in as a stop gap closer.