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Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Chart

Finding the right closer is hard to do so here is a depth chart ranking who has the best chances of earning a save or hold for each team.

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks: 17-13
  1. Greg Holland has received the bulk of save opportunities and performed well in the role.
  2. Archie Bradley is next in line for saves but has not been playing to his standard and could lose innings if he doesn’t get better.
  3.  Andrew Chafin has been getting plenty of opportunities late in the game and has four holds so far.
Colorado Rockies: 13-17
  1. Wade Davis is the only Rockie to record a save and is set as their closer.
  2. Scott Oberg received two holds in the past week but his chances for holds are slim due to Colorado’s lacking record.
  3. Carlos Esteves has three holds on the season but has an ERA over four.
Fantasy Baseball Closer depth Chart
Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Los Angeles Dodgers: 20-12
  1. Kenley Jansen only has one blown save on the year. He remains one of the best closers in Major League Baseball.
  2. Pedro Baez currently has five holds and he rarely lets batters on base. If Jansen suffers an injury Baez needs to be added in all leagues.
  3. Joe Kelly started 2019 off miserably but is earning the trust back by performing well recently.
San Diego Padres: 17-13
  1. Kirby Yates is the best closer of 2019. With 25 strikeouts and only five walks over his 16 innings pitched he has allowed only one run to score.
  2. Craig Stammen leads all Padres relievers in innings pitched and will continue to receive hold opportunities as long as the Padres are winning games.
  3. Trey Wingenter has been amazing for the Padres as well and is the only other pitcher to earn a save on the team. However, he still ranks behind Stammen in holds.
San Francisco Giants: 12-18
  1. Will Smith has only 10.2 innings pitched. While he is the best option out of the bullpen he doesn’t get many chances.
  2. Tony Watson has seven holds and is the go-to guy in the eighth inning for the Giants.
  3. Reyes Moronta might not have the same experience as Sam Dyson or Mark Melancon but has been pitching far better than either of them. Expect Moronta to keep getting some action late in the game.

National League Central

Chicago Cubs: 15-12
  1. Pedro Strop has been filling in for Brandon Morrow and has been good so far. Morrow will be out at least until June and Strop will continue as their closer.
  2. Brandon Kintzler is second in line and leads the team in holds. His statistics would be better but two home runs allowed have been a set back this year.
  3. Steve Cishek has one save and two holds and doesn’t figure to get many chances if Kintzler and Strop continue producing.
Cincinnati Reds: 12-17
  1. Raisel Iglesias has six saves on the year but has blown one and received four losses. His spot as the closer is safe for now but if his struggles continue the Reds might have to make a change.
  2. David Hernandez has four holds in 2019 along with one save. He has fewer innings than Iglesias but allowed the same amount of runs while giving up more runs.
  3. Robert Stephenson has been one of the Reds better pitchers so far and could start to get more chances for holds and saves.
Milwaukee Brewers: 17-14
  1. Josh Hader has had a couple of rough spots this year however he still continues to perform and strike batters out. His spot is safe as the closer in Milwaukee.
  2. Alex Claudio hasn’t been as dominant as Hader but he does have seven holds on the season and could be in line for saves if Hader gets hurt.
  3. Jeremy Jeffress started 2019 on the injured list and only has four innings pitched while allowing three hits, three walks, and one earned run. He could be doing better and should do better as 2019 progresses.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 13-14
  1. Felipe Vazquez has been enjoying a solid year and only allowed one earned run. Currently, with seven saves and one win, Vazquez will get more playing time if the Pirates can string some wins together.
  2. Richard Rodriguez has not been having a good year and unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they don’t have a much better option in the eighth inning. Rodriguez will continue to get holds but expect him to lose some games as well.
  3.  Keone Kela started the first couple weeks terribly and the trust needed to pitch late in a close game. Lately, Kela has been better but it is Rodriguez who is still receiving the hold chances.
St. Louis Cardinals: 19-10
Image courtesy of Getty images
  1. Jordan Hicks has enjoyed an amazing month of April and solidified himself as the Cardinals best option to close games out. If Hicks can do this all year he’ll be one of the best options in the major leagues.
  2. Andrew Miller is the number two option behind Hicks mostly due to his experience as a top relief pitcher for a couple of years. However, his numbers aren’t the best so far and the Cardinals do have some options below him.
  3. John Gant has 20 innings pitched, most among Cardinal relievers, and has only allowed two earned runs both coming off the long ball. He has two saves and six holds along with three wins and could already be ahead of Miller for next in line.
  4. John Brebbia has been just as good Gant and deserves a spot on this list due to his seven holds on the season. The Cardinals have one of the better bullpens in the MLB and the arms ahead will make it tough for Brebbia to get the attention he deserves.

National League East

Atlanta Braves: 14-15
  1. A.J. Minter is the number one option for now but has struggled since he was named the closer after Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the injured list. Don’t expect him to finish the year as the Braves closer.
  2. Luke Jackson has been used the most out of the bullpen and would figure as the best option when the Braves take Minter out. Make sure to keep an eye on the situation.
  3. Jacob Webb is at number three because he has been called on twice in the last three days and received a win followed by a save the next day. With only four innings pitched there isn’t much to be said about Webb but he definitely is in the mix for the closer spot.
Miami Marlins: 8-21
  1. Sergio Romo is so far perfect on his save chances and has received a win and a hold as well. Romo is solidified as the closer while pitching well but he is on the worst team in the league.
  2. Adam Conley doesn’t figure t see much time getting saves or holds but is the go-to guy in the eighth inning.
  3. Drew Steckenrider usually pitches earlier in the game but if something happens to Conley or Romo he will see more action later in the game.
New York Mets: 15-14
  1. Edwin Diaz ranks just behind Jordan Hicks in terms of fantasy points and will probably stay in the five to ten range all year.
  2. Seth Lugo currently has the most holds on the team and with Jeurys Familia placed on the injured list, he will remain the top guy behind Diaz.
  3. Jeurys Familia was placed on the injured list today but should be back after the minimum 10 days required. If Diaz were to get hurt later in the year Familia would probably get the first chance at the closer role.
Philadelphia Phillies: 16-13
  1. Hector Neris is perfect on his save opportunities and has struck a good amount of batters out. His only hiccup was a loss against Miami in which he threw multiple innings. With David Robertson out for an extended period, Neris is the Phillies best option.
  2.  Adam Morgan has seven holds on the year leading the team. Through 12 innings he’s only allowed four hits and zero earned runs while striking out 12. His performance thus far makes him the number two option.
  3. Pat Neshek has one save and two holds and has the potential to earn more however the chances might not come easy.
Washington Nationals: 12-16
  1. Sean Doolittle has three saves currently but also three wins. Doolittle has pitched well when given the opportunity but until the Nationals when more games won’t be too relevant.
  2. Tony Sipp has five holds on the year but has allowed six earned runs on eight hits. The lack of talented arms behind Sipp makes him the next best option for saves.
  3. Kyle Barraclough has blown two saves early on in the year but if needed would probably get the chance to earn a save again.

American League West

Houston Astros: 18-12
  1. Roberto Osuna is the de-facto closer for the Astros and a top 10 option at that.
  2. Ryan Pressly would certainly be a solid closer if it wasn’t for Osuna ahead of him. Pressly is most likely going to finish the year as a top 20 reliever and should be owned in fantasy leagues regardless if he’s the closer or not.
  3. Hector Rondon is the next guy behind Osuna and Pressly but won’t have an impact unless they struggle or get injured.
Los Angeles Angels: 13-17
  1. Hansel Robles only has a few saves in his career but right now is the guy to own in the Angels bullpen. Cody Allen was recently placed on the injured list and wasn’t doing his job of closing games out.
  2. Ty Buttrey has six holds on the season and one blown save. His 2019 hasn’t been bad and could see some save opportunities in the future if Robles needs rest.
  3. Cam Bedrosian has some closer experience in his career but appears to be behind Buttrey and Robles for now.
Oakland Athletics: 14-18
  1. Blake Treinen came into 2019 ranked as a top three closer but is currently ranked outside the top 30 for all relief pitchers. He will continue to be the closer but might not be worth much if the Athletics can’t win.
  2. Lou Trivino has been effective so far in 2019 and has tallied seven holds and should be next in line.
  3. Joakim Soria has had a rough 2019 but his experience as a closer should earn him more chances at holds or saves if Treinen is out.
Seattle Mariners: 18-14
  1. Roenis Elias currently leads the Mariners in saves but appears to be in a committee with Anthony Swarzak. However, Elias’ numbers point to him being the better option.
  2. Anthony Swarzak has three saves but has blown two. Swarzak has one fewer earned run than Elias but seven fewer innings. Swarzak could see more opportunities if Elias needs rest.
  3. Cory Gearrin was originally thought of as the favorite to take the injured Hunter Strickland’s spot. He is however clearly below Swarzak and Elias.
Texas Rangers: 14-14
  1. Shawn Kelley has pitched pretty well so far in 2019 and makes one wonder why the Rangers waited so long to take Jose Leclerc out of his closer role. Kelley hasn’t been named the closer but expects him to receive the first chance.
  2. Kyle Bird is the only Ranger besides Leclerc and Kelley to earn a save and while he doesn’t have much experience or play time in 2019 could be the best option behind Kelley.
  3. Jose Leclerc just got his closer role taken away from him and won’t have it given back unless Kelley and Bird mess up.

American League Central

Chicago White Sox: 12-14
  1. Alex Colome has shown his potential to be a dominant ninth-inning option and earned the closer’s job over talented relievers Kelvin Herrera and Nate Jones.
  2. Kelvin Herrera has also shown his potential to be dominant and is the reason Colome has a short leash. If Colome blows a save or two expect Herrera to get some save chances.
  3. Jace Fry sits at number three due to Nate Jones being on the injured list but with Herrera and Colome ahead of him Fry won’t find himself closing games.
Cleveland Indians: 16-12
  1. Brad Hand came from San Diego and picked up where he left off and ranks as the number six relief pitcher. His job is safe.
  2. Adam Cimber has been a great relief pitcher and only has two holds but if Brad Hand needs a day off or gets injured Cimber will be the guy.
  3. Nick Wittgren leads the Indians in holds and has gotten a save this year when hand and Cimber both needed rest.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Chart
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Detroit Tigers: 13-14
  1. Few people expected Shane Greene to be a top 10 relief pitcher and even fewer expected him to be a top three relief pitcher. But that’s what he has done so far by receiving a save in all but one Tiger win.
  2. Joe Jimenez could still have a chance at the closer spot if Greene starts to perform how his pre-season projections had him.
  3. Victor Alcantara is tied with Jimenez in holds but allows batters to get on base more often while striking fewer out.
Kansas City Royals: 9-20
  1. Ian Kennedy earned the Royals most recent save chance and could run away with the job. The Royals are just about the worst team due to their pitching staff and the closer situation is muddled.
  2. Wily Peralta has three blown saves and normally wouldn’t be given another chance but on a struggling team that might just happen if Kennedy can’t find a groove.
  3. Brad Boxberger has three losses and two blown saves but is in the same boat as Peralta.
Minnesota Twins: 17-10
  1. Blake Parker has had a nice year so far and only allowed one earned run while racking up six saves and two holds.
  2. Taylor Rogers is behind Parker but not by much, he has three saves and six holds and figures to keep eating into Parker’s opportunities.
  3. Trevor Hildenberger is the only other Twin to receive a save. and will be called upon from time to time for a spot save when Rogers and Parker are tired.

American League East

Baltimore Orioles: 10-20
  1. Mychal Givens is one of four Orioles to receive a save and appears to be at the top of the committee. However, Baltimore is struggling and won’t have many save opportunities.
  2. Paul Fry is another pitcher with a save but has four holds placing him second on the committee.
  3. Miguel Castro has one save but also a blown save and a hold making him fall behind the others.
Boston Red Sox: 13-17
  1. Ryan Brasier has been consistent during his outings this year and while facing competition from Matt Barnes, is still the number one option.
  2. Matt Barnes loses out on some save opportunities due to him being called upon earlier in the game. Barnes will still get saves and holds but is limited if he comes in early.
  3. Brandon Workman is the next man up and if either Barnes or Brasier needs rest Workman could be in line for a high leverage opportunity.
New York Yankees: 17-12
Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Chart
Image courtesy of Getty Images
  1. Aroldis Chapman is still the number one option on the Yankees despite the talented bullpen they have.
  2. Zack Britton has one save and four holds and is set as the backup option to Chapman.
  3. Adam Ottavino has two blown saves but four holds. If the Yankees need a closer due to injury or rest Ottavino is next in line
Tampa Bay Rays: 19-9
  1. Emilio Pagan has been dealing on the mound recently and has been awarded extra save opportunities. The Rays while being one of the best teams with one of the best bullpens are still unsure of who their number one closer is. Meaning they might go with the hot hand.
  2. Diego Castillo has also been hot recently and is tied with Pagan at three saves. Castillo has seven holds on the year though and the Rays might be more comfortable having him pitch in the eighth inning.
  3. Jose Alvarado started 2019 as the closer and performed well while doing so. He hasn’t had a save opportunity since the beginning of April though so it’s hard to expect him doing much after having Pagan and Castillo outperform him.
Toronto Blue Jays: 14-15
  1. Ken Giles so far has done what the Blue Jays needed him to do and while he does have a loss and a blown save is still their best option.
  2. Joe Biagini has one save for the Blue Jays but has blown two and wouldn’t seem to be second here. However, his six holds show they’re confident in his ability to get batters out.
  3. Tim Mayza has allowed seven earned runs but his five holds rank second behind Biagini and could earn a spot save or two.

 

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images

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1 comment

Anonymous May 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Great Article!

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