Deep Sleepers 8/27: Ten Sleeper Hitters To Target In Your Deep Leagues

August 27, 2016 | Deep Sleepers

The homestretch of the season is upon us as we are less than a week away from September.  While rosters will be expanding, some teams have already played their hand with promoting their prospects, which saves me the trouble of trying to predict if any impact prospects will get called up.  I noticed some guys that I am now very excited about and I hope I can get you excited about them too.

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees) – Judge may have been appointed savior of power-starved fantasy teams, but the decision was likely overturned.  A 35.7% K rate is pretty terrible and 2 Home Runs seem pretty blah compared to his apparently superhuman teammate Gary Sanchez.  The strikeout rate and average may not improve much for this year, but the power should.  He’s sporting a 45.5% Hard Contact rate, which is backed by his 93.6 avg eV, just behind Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Sano and above Joey Bats.  And his eV on FB/LD has been 98.8 mph, 2nd highest in the ENTIRE AMERICAN LEAGUE.  Here’s the kicker… He’s hit only 4.5% Line Drives, but 54.5% FB!  With the added consideration of a favorable home park, I declare this player guilty of murdering baseballs for the next month.  He could be 2016’s Sano circa 2015, perhaps even more extreme.

The Schedule That He Drew

August 27, 2016 | SP Roundup

I've been getting a good amount of questions about Drew Smyly recently and understandably so. After last night's 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks he now holds a 2.82 ERA with a 7.66 K/9, 2.22 BB/9 with just 23.0% hard contact over his last seven starts. Keep in mind, that's also a 4.46 SIERA and 4.78 xFIP over that time. I've been suggesting people to stay away from Smyly as these starts have been against teams outside the AL Beast - two starts against the Blue Jays and the meh Yankees excluded. Now he gets the Red Sox and Orioles in his next two outings and I just can't endorse it. I absolutely adored Smyly in April and I want reason to believe in him again. I do. But the ERA should regress, especially against tougher opponents, and the K production hasn't been stellar enough for me to put extra weight on him.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday: 

Patience or Panic 8/26: Greinke, Perez, Teheran

August 26, 2016 | Patience or Panic

Welcome to Patience or Panic, a column where Ben Palmer takes a look at some of the widely-owned players who are struggling and tells you whether you should be patient, or start to panic. Let’s dive in:

Zack Greinke – 11-4 (12 QS), 4.29 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 113 K

Zack Greinke has really been kind of a problem all year. A 4.29 ERA and 7.82 K/9 is not what you drafted him for in the fifth round (of most leagues), especially considering he had a 1.66 ERA last year. Injuries have obviously been a problem, but even in the past month, Greinke has been brutal, posting a 7.84 ERA over 20.2 innings.

So what’s wrong with Zack Greinke? Honestly, there’s not a whole lot wrong with him other than some bad luck. His HR/FB rate is slightly elevated, though considering he’s in such a major hitters park, that’s to be expected and his FIP is only 3.63 (still not great though).

Matt Strahm's Curveball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs From Thursday's Games

August 26, 2016 | GIFs of the Night

Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day's games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the Second Half. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we'll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.


Matt Strahm's Curveball - In his 10.2 innings on the hill in relief for the Royals, Strahm has already collected 19 Ks and allowed just one ER. He has an electric heater, but he does plenty of damage with his hook with tied up Marcell Ozuna in Thursday's affair. (Thanks to @acsguy and @DannyRitz for the tips!)

Analyzing Every Two-Start Pitcher For Week 22 (8/29 - 9/4)

August 26, 2016 | Two-Start Pitchers

Every Friday I look at every projected two-start pitcher for the week ahead and detail my thoughts about rolling with them on your roster. There are four tiers: Definitely, Probably, Questionable, Bench. The first tier features starters that are no doubters for the week ahead followed by a tier of pitchers that look like good plays but may create a hesitation or two. Players inside Questionable Starts are for deeper leagues or have one-of-two outings that should be avoid. Pitchers labeled Bench should be avoided despite their dual week ahead.

Definitely Start

Jake Arrieta (PIT, SFG)

Kyle Hendricks (PIT, SFG)

Rick Porcello (TBR, @OAK)

Jose Fernandez (@NYM, @CLE)

Waxing and Waining

August 26, 2016 | SP Roundup

It's been an interesting year for Adam Wainwright after starting his season with a 5.71 ERA in his first 11 games, he then earned a super impressive 2.37 ERA across nine starts with a great 8.75 K/9. Now we're back on the other side and after tonight's lackluster 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks performance against the weak Mets, Waino has a 7.04 ERA over his last six starts and an abhorrent 1.89 WHIP to boot. I know he has a big name attached and it's tough to dump a guy who clearly has good upside in the tank, but the signs have been there for a while. If you're still for whatever reason hanging on the Adam, don't expect this to be the Eve of his success. Just let him go.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday: 

The Hold-Up 8/25: Ranking The Top 60 Relievers For Holds Every Thursday

August 25, 2016 | The Hold Up

It’s Thursday and that means Justin Perri is here ranking the best setup men in the league on The Hold Up. The following rankings are meant to give you some help on how to evaluate relief pitchers that do not finish games for their team. The beauty and craziness of a holds league is that a hold can be just as important as the save, but everyone knows who the closer is. With holds you can find an unowned and solid reliever who can really help your squad win a matchup.

Holds can be difficult to predict, so these rankings focus mostly on the raw potential seen in a relief pitcher to get a hold opportunity along with their ability to not leave you with a blown save or a loss based on what has been happening thus far this year. Some things to always consider are strikeout/groundball/flyball ratios, as you do not want to mess with the BABIP gods if you do not have to, but also your specific team needs based on your league.

Feel free to leave your questions and angry remarks in the comments section below. Let me know if you feel someone should be lower or higher on the list, I’ll be sure to take what you say into consideration. Give me a follow on twitter @Just_In_Relief for all things concerning bullpens and who knows what else fantasy baseball related. Now, let’s see what the rankings look like this week after all the moves we saw at the deadline.

Tier 1

1. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

2. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

3. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

4. Joe Blanton (Los Angeles Dodgers)

5. Jeremy Jeffress (Texas Rangers)

6. Neftali Feliz (Pittsburgh Pirates)

7. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox) 

Paul Clemens' Curveball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs From Wednesday's Games

August 25, 2016 | GIFs of the Night

Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day's games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the Second Half. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we'll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.


Paul Clemens' Curveball - We don't feature Clemens too often, but you should be aware of his big hook. This pitch may not actually have been a strike, though there's something incredibly soothing about watching this pitch fall right along the inside corner for the called strike three. 

Uncommon DeGrominator

August 25, 2016 | SP Roundup

In a year of Kings and Queens (i.e. few aces), Jacob DeGrom had been a welcome consistency for a good while, as he held a 1.95 ERA with a 9.65 K/9 and 1.75 BB/9 across 14 starts from May to August. After an 8 ER clunker last time out, I was hoping for a return to his premium numbers tonight against the Cardinals and I was met with a line of 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Well that just isn't going to do. His velocity was actually pretty dang good, with his Four-Seamer chilling around 94.5 mph - a tick higher than his 93.4 average for the year - so this isn't a "dead arm" issue. The crux of his problems are his pitch locations were was too often in the heart of the zoneThis is a command problem and I think deGrom - the king of command over stuff - will flex that command again in the near future. I know this isn't a fun time, but you have to believe that he'll figure it out with no injury reports nor velocity loss.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday: 

On The Corner Podcast: Episode 9

August 24, 2016 | On The Corner Podcast

The latest episode of the Pitcher List Podcast "On The Corner" is live! Join Nick Pollack and Alex Fast for Episode #9 as they talk about everything inside the pitching world of Fantasy Baseball.

Thanks to the awesome Spencer Snyder for the fantastic theme music!

Here are the timestamps for Episode #9:

GIF Breakdown: Analyzing David Phelps' Success With 16 HD GIFs

August 24, 2016 | GIF Breakdown

Boy, what a month of August for athletes with the last name of Phelps. Michael left the 2016 Olympics in Rio with a career total of 23 gold medals and our boy David of the Miami Marlins has burst onto the scene as an emerging stud starting pitcher. He’s only made 4 total starts for the Fish so far, but the righty was enjoying a career-best season even before making the switch from the bullpen. Phelps has allowed just 3 earned runs in 20.2 innings of work as a starter while racking up 26 strikeouts in the process. His success continued last Saturday in front of a packed house in Pittsburgh, so why not take the opportunity to breakdown David Phelps' August 20th start against the Pirates with 16 HD GIFS?

But before we get to the goods, let’s take a glance at his strikezone plot from the outing:

Buy & Sell 8/24: Identifying Which Trending Hitters You Want To Own

August 24, 2016 | Buy/Sell

Every Wednesday, Dapinder joins Pitcher List to outline the best position player buys and sells of the week.  He'll outline the hitters to trust in your lineups and who to shop while their price is high. Make sure to stay ahead of the curve and use the market to your advantage.


Jose Peraza (2B/SS/OF, Cincinnati Reds) – Peraza has been killing major league pitching since being called up hitting over .500 with a HR and two SB. He’s always been a speed threat. Peraza stole 60 bags across A+ and AA in 2014 to go along with 33 in AAA in 2015. The key for Peraza will be staying in the lineup after Zack Cozart comes back. If he does stay, Peraza will be a major contributor in stolen bases for fantasy teams.  

Mauricio Cabrera's Fastball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFS From Tuesday's Games

August 24, 2016 | GIFs of the Night

Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day's games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the Second Half. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we'll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.


Mauricio Cabrera's Fastball - Cabrera has been lighting up the scoreboard with his Fastballs, and earned three Ks with the pitch as he struck out the side against the Diamondbacks Tuesday night. His second K came off this 101 mph heater that featured a hint of life to nip the outside corner.

Ivanna Sign Up Nova

August 24, 2016 | SP Roundup

Our secondary Call Boy for the evening was Ivan Nova who was sparkling in a 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks start against the Astros. I didn't expect to be leading with Nova tonight, but I need to make it known that his schedule ahead looks as good as you'll find: Brewers x2, Reds, Phils, Reds. Holy Wade Boggs' mustache that's golden. Nova has the ability to make each one of those starts beneficial for your squad and I would be jumping on him in all 12 teamers, no question.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday: 

Closing Time 8/23: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Tuesday

August 23, 2016 | Closing Time

Welcome to Closing Time! I’m Justin Perri and this a weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Accompanied by who is most likely to assume the closer role in the event of a change in the hierarchy. It's a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the rest of the season.

Share your questions and critiques in the comments, I’ll be sure to respond. Follow me on twitter @Just_In_Relief for occasional notes on bullpen happenings through a fantasy lens. Let’s get to it.


1. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) - Brad Brach

2. Aroldis Chapman (Chicago Cubs) - Hector Rondon

3. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) - Joe Blanton

4. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) - Addison Reed

5. Mark Melancon (Washington Nationals) - Sean Kelley


Rank Change Player
1 Max Scherzer
2 Madison Bumgarner
3 Jose Fernandez
4 Jake Arrieta
5 Jacob DeGrom
6 Corey Kluber
7 Justin Verlander
8 Yu Darvish
9 Noah Syndergaard
10 Chris Sale
11 Clayton Kershaw
12 Johnny Cueto
13 Carlos Carrasco
14 Zack Greinke
15 Danny Duffy
16 Stephen Strasburg
17 Jon Lester
18 Kyle Hendricks
19 Jose Quintana
20 Rich Hill
21 Steven Matz
22 David Price
23 Cole Hamels
24 James Paxton
25 Dylan Bundy
26 Masahiro Tanaka
27 Drew Pomeranz
28 Chris Archer
29 Jameson Taillon
30 John Lackey
31 Danny Salazar
32 Rick Porcello
33 Aaron Sanchez
34 Michael Fulmer
35 J.A. Happ
36 Kenta Maeda
37 Felix Hernandez
38 David Phelps
39 Joe Musgrove
40 Marcus Stroman
41 Gerrit Cole
42 Jason Hammel
43 Carlos Rodon
44 Tanner Roark
45 Carlos Martinez
46 Marco Estrada
47 Julio Teheran
48 Hisashi Iwakuma
49 Matt Shoemaker
50 Jerad Eickhoff
51 Tyler Skaggs
52 Dallas Keuchel
53 Ian Kennedy
54 Robbie Ray
55 Steven Wright
56 Taijuan Walker
57 Homer Bailey
58 Anthony DeSclafani
59 Kevin Gausman
60 Lance McCullers
61 Jeremy Hellickson
62 Luke Weaver
63 Trevor Bauer
64 Ervin Santana
65 Reynaldo Lopez
66 Mike Leake
67 Blake Snell
68 Drew Smyly
69 Gio Gonzalez
70 Matt Boyd
71 Bud Norris
72 Vincent Velasquez
73 Jake Odorizzi
74 Chris Tillman
75 Scott Kazmir
76 Tyler Anderson
77 Ivan Nova
78 Daniel Norris
79 Adam Wainwright
80 Eduardo Rodriguez
81 Jon Gray
82 Josh Tomlin
83 Matt Moore
84 Sean Manaea
85 Zach Davies
86 Collin McHugh
87 Michael Pineda
88 Jose Berrios
89 Yordano Ventura
90 Jeff Samardzija
91 Jaime Garcia
92 Andrew Cashner
93 Chad Green
94 Mike Foltynewicz
95 Doug Fister
96 Joe Ross
97 Bartolo Colon
98 Luis Cessa
99 Jordan Zimmermann
100 Josh Hader