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.
This time around we will do things a little differently. I will only do one position at a time, but I will give you advice on who to drop as well.
This final installment will deal with relief pitchers. Keep in mind that no pitchers that regularly pick up saves are available in 85 percent of leagues. This is simply a list of guys that can help your team in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts without hurt ou in any of those categories. There also won’t be anyone to drop in this piece.
Here are the previous ones, in case you missed them:
The catchers are here. The first basemen are here. The second basemen are here. The shortstops are here. The third basemen are here. The first outfield piece is here. The second outfield piece is here. The starting pitchers are here,
Jake McGee, Rays: Okay, maybe I lied. But only a little. McGee does not get regular saves. Neither does anyone else out of the Rays bullpen. The reasons to pick up McGee go beyond the occassional save opportunity. McGee is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched. He can help you even in standard leagues.
Wade Davis, Royals: Davis had issues as a starter, but he has found a home in the bullpen. He is 5-1 with a stellar 1.10 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Not to mention the 54 strikeouts in just 32.2 innings pitched. He is racking up the holds, but even in leagues that don’t count those, you can argue with the strikeouts.
Jean Machi, Giants: If you don’t have room in a deep league for a reliever who is 5-0 with a microscopic 0.29 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, you either haven’t heard of Jean Machi, or you don’t realize the value of middle relievers. Both situations can be remedied with one pickup!
Tony Watson, Pirates: He won’t see a save chance anytime soon, but the 5-0 record alone makes him worth owning in a deep league. Add in the 0.76 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, and you have someone who can be a solid contributor. He also has 45 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched, meaning he is getting enough chances to help you.
Joel Peralta, Rays: He is a bit more of a risk than a lot of the other guys on here, but he is also a candidate to pick up saves. After a rocky May, he has not allowed a run in nine June appearances, and has struck out 13 batters while allowing just four hits and a walk. He is worth picking up until he implodes.
Joba Chamberlain, Tigers: While his numbers aren’t as dominant as some on this list, he is setting up (statistically) the worst closer in baseball who has not lost his job yet. I know the Tigers threw a ton of money at Joe Nathan, so they really don’t want to remove him as the closer unless they have to, but that day may be drawing near. Especially if the Royals stay in contention. When Nathan loses his job, it should go to Chamberlain, which makes him a target for those of you desperate for saves.
Dana Eveland, Mets: While a mid-season call up does not usually end up taking over a closer role, it could happen here. Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia are far from consistent options. Eveland has put together a 1.08 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in his nine appearances since he call up earlier this month, and has added one save. He is one blow-up away from the job to himself.