Fantasy baseball relief pitcher rankings

Fantasy baseball relief pitcher rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

The following relief pitchers are ranked assuming a 5x5 format (wins, saves, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts).

1. Craig Kimbrel, Braves
2. Fernando Rodney, Rays
NOTE: You trust him completely - until next spring.
3. Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
4. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
NOTE: Is he a starter in 2013?
5. Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
6. J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks
7. Jason Motte, Cardinals
8. Rafael Soriano, Yankees
9. Chris Perez, Indians
NOTE: Looking tired in dog days of August.
10. Jim Johnson, Orioles
11. Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
12. Huston Street, Padres
NOTE: Unreal numbers but team holds back value.
13. Joe Nathan, Rangers
14. Addison Reed, White Sox
15. Casey Janssen, Blue Jays
16. Jose Valverde, Tigers
17. Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners
NOTE: Former bartender turns into lights-out closer.
18. Rafael Betancourt, Rockies
NOTE: Surprisingly wasn't traded, but waiver deal possible.
19. Carlos Marmol, Cubs
NOTE: Back on the beam, reliable again.
20. Ernesto Frieri, Angels
21. Greg Holland, Royals
22. Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox
23. Tyler Clippard, Nationals
24. Frank Francisco, Mets
25. Steve Cishek, Marlins
NOTE: How badly do they want to try Heath Bell again?
26. Ryan Cook, Athletics
27. Jeremy Affeldt, Giants
NOTE: Lefty or not, he's the best option they have right now.
28. Jared Burton, Twins
29. Joe Henderson, Brewers
NOTE: Ten-year journeyman gets a shot.
30. John Axford, Brewers
31. Grant Balfour, Athletics
32. Heath Bell, Marlins
33. Sergio Romo, Giants
NOTE: Nightmare for righties, but how durable is he?
34. Glen Perkins, Twins
35. Drew Storen, Nationals
NOTE: Likely to see the ninth soon enough.
36. Wilton Lopez, Astros
NOTE: Ready to close if the elbow is healthy.
37. Vinnie Pestano, Indians
38. Pedro Strop, Orioles
39. Santiago Casilla, Giants
40. Sean Marshall, Reds
41. Alexi Ogando, Rangers
42. Sean Burnett, Nationals
43. David Hernandez, Diamondbacks
44. Andrew Bailey, Red Sox
NOTE: Back soon, but role uncertain.
45. Jonathan Broxton, Reds
46. Luke Gregerson, Padres
47. David Robertson, Yankees
48. Brayan Villarreal, Tigers
49. Scott Downs, Angels
NOTE: Desperately needed back in Anaheim.
50. Jake McGee, Rays
51. Octavio Dotel, Tigers
52. Jason Grilli, Pirates
53. Bobby Parnell, Mets
54. Joaquin Benoit, Tigers
55. Joel Peralta, Rays
56. Brett Myers, White Sox
NOTE: Move to Chicago meant move out of ninth.
57. Edward Mujica, Cardinals
58. Matt Belisle, Rockies
NOTE: Likely successor if Betancourt is moved.
59. Ronald Belisario, Dodgers
60. Darren O'Day, Orioles
61. Kevin Jepsen, Angels
62. Jon Rauch, Mets
NOTE: Say this, he looks the part.
63. Boone Logan, Yankees
64. Joe Smith, Indians
65. David Phelps, Yankees
66. Mike Adams, Rangers
67. Robbie Ross, Rangers
68. Wesley Wright, Astros
NOTE: Probably their second-best reliever.
69. Aaron Crow, Royals
70. Mitchell Boggs, Cardinals
NOTE: The trusted bridge to Motte.
71. Craig Stammen, Nationals
72. Brandon League, Dodgers
73. James Russell, Cubs
74. Charlie Furbush, Mariners
75. Dale Thayer, Padres
76. Tim Collins, Royals
77. Javy Guerra, Dodgers
78. Matt Thornton, White Sox
NOTE: Not a favorite of Robin Ventura.
79. Andrew Miller, Red Sox
NOTE: Nice reclamation work here.
80. Jose Arredondo, Reds
81. Eric O'Flaherty, Braves
82. Rex Brothers, Rockies
83. Josh Lindblom, Phillies
84. Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
85. Shawn Camp, Cubs
86. Kameron Loe, Brewers
NOTE: Got a brief closing shot, didn't convert.
87. Kyle Farnsworth, Rays
NOTE: Typical of Tampa, closers last just one year.
88. Phil Coke, Tigers
89. Fernando Salas, Cardinals
90. Francisco Cordero, Astros
NOTE: Gas tank is empty.
91. Vicente Padilla, Red Sox
92. Brian Fuentes, Cardinals
NOTE: Unsafe in any league.

Cubs enjoy 'Anchorman' road trip after big home stand: '60 percent of the time, it works every time'

Cubs enjoy 'Anchorman' road trip after big home stand: '60 percent of the time, it works every time'

Win or lose, the Cubs were always going to leave Wrigley Field on a good note Thursday evening.

Joe Maddon made sure of that.

The Cubs left "The Friendly Confines" dressed in "Anchorman" attire for Maddon's themed road trip that included Kyle Schwarber dressed as fictional sportscaster Champ Kind, right down to the gallon-size hat.

"Champ's my guy," Schwarber said.

John Lackey also got in the spirit of Champ Kind

Maddon thought Schwarber was the perfect fit for Champ Kind.

"Of course he should be," Maddon said. "Isn't that a [John] Lackey kinda look, also?

"I just love that they're into it. It would've been perfect going to San Diego first, but I'll take it."

The Cubs are shipping out to Los Angeles for a weekend series beginning Friday before heading to San Diego — the site of Ron Burgandy's affection — from there.

The Cubs apparently even have some "Sex Panther" on board, the cologne that Paul Rudd's character used that smelled...shall we say...awful.

"Sex Panther's on board," Maddon said before Thursday's game. "I'm hearing a lot of good things about Sex Panther. 'Sixty percent of the time, [it works every time].' I wanna know who wrote that. That's brilliant.

"Of course, a win always makes it better, but even after a loss, it's a good way to just let 'er go. But I think everybody's embraced the 'Anchorman' very well."

Of course, the Cubs did win, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-1 to close out a 7-2 home stand.

Check out some of the best photos as the Cubs exited Wrigley Field on Thursday:

Cubs slug their way to impressive homestand

Cubs slug their way to impressive homestand

For the third straight year, the Cubs' season could hinge on an important series with the San Francisco Giants.

In August of 2015, the Cubs swept the Giants in a four-game set at Wrigley Field and they built off that momentum to win 97 games and make it all the way to the National League Championship Series.

Last fall, the Cubs rallied to beat the Giants in an epic comeback in Game 4 of the NLDS, essentially winning the World Series in that game, by Joe Maddon's opinion.

The 2017 Cubs have spent all year hovering around .500 before winning three of four against the Giants this week at Wrigley, looking more and more like the defending champs.

Thursday's 5-1 win over the Giants was the icing on top of an impressive 7-2 homestand that also featured a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and a split in a rain-shortened series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs are now 14-11 at home and 25-21 overall, having caught up to the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. 

They also flashed plenty of defense throughout the homestand, including Javy Baez's ridiculous play in the eighth inning of the series finale against the Giants:

Eddie Butler turned in another solid start, allowing just a run in five innings. Mike Montgomery faced one above the minimum in four innings of relief, inducing six outs on ground balls.

Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist delivered the offense with a solo homer each off former Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Bryant and Anthony Rizzo added insurance by both scoring on a wild pitch (and subsequent error) in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Heyward's blast was his fifth of the season. He didn't earn his fifth homer of 2016 until July 29.

On the nine-game homestand, the Cubs found their offense, scoring 59 runs — good for 6.56 runs per game.

They also smashed 20 home runs, which is nearly a third of their season total (62). On the homestand, 45.7 percent of the Cubs' runs came via the longball.