Fantasy Baseball: Week 8 Closer Report

Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs takes a very close look at each team’s bullpen to help you find the next gunslinging arm to provide saves. Get ready to DOMINATE your league!

Arizona Diamondbacks

Brad Boxberger continues to do a great job in the 9th inning for the Diamondbacks. He’s 12-for-13 in save conversions with a 2.00 ERA and 24 Ks over 18 innings. He tossed two shutout innings over the last week with two Ks and one save. Archie Bradley struggled on May 13th when he allowed two runs, two hits, and one home run over one inning to the Nationals leading to a loss. He rebounded in his next game (one shutout inning with two Ks) to pick up a win. Bradley remains closer-worthy after posting a 1.96 ERA over his first 23 innings with 21 Ks. Yoshihisa Hirano hasn’t allowed run over his last five innings with five Ks.

Atlanta Braves

Over his last two games, Arodys Vizcaino allowed three runs and four hits over two innings to earn a save, a loss, and a blow save. Vizcaino has two blown saves in nine chances, but his recent struggles may lead to more competition for saves. A.J. Minter underperformed expectations over the first six weeks of the season. He has an attractive ERA (2.65) with 15 Ks in 17 innings, but Minter continues to walk too many batters (12). Over his last 3.1 innings, batters have seven hits and two walks leading to two runs, a win, and a save. Dan Winkler extended his shutout run to 10.1 innings with two hits allowed and 16 Ks. Winkler pitched well enough to be considered for saves in Atlanta, but he has no career saves on his minor league resume.

Boston Red Sox

Despite a strong start in ERA (2.08), WHIP (0.75), and Ks (26 over 17.1 innings), Craig Kimbrel has two blown saves in 13 tries while also picking a loss. His two blown saves in May came via the home run, but Kimbrel hasn’t walked a batter over his 13.1 innings (20 Ks). Joe Kelly saw his 15.1 innings scoreless streak end on May 10th when he allowed a run and four baserunners to the Yankees over 1.2 innings. Over his last five innings, Kelly has 1.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP with six Ks. Matt Barnes started to fade over his 7.1 innings in May (3.68 ERA and 1.36 WHIP).

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Baltimore Orioles

Just when a Fantasy owner thinks he’s outsmarted the field by identifying the next closer in waiting to earn saves, he gets beat by the manager. Mychal Givens has been the best Orioles’ reliever over the 25 days (one run over 12 innings with seven hits, three walks, and 16 Ks), and he did pick up a save last Saturday, but Brad Brach won’t go away. Over the last week, Brach picked up two saves while tossing 2.1 shutout innings with three Ks. Over his four games, Brad has looked much better (no runs over 4.2 innings with seven Ks). With Zach Britton getting closer to beginning a rehab assignment, it’s a coin flip on who will get most saves in Baltimore over the last half of the month. My bet is on Givens based on his recent success.

Chicago Cubs

Brandon Morrow is 10-for-11 in save opportunities with a 1.20 ERA and 13 Ks over 15 innings. He has a save in his last three appearances while not allowing a run or hit over three innings with two Ks. Carl Edwards has two wins in his last three games, but he did pitch poorly in his last two outings (four runs, four hits, and two home runs over 1.2 innings with two Ks). Overall, Edwards still looks closer-worthy (2.41 ERA over 18.2 innings with 32 Ks). Steve Cishek improved his shutout run to 6.1 innings with six Ks.

Chicago White Sox

It’s been tough sledding for Fantasy owners chasing saves on the White Sox. Joakim Soria has four saves in six chances, but his ERA (4.38) and WHIP (1.38) remain in a weak area. Over his last three games, Soria allowed three runs and five baserunners over 2.1 innings with three Ks. Nate Jones looked lock and loaded for saves in Chicago, but he tripped up when given a chance on May 9th (four runs, four hits, and one home run over one inning) to push him back to the end of the line. Over his last 6.2 innings, Jones has 8.10 ERA with 11 baserunners and two home runs allowed. Fantasy owners took the Bruce Rondon bait this week in the high-stakes market after he earned a save on May 13th. Bruce has a big fastball (98.0), but a poor resume in the majors (4.91 ERA and 1.39 WHIP). Over his last 6.1 innings, Rondon hasn’t allowed a run with seven baserunners and six Ks. His game has disaster downside when he’s not throwing strikes. I view Rondon as a trap, and I don’t expect him to keep the job long term.

Cincinnati Reds

Fantasy owners have been happy with the recent output of Raisel Iglesias after a slow start to the year in saves. He has a win and three saves in his last four games while extending his shutout run to 8.1 innings with no walks and eight Ks. Iglesias has seven successful saves in eight chances. David Hernandez has a 1.23 ERA and 0.68 WHIP over his last 7.1 innings with eight Ks. Jared Hughes allowed one run over his last 14.2 innings with 11 Ks. Amir Garrett remains a live arm in the Reds bullpen after tossing nine shutout innings with 13 Ks over his last seven games.


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Cleveland Indians

After pitching poorly over a five-game stretch (six runs and 15 baserunners over four innings with two Ks), the Indians gave Cody Allen minimal work over his nine days (one shutout inning with two Ks). Allen remains at risk for saves while being 5-for-6 on the year. Andrew Miller hasn’t pitched well in his three games (four runs and eight runners over 1.2 innings with four Ks), which make him a tough sell for saves. Miller lost his command (five walks) over his recent failed span. The Indians don’t have any other arms in their bullpen in 2018 who offer plus innings late in games.

Colorado Rockies

Wade Davis has 15 saves in 17 chances in 2018, but he allowed a run in three of his last nine games. On the year, Davis has a 2.95 ERA over 18.1 innings with 21 Ks. Over the last week, Adam Ottavino regained his elite form allowing no runs or hits over three innings with six Ks. Bryan Shaw is trending forward after tossing 5.1 shutout innings with eight Ks in his last six games.

Detroit Tigers

Over the first two weeks of May, Shane Greene has one win and five saves with 1.08 ERA and 11 Ks over 8.1 innings. His ERA (3.72) and WHIP (1.40) still need work. Greene is 9-for-11 in save conversion. Joe Jimenez didn’t allow an earned run over his last 3.2 innings with no walks and five Ks. Over his last 13 games, Jimenez has a 5.73 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over 11 innings with 11 Ks. Buck Farmer looked sharp over his last eight innings (no runs, one hit, and seven Ks).

Houston Astros

After his blow up on the mound (four runs, four hits, and one home run over one inning) and off the field (punch to the face) on May 1st, Ken Giles throw three shutout innings with three saves and three Ks. Giles doesn’t have a blown save in six chances while remaining clean in the walk department (none over 13.1 innings). Chris Devenski has 0.64 ERA over his last 14 innings with 18 Ks, a win, and two saves. Brad Peacock improved his scoreless streak to nine innings with three walks and 14 Ks.

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Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera is 8-for-9 in save chances with a 1.15 ERA and 14 Ks over 15.2 innings. Herrera hasn’t allowed a walk in 2018. Over his last six innings, Kelvin has a 3.00 ERA and three Ks over six innings. Brad Keller extended his shutout streak to 6.2 innings with three Ks. Tim Hill tossed 2.2 shutout innings with three Ks over his last five games.

Los Angeles Angels

Surprisingly, Justin Anderson picked up the last save for the Angels. Over his last four games, Anderson allowed six runs, nine baserunners, and two home runs over four innings. I see no outcome where Justin emerges as the long-term closer for LA in 2018. Upside arm with a big fastball, but Anderson needs more seasoning and better command before becoming a viable option in the 9th inning. Jim Johnson has a 2.70 ERA over his last 13.1 innings, but he allowed 20 baserunners while recording a save and two blown saves. Blake Parker didn’t allow a run over his last 6.1 innings with nine Ks. Cam Bedrosian hasn’t pitched a full inning in five of his last six games. Over his last 12 innings, Cam has a 1.50 ERA and ten Ks.  My long-term bet on saves for the Angels remains on Parker while the best options may not be in the roster. If you want to think outside the box, LA may turn to Shohei Ohtani later in the season if they want to limit his innings.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen moved his ERA (3.78) and WHIP (1.20) into a respectable area over the last week after a poor start to the year. Jansen gave up one run over his last ten innings with eight Ks and four saves. He has six saves in eight chances with 15 Ks over 17.2 innings. Josh Fields tossed three shutout innings over the last week with no Ks. Pedro Baez has 2.70 ERA over his last 6.2 innings with nine Ks, but he’s still allowing too many baserunners (1.71 WHIP on the year) to pitch late in games.

Miami Marlins

The ball still hasn’t dropped on Brad Ziegler as closer for the Marlins. He hasn’t blown a save in six opportunities, but his ERA (6.23) and WHIP (1.38) point to job loss risk. Over his last three games, Brad allowed two runs and four baserunners over the three innings with two Ks. On the positive side, Ziegler hasn’t issued a walk over his last 11.2 innings. Drew Steckenrider just killed Fantasy owners last week when he allowed eight runs, ten baserunners, and two home runs over two-thirds of an inning. He removes himself from save consideration in Miami. Over his last nine innings, Kyle Barraclough allowed a run and two hits with nine Ks. His downside over this span is due to eight walks.

Milwaukee Brewers

Over his first three innings since returning from the DL, Corey Knebel has a 3.00 ERA with one hit allowed and no save chances. Josh Hader added three shutout innings over the last week with no walks, four Ks and a save. Hader has 50 Ks in 25 innings in 2018 with six saves in seven chances. Jeremy Jeffress extended his scoreless run to 17 innings with 17 Ks. Look for a split of saves between Knebel and Hader going forward.

Minnesota Twins

Fernando Rodney has a save in five straight games while improving his shutout streak to eight innings with two hits, five walks, and four Ks. Rodney is 8-for-11 in save chances while still showing risk in his WHIP (1.43). Addison Reed regained his form over his last four games (no runs over 4.2 innings with five Ks). Trevor Hildenberger has a win and a loss in his last two games while struggling over his last four games (two runs, six baserunners, and one home run over 4.1 innings).

New York Mets

Jeurys Familia has a 4.70 ERA over his last 7.2 innings with nine Ks, three saves, and two blown saves. Familia is 11-for-14 in save conversions with a 1.89 ERA and 22 Ks over 19 innings. A.J. Ramos allowed two runs and four baserunners over his last three innings with three Ks and a win. In May, Seth Lugo pitched 11 shutout innings with one walk and 13 Ks.

New York Yankees

Over his last 12 games, Aroldis Chapman has 0.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over 12 innings with 24 Ks, eight saves, and a win. Chapman has eight saves in nine chances. David Robertson struggled over his last four games (four runs, seven baserunners, and one home run over four innings with five Ks). Dellin Betances allowed four runs and five baserunners over five innings with eight Ks.

Oakland A’s

Blake Treinen has eight saves in ten tries with strength in ERA (1.33). Over 8.1 innings in May, Treinen allowed one run and ten baserunners with eight Ks, one win, and five saves. Ryan Dull has a 1.23 ERA over 7.1 innings with six Ks. Lou Trivino extended his scoreless run to seven innings with five Ks.

Philadelphia Phillies

There hasn’t been a lot of excitement in Hector Neris over the last two weeks. He allowed five runs, seven baserunners, and two HRs in his two blown saves in his last four chances. His ERA fell to 5.17, which gives him job loss risk. Hector is 8-for-11 in save chances. Edubray Ramos has a 1.23 ERA over his last 7.1 innings with five walks and nine Ks while picking up a save in his last game on May 13th. Seranthony Dominguez has been perfect over his first four innings in the majors with five Ks. I’m intrigued by the upside of Dominguez in this bullpen.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Felipe Vazquez has been perfect in his seven chances in 2018 with no runs allowed over the last 8.1 innings with seven Ks. Michael Feliz has a 1.06 ERA over his last 17 innings with 23 Ks. Richard Rodriguez allowed two runs and seven baserunners over his last 4.1 innings with six Ks. Rodriguez has 27 Ks over 15.2 innings in 2018 with strength in his ERA (1.72) and WHIP (1.15).

San Diego Padres

Brad Hand is 12-for-14 in save conversions with one run allowed over his last 8.1 innings with three hits and 14 Ks. Hand has 35 Ks in 22 innings on the year. Kirby Yates improved his shutout streak to seven innings with nine Ks. Craig Stammen tossed six shutout innings over his last four games with seven Ks.

San Francisco Giants

Over the last week, Hunter Strickland threw three shutout innings with four Ks and one save. He converted nine of his 11 saves in 2018 while doing a nice job in his ERA (2.41) and WHIP (0.96). Tony Watson struggled in his last three games (four runs, seven baserunners, and one home run over 2.1 innings). Sam Dyson has a 0.75 ERA over his last 12 innings with six walks and seven Ks.

Seattle Mariners

Edwin Diaz blew his 2nd save in 16 chances on May 15th when he allowed a run and a hit over one inning of work. Diaz struggled over his last six innings (6.00 ERA) despite no walks and nine Ks. Juan Nicasio pitched his way out of the eighth inning when he allowed nine runs and 18 baserunners over five innings. James Pazos hasn’t allowed a run over his last 14 innings with five hits, no walks, and 12 Ks.

St. Louis Cardinals

Bud Norris still has blown a save in eight chances. Over his last 14.2 innings, Norris has a 3.07 ERA with 19 Ks and seven saves. Greg Holland tossed four shutout innings in May, but he did issue three walks. Jordan Hick improved his scoreless run to five innings with two walks and one K.

Tampa Bay Rays

Over his last 11.2 innings, Alex Colome has a 1.54 ERA and 0.77 WHIP with 13 Ks, two wins, two losses, and four saves. Colome is 8-for-10 in save tries. Jose Alvarado saw his 6.2 inning shutout streak end in his last game when he allowed two runs and two hits over 1.2 innings. Jonny Venters has a 1.42 ERA over 6.1 innings with two Ks since returning to the majors.

Texas Rangers

After struggling in his first two games in May (five runs and six baserunners over two innings), Keone Kela rebounded for four shutout innings with six Ks, a win, and two saves in his last three games. Kela doesn’t have a blown save in eight opportunities. Jake Diekman has a 1.23 ERA over his last 7.1 innings with nine Ks. Jose Leclerc lost his way over his last six games (6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP).

Toronto Blue Jays

Tyler Clippard received the first save chance after Toronto put Roberto Osuna on temporary leave. Clippard hasn’t allowed a run over his last 12.1 innings with 15 Ks. His failure risk in the 9th is tied to his walks (ten in 22 innings). Seung Hwan Oh looks closer-worthy based on his success over his last 14 innings (one run, nine hits, two walks, and 16 Ks). He allowed only two hits over his last ten innings with 11 Ks. The Blue Jays will be without Osuna until May 21st at the earliest. I don’t expect him back on the mound until his court day in June (18th), which will give more clarity to the situation. If given a choice, I’m looking for Oh to get the bulk of saves until Osuna returns.

Washington Nationals

Sean Doolittle hasn’t allowed a run over his last 10.2 innings with 12 Ks. Doolittle has a win and five saves in his last six games while converting all nine save chances on the year. Ryan Madsen improved his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings with eight Ks. Brandon Kintzler struggled over his last five games (four runs and ten baserunners over 4.1 innings with four games.


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Shawn Childs
About Shawn Childs 422 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros.As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.