It’s time to start buying Brad Boxberger insurance, and I may be a week late after Boxberger got crushed in his last game on June 17th (four runs, five baserunners, and two home runs over two-thirds of an inning). Brad has three blown saves in 19 chances with a 12.60 ERA and 2.00 WHIP over his last five games leading to a loss, three saves, and two blown saves. Archie Bradley allowed one run and 11 baserunners over his last 10.2 innings with six Ks, one win, and one save. Yoshihisa Hirano sure looks closer-worthy after extending his shutout streak to 17.1 innings with ten hits, eight walks, and 18 Ks. Bradley should be the top handcuff, but I wouldn’t rule out Hirano as a longer-term option.
Los Angeles Angels
Time appears to be running out for Blake Parker in the ninth inning. Over his last three games, Parker allowed five runs, eight baserunners, and three home runs over 4.1 innings while blowing one of his two save chances. Even with his recent failures, Blake has a 2.74 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last 23 innings with 33 Ks. Parker has two failed saves in ten tries in 2018. Justin Anderson has a closing ERA (1.69) and Ks (20) over his last 16 innings, but 14 walks don’t lead to a lot of success with the game on the line in the ninth. Cam Bedrosian pitched better in his last nine games (0.93 ERA over 9.2 innings with ten Ks).
Los Angeles Dodgers
Kenley Jansen hasn’t allowed a hit or a run over his last five innings with three Ks an three saves. He’s converted 16 straight saves with a 1.00 ERA and 27 Ks over 27 innings. On the year, Jansen is 18-for-20 in save conversions. Josh Fields tossed 4.1 shutout innings over the last week with four Ks. Scott Alexander threw four no-hit shutout innings with six Ks over his last four games.
Toronto Blue Jays
Over his last nine games, Ryan Tepera has a 2.25 ERA with 12 Ks and four saves. His walks (12 over 36 innings) remain in a risky area for a closer. Tyler Clippard has been a disaster over his last 13 games (8.18 ERA and 1.64 WHIP) while serving up three home runs. Seung Hwan Oh looked sharp over his last 5.1 shutout innings with no walks and four Ks.
Sean Doolittle has a save or a win in each of his last ten games leading to one run and five baserunners over 11 innings with 11 Ks. Doolittle is 19-for-20 in save conversions with an edge in his ERA (1.71) and his WHIP (0.57). Even with Kelvin Herrera added to the roster, Sean remains the clear-cut closer in Washington. Herrera pitched great in 2018 in Kansas City (1.01 ERA and 22 Ks over 26.2 innings) while being successful in 14 of his 16 saves chances. Kelvin allowed one run over his last 11 innings with eight Ks and six saves. Ryan Madsen struggled in two of his last three games (three runs, seven baserunners, and two home runs over three innings).