Fantasy Baseball: Closing Arguments

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Minnesota Twins

Welcome to Closing Arguments, where we will break down closers and highlighting possible relief pitching help for your fantasy baseball teams. Bullpen situations can change rapidly, and twitter is really the fastest source of information. That being said, those situations typical happen because no player is standing out from the others. I will help players of any format, short mixed league, deep mixed league, and NL/AL-only leagues. Let’s get down to business. 

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First off, here is a list of the current MLB closers as listed by their teams on MLB.com. I find the mothership’s website is underused by us fantasy baseball owners. Make sure you check out the team pages from time to time. I have definitely profited from doing so. How do you see this? Click on a team page, then roster, and finally select depth chart from the drop down menu. Of course, there is no need because your pal Matt has already done so.

Orioles Zach Britton

Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

American League 

Baltimore Zach Britton
Boston Craig Kimbrel
New York Yankees Aroldis Chapman
Tampa Bay Alex Colome
Toronto Roberto Osuna
Chicago White Sox David Robertson
Cleveland Cody Allen
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez
Kansas City Kelvin Herrera
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler
Houston Ken Giles
Los Angeles Angeles     Cameron Bedrosian (not official CL) 
Oakland Ryan Madson (not official CL)
Seattle Edwin Diaz
Texas Sam Dyson
Braves Jim Johnson

Billy Hurst – Associated Press

National League

Atlanta Jim Johnson
Miami A.J. Ramos
New York Mets Addison Reed (while Familia is SUSP)
Philadelphia Joaquin Benoit
Washington Blake Treinen
Chicago Cubs Wade Davis
Cincinnati Raisel Iglesias (not official CL)
Milwaukee Neftali Feliz
Pittsburgh Tony Watson
St. Louis Seung Hwan Oh
Arizona Fernando Rodney
Colorado Greg Holland
Los Angeles Dodgers   Kenley Jansen
San Diego Brandon Maurer
San Francisco Mark Melancon

 

I expect around five of the above listed closers to change in next week or so. The Phillies and Reds closing situations may continue to be volatile all season.

Help on the Wire

Often the more fantasy valuable relief pitcher is not the listed closer. A classic example of this is Andrew Miller for Cleveland. His manager is willing to use him often, and in critical situations as opposed to a closer pitching the ninth inning against the opponent’s bottom three hitters.

Closer in waiting Dellin Betances NYY
Great stuff (high k/9)  Adam Ottavino Col
Swing Man (or 6th Starter)                       Mike Montgomery Cubs

There is usually overlap with a strong reliever being one with great stuff and is also second in line for saves. That is true for Betances, Ottavino, and several others. Those of you in only leagues probably can’t pick up any of the pitchers listed above.  High leverage (#drink) pitchers don’t float around on the waiver wire too long in those leagues. Here are few names you may to add to your relief pitching squad in deep leagues. These gentlemen have played late in games over the past several days and gotten some strikeouts along the way. It sounds simple because it is. Sure you should do some more research, but this is a good start. 

American League

  • Tommy Kahnle – White Sox
  • Blake Parker – Angels
  • Chris Devenski – Astros

National League

  • Jose Torres – Padres
  • Felipe Rivero – Pirates
  • Michael Lorenzen – Reds

As always, it depends on your specific team needs. If you are trying to lower your ratios you may want a different player compared to a team trying to find a future closer for saves. Good luck on the waiver wire. Let’s meet back here next week, for another edition of Closing Arguments.

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