Relievers For Daily Fantasy Baseball Leagues
The only thing harder to find than a catcher who doesnt ruin your fantasy numbers is a solid reliever that you can count on game after game. The real teams that have books of scouting reports and a committee of able bodies have enough trouble; its even harder when all you have is a computer and some statistics. Thats why its always important to keep an eye on whos hot in the bullpens right now for your Daily Fantasy Baseball League.
Jose Valverde, Detroit. Valverde has been the definition of lights out this season. Whats not to like? Hes sporting a .42 ERA, with 11 saves and just one home run allowed in 21 innings. He pitches in non-save situations more than most closers, but if you have him and another reliable closer, you should be in good shape.
Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles. LA does so many things well; the movies are hits, the women are beautiful, and the closers are dominant. So its not surprising that the Dodgers have yet another big time closer in Jonathan Broxton. He has the fifth-most strikeouts of any reliever in the bigs (actually a surprisingly low number for him) and a microscopic 1.07 ERA. Oh, and hes playing on one of the hottest teams in baseball, one that frequently comes through with walk-off wins. If Joe Torre keeps putting him in for the ninth inning in any close game, hell start adding some useful win totals to his overall value. The Dodgers didnt perform well out of the gate but are surging now; expect his numbers only to improve along with the teamhe lead the MLB with 12 saves in the month of May.
Matt Belisle, Colorado. People who continue to shy away from Colorado pitchers are straight-up out of the loop at this point. Its not 1998- balls arent flying out of any park as much any more (how many perfect games and no-hitters have we had this year?) and Colorado has taken a number of steps to keep balls in the yard. So owners who have the stones to put reliever Matt Belisle on their roster have been rewarded with some impressive stats. His ERA for the season is just over 2.00, and it was half of that in the month of May. Hes not the official closer, but Manny Corpas hasnt been other-wordly this year, so its a definite possibility. If you need holds or just a smaller ERA, Belisle is as hot as anyone in baseball and a great fit for your daily fantasy baseball league.
Heath Bell, San Diego. Bell is the model for closers in todays game. Hes big, he throws hard, and no one scores on him. I mean, no one. His ERA is among the lowest in baseball (1.13) and he has 14 saves in 24 appearances. He strikes out a bunch of people, he plays for a division-leading club, hes even got a great baseball name. You cant go wrong with Heath Bell, and you wont have to pay Mariano Rivera- or Jonathan Papelbon-esque prices to get him.
Brian Wilson, San Francisco. What is it with these NL West relievers? Maybe its something in the water out west, but its hard to find a bad apple in the bunch (oh, wait, except for everyone in Arizonas pen. Well just ignore them.) Wilsons personality is as weird as his breaking pitches, and batters just havent been able to get a good feel for him. Hes one of the brightest young stars of San Franciscos post-Bonds era and has a number of good years ahead of him. His numbers are very comparable to Broxtons, and you likely can get him on your roster without giving up your left leg. Wilson is a solid addition to any bullpen. And finally
Mariano Rivera, New York. Look, you know hes good, he knows hes good, the batters know hes good, the whole world knows hes good. Sure, hes getting on in years, but his cutter is still breathtaking and he still plays for the Yankees. Youll pay top dollar for close-to-top production, but at the end of the day, hes Mariano Freaking Rivera. If youre in a one-day league, take him against any light-hitting team and hell likely pay off. In longer leagues, pair him with another top-10 closer and youll rarely lose the saves or ERA stat. Just do it.
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