Fantasy Baseball: Closing Arguments – add Bud Norris

Angels Bud Norris

Back after mostly quiet week in the world of fantasy baseball closers. Blowouts and rain outs and injuries can make fantasy baseball in April a real struggle. In Closing Arguments this week we have actionable intelligence that should help the reader in a variety of leagues.

Last week I suggested adding Rosenthal in this space. He continues to pitch extremely well and is up to two saves, when the Cardinals rest Oh. However Rosenthal is probably further away from stealing the closer gig right now. 

Familia is back in his usual closing role after serving his suspension. I should comment on the Phillies. Hector Neris appears to be getting most of their save chances, such as they are.

I am going to assign completely arbitrary ownership levels to some categories of possible free agents in your leagues. Shallow League free agents will be free agents in 25 – 50% of Yahoo! leagues. Mixed Roto will be free agents in < 50% of leagues. And Only League (hold leagues?) free agents will be available in under 15% of leagues. Yes, there is a charcoal gray area of overlap. You are welcome.

American League:

Baltimore Brad Brach (not official CL)
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 Bud Norris (not official CL)
Oakland Ryan Madson* (not official CL)
Seattle Edwin Diaz
Texas Matt Bush (not official CL)

*Madson does not appear to actually close for Oakland (Casilla). I hope the Athletics fix this on their depth chart soon.

National League:

Atlanta Jim Johnson
Miami A.J. Ramos
New York Mets J. Familia
Philadelphia H Neris + J Benoit both have CL tag
Washington Shawn Kelley (not offical CL)
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

Shallow / Points Leagues:

Brandon Kintzler

Francisco Rodney

Brandon Maurer

Matt Bush

Shawn Kelley

Hector Neris

The top three listed above are the team’s official closer with no immediate threat to their jobs. I don’t recommend Rodney unless you’re really desperate. That being, said it was a little surprising to see all of these closers at less than 75% owned. Dyson is on the DL and will probably take the closer role back for the Rangers. The Nationals and Dusty Baker appear to be rotating closers for now. Neris may actually be the best add of the group here. He would be my choice of the group. I like the Phillies to outperform the low expectations. If you’re in a league where all of them are available you can easily swap them based on performance.

Brad Mangin

Brad Mangin


Mixed Roto Leagues:

Bud Norris

Santiago Casilla

Joaquin Benoit

See the above section for why you shouldn’t add Benoit. Casilla has the closer role for the Athletics, so he is an ok add. I am a little shy of him because of his age, previous performance and because I never seem to fully grasp Oakland’s usage or management of pitchers.

Bud Norris is interesting to me, even though he isn’t the official closer. He is having a solid start to the season. According to Baseball Reference, Norris has a 15:5 strikeout to walk ratio. Hey that is pretty good! Certainly he should be owned in more than 28% of fantasy baseball leagues. Astute (bored?) readers will note that Cameron Rock Bedrosian was the Angels closer to start the season. I am not sure he will get that title back from Norris.

Only (or holds?) Leagues:

Hector Rondon

Felipe Rivero

Adam Warren

Keone Kela

Ty Blach

The only barely owned players are always my favorites to evaluate. I don’t know why and neither does anyone else at the Keone Kela truther meetings. I am not going to get all wonky here but if you are in only or hold leagues, all of these relief pitchers should be owned. Kela has a great strikeout upside is definitely my favorite AL-only add of the group. The only thing separating Rondon from 30 saves is the health of Wade Davis’ right arm.

Ty Blach should be owned more because he is taking Madison Bumgarner’s spot in the Giants starting rotation. Blach had a strong spring and many thought he should’ve been the fifth starter over Matt Cain. Cain’s lightning in the bottle start to the season kept Blach on the sidelines until the Dirt Bike accident of 2017. Blach is worth an add and hold in most non-point fantasy baseball leagues.

Hope this format was helpful to you, and I will see you back here next week for another addition of Closing Arguments.

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