What if I told you in a 5 X 5 NL Only fantasy baseball league you could get an ace starting pitcher between $6 - $8? You would laugh at me right? Putting together a quality pitching staff could be daunting, but middle relievers can go a long way in solidifying your rotation. Three top middle relievers can add up to 15 wins, a few saves, killer ERAand Ratio numbers and over 200K's. All of this for just a few dollars. The top middle men live on contending teams because those teams come from behind in the 7th and 8th innings and get their middle men wins. Let me break down my top NL middle relievers in alphabetical order.
Mike Adams - PHI - 5W, 1SV, 3.27 ERA, 1.39 Ratio, 45K in 52 1/3 IP.
Did not have his usually dominant season last year but now he's back in the NL where he dominated in the past.
Mitchell Boggs - STL - 4W, 0SV, 2.21 ERA, 1.05 Ratio, 58K in 73 1/3 IP.
Would like to see more K's but great percentage numbers.
Rex Brothers - COL - 8W, 0SV, 3.86 ERA, 1.47 Ratio, 83K in 67 2/3 IP.
He's a work in progress but has wicked stuff and odds are the Rockies will trade Betancourt come July and if Brothers is having a good season he could get the chance to be their closer for the second half of the season.
Santiago Casilla - SF - 7W, 25SV, 2.84 ERA, 1.21 Ratio, 55K in 63 1/3 IP.
The Giants are going to take it easy on Romo at times during the year which could mean a few saves for Casilla.
Tyler Clippard - WAS - 2W, 32SV, 3.72 ERA, 1.15 Ratio, 84K in 72 2/3 IP.
Won't get the saves this year but his percentage categories will be much better with those K's and more wins.
Kyuji Fijikawa - CHI - Coming over from Japan where he was a dominant reliever. In Japan in 6 full seasons had a 1.36 ERA, 0.85 Ratio and more than a K inning. If Marmol is his usual inconsistent self Fijikawa will become a closer not a great middle reliever.
Luke Gregerson - SD - 2W, 9SV, 2.39 ERA, 1.08 Ratio, 72K in 71 2/3 IP.
Street always seems to miss 3 to 6 weeks per season which can open the door to low double digit saves for Gregerson.
David Hernandez - ARI - 2W, 4SV, 2.50 ERA, 1.02 Ratio, 98K in 68 1/3 IP.
K and Ratio machine and Putz is 36 years old so if he is shut down for a period of time due to injury Hernandez will get the ball in the 9th.
Kenley Jansen - LAD - 5W, 25SV, 2.35 ERA, 0.85 Ratio, 99K in 65 IP.
If Jansen can prove his health is 100% I think it's only a matter of time he becomes the closer again.
Sean Marshall - CIN - 5W, 9SV, 2.51 ERA, 1.16 Ratio, 74K in 61 IP.
Marshall won't get as many saves this year and was dominant once he went back to the 8th inning last year.
Eric O'Flaherty - ATL - 3W, 0SV, 1.73 ERA, 1.15 Ratio, 46K in 57 1/3 IP
Has been a great ERA guy last couple of years as O'Flaherty had 0.98 ERA in a full season in 2011.
Drew Storen - WAS - 3W, 4SV, 2.37 ERA, 0.98 Ratio, 24K in 30 1/3 IP.
Lost closers job to Soriano but falls under classic top middle reliever.
Again these players only cost a few dollars at worst and add up the numbers if you had 3 of them on your staff.
NL King - C.Lizza