Welcome back to “Off The Deep End”, where I will give you fantasy baseball tips on who to pick up in deeper leagues. For people who play standard leagues, drop/add columns are easy for you to find, but for those of you that love deeper leagues, advice can be harder to come by. That is where I can help. All of these players are available in 85% or more of ESPN leagues.
Darren O’Day, Orioles: For now, it looks like Zach Britton will see most of the save opportunities for the Orioles. I wouldn’t rule out O’Day seeing a few though. He is having another outstanding season (0.54 ERA, 12-4 K:BB ratio, 5 holds, 2 saves), so if Britton struggles, he is the guy to have. O’Day won’t light up the scoreboard with strikeouts, but he can still be a valuable guy to have around.
Zach Britton, Orioles: Britton struggled in the majors over the last three years as a starter, going 21-17 with a 4.45 ERA. Now he has been reincarnated as a reliever, and he has been brilliant. Britton has a 0.85 ERA in 17 appearances. He has also racked up three wins, seven holds, and his first major league save on Thursday night. Tommy Hunter has not been officially removed as the Orioles’ closer, but the writing is on the wall. Even if Hunter does get the role back temporarily, chances are he won’t pitch well enough to keep it.
Dellin Betances, Yankees: If you have read this column before, you have seen this name. Betances continues to dominate out of the bullpen. On Thursday, he recorded six of seven outs via strikeout. This gives him an impressive 39 strikeouts in 22.1 innings pitched. His ERA is a cool 1.61, so the boost in strikeouts won’t cost you anywhere else. He is worth owning in nearly every league, yet is available in 98% of leagues.
Wade Davis, Royals: Davis is another guy that had some issues as a starter, but is proving hard to hit out of the bullpen. Davis has recorded four holds and a win in his five May appearances without allowing a run. He also has 12 strikeouts in only six innings over that span. Assuming his sore neck doesn’t linger, he is worth adding in all holds leagues, and most regular leagues as well.
Sean Doolittle, Athletics: With Jim Johnson still persona non grata in the Oakland bullpen, Doolittle will see some save opportunities. Since his four run meltdown against the Astros on April 26th, Doolittle has righted the ship. He has not allowed a run, and has 14 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. He has also picked up a win and a save in his last two outings. He is worth adding if you need saves help in any league.