Three Essential Sleeper Relievers in 2021
Relief Pitchers have more of an effect in real baseball, in comparison to fantasy teams, in terms of production. Many leagues undervalue these players and overlook the potential that comes out of the reliever position. It’s always good to pick up a bunch of solid relievers. Their stats could be the deciding factor in whether a team gets the win that week. That’s where the term sleeper comes in. The following three sleeper relief pitchers listed below are essential and can benefit any team without wasting any picks in the early rounds. Ensuring the team gets efficiency from the reliever position along with the other positions that are valued more.
1. James Karinchak
In the last half of the previous decade, the Cleveland Indians looked to have some of the best pitching talent in the league. Cleveland has again found themselves a new ace arm (in the bullpen) in James Karinchak. In 2020, Karinchak pitched in 27 games, putting up a 2.67 era, with a 1.111 whip while averaging 17.7 strikeouts per nine. However, one part of James Karinchak’s statistics that was lacking was his number of saves and holds, this being because he’s not the team’s set up or closer. Additionally, now that 2020 closer Brad Hand has signed with the Nationals, Karinchak will definitely see more innings. Importantly, Karinchak is not much of a sleeper because of his great 2020. However, he is still overlooked since his name is outshone by other star pitchers.
2. Jordan Romano
Early in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2020 campaign, ace closer Ken Giles was pulled from play after showing signs of injury. He ended up missing the whole season. Although Anthony Bass had seven saves on the season, leading the Jays, homegrown talent Jordan Romano let his potential shine as his numbers took a great leap forward from his iffy 2019 numbers. Romano’s 2019 era of 7.63 dropped all the way down to a 1.23 ERA and managed to bring his WHIP down along with it, from a 1.696 to a 0.886. With his 2020 numbers, Jordan Romano should be pitch more than before. Which would give him more chances to increase his strikeouts, holds, and saves. With the team’s rise in success, Romano would be a great snag in the late rounds of the draft.
3. Pete Fairbanks
The 2020 Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen gained a lot of attention this past postseason after reaching the World Series. They saw a lot of innings over the many series because of Cash’s tendency to over manage. Pete Fairbanks was one of Cash’s most reliable options. In 2020, Fairbanks posted up a 2.70 era, a 1.388 whip, and struck out 37. While these numbers are not the most dominant, it’s Fairbank’s velocity, wonky delivery, and nasty pitches that give him the potential to be a real stud. In the postseason, Fairbank’s fastball sat comfortably at 99+ mph, blowing away some of the best hitters in the game. To complement his consistently high-velocity fastball, Fairbanks’ slider which tops out around 90mph is devastating to most hitters. Also, Fairbanks pitched in a lot of high-risk situations, which means that Fairbanks will have more opportunities to get more saves, holds, strikeouts, and innings in general.
Cruz Lopez- Peter Fairbanks’ Postseason Highlights:
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