Mon Aug 3 10:10am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Well, the season is 10 days old, and the chaos and unpredictability is just as predicted. We knew it would be hard for fantasy managers to keep active players in their lineups, but I don’t think we expected it would happen this quickly.
As we try to figure out what to do this coming week, we think the Orioles will only play four. The Red Sox, Yankees and Nationals will play five. And 11 teams are scheduled for six, and 15 are scheduled for all seven. But we don’t know for sure about the Cardinals. They might not play any of the three scheduled games in Detroit. And we also don’t know if the Marlins will start playing again. They are scheduled to play three at home against the Phillies, but those games might get moved from Miami to Philadelphia, which is where most of players still were quarantined. After the last episode with the Marlins, I wonder if they’d let them back in the ballpark. Then the Marlins go the New York for three with the Mets. If they play, you’d want to load up on the players going against the Marlins because the team they put on the field will be less than quality Major League players.
Anyone looking for saves? I can’t remember the last time you’ll find as many pitchers with a save on the waiver wire after 10 games as there will be this week. Granted, some of them probably won’t get another save this year, but in my 15-team Tout Wars mixed league, there are 12. And 10 days ago, you wouldn’t have thought there would be two or three. Tops on my list Daniel Hudson, James Karinchak, Nick Goody, James Jeffress and Taylor Williams.
Hudson has stuff to get the job done and is being given the chance while Sean Doolittle is struggling. The risk is Doolittle could regain the closer’s role. Karinchak has been doing the job this week and regular closer, Brad Hand, looks to be out for a month. He’s young and Nick Wittgren is waiting in the wings for the job, so his leash might be short. Goody has the job with the Rangers as regular closer Jose LeClerc is gone for the season. Like Karinchak, Goody is young and inexperienced, so his leash could be short with Jesse Chavez waiting to get a chance to close.
Jeffress has the job in Chicago right now because Craig Kimbrel has been awful. With a short season, I doubt Manager David Ross is going to put Kimbrel out there with the game on the line until he’s shown he can get the job done. As long as Jeffress continues to get the job done, I think he keeps the job, but that big Kimbrel contract could cause some pressure. Williams has emerged as the Mariners closer, and should keep getting the job done as long as he’s successful.
We’ve seen some strange things with the closer’s role this year ike the Twins not using Taylor Rogers the first week before getting saves three days in a row. Usually reliable closers, Kirby Yates and Edwin Diaz have struggled, with Drew Pomeranz getting a call in San Diego and Mets manager Luis Rojas saying Jeurys Familia might get a call. Ian Kennedy was expected to be the Royals closer, but manager Mike Matheny has other ideas with his former Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal being the guy right now. The Orioles are using Cole Sulser instead of Mychal Givens, and Andre Scrubb was given the ball to close out the Astros game with Roberto Osuna unavailable. No word on how long Osuna might be out and if the rookie will keep the job if it’s going to be a while.
The intriguing part of this is it appears there will be many players getting saves this year, and managers, especially at the start, are reluctant to use their closers multiple nights in a row.
Good luck keeping an active starting lineup this week.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.