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.

Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winner as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 and are one point within the Minnesota Wild, whose bye ends on Monday night. Duncan Keith recorded a secondary assist for his 500th career point. Scott Darling, starting for Corey Crawford (illness), stopped 30 of 32 shots.

The Blackhawks got off to a 2-0 start in the first 12 minutes of the game, thanks to Jonathan Toews' 16th goal of the season and Kane's power-play goal. But the Blues kept chipping away and forced a tie game by the end of the second period.

But the second line, which hasn't been quite as productive lately, got in on the act late in the third. Panarin threw a perfect feed to Anisimov, who scored his 22nd of the season with 5:20 remaining in regulation.

Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining.

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

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USA TODAY

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

Illinois' last-ditch effort to reach the NCAA tournament is still alive.

The Illini won for the third straight time and the fourth time in their last five games Sunday night, using a monstrous second half to fly past the Nebraska Cornhuskers by a 73-57 score in Lincoln.

Illinois started the Big Ten season 3-8, but with this recent surge it's up to 7-9 and with two regular-season games remaining has at the very least given itself a much better position in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament and perhaps has played itself into a spot on the NCAA tournament bubble.

Defense has been the driving force throughout this recent stretch, and Sunday was no different, with Nebraska scoring just 57 points, the second straight game in which Illinois has held its opponent under 60 points.

But offense told the story Sunday, with the Illini catching fire in the second half and shooting the lights out at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Illinois shot 59.1 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes, including a stellar 8-for-13 from 3-point range. The Illini outscored the Huskers by a 43-29 margin after halftime.

All in all, Illinois shot 48.1 percent on the night and 13-for-26 from behind the 3-point line. The Illini's 73-point output was their highest since Jan. 25.

Malcolm Hill had a game-high 19 points and moved past Cory Bradford for fifth place on the program's all-time scoring list. Tracy Abrams joined Hill in double figures with 13 points. Hill and Abrams each hit four 3-pointers. Maverick Morgan scored 12 points.

Tai Webster scored 17 points for Nebraska, the only Husker in double figures on a poor offensive night. The team shot 37.5 percent from the field and went just 4-for-15 from 3-point range.

Illinois still seems like a bit of a longshot to make the NCAA tournament given its 17-12 overall record and the weakness of the Big Ten this season. But things are getting real late in the season. This surge could very well help the Illini end their three-year tournament drought and could do big things for head coach John Groce, who has had his job status talked about all season long.

Illinois' final two regular-season bouts come this week against Michigan State and at Rutgers.