Here are the latest fantasy baseball closer updates from the past week of action.
As we move into the dog days of August, Kev Mahserejian looks at the fantasy baseball picture as it pertains to closers around the league. Which reliever should get your confidence for saves in the closing months of the fantasy baseball season?
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Week 22 Fantasy Baseball Closers: Depth Chart News, Saves Tips & Bullpen Report
Kansas City Royals
- Closer: Scott Barlow
- Backups: Josh Brentz, Josh Staumont
Scott Barlow has been the best reliever for the Kansas City Royals all season, but only recently has he taken some command of the closing job. Josh Staumont gave up the role long ago and has regressed while Greg Holland (shoulder) and Kyle Zimmer (neck) are both out of commission.
Earlier in the year, the Royals were clearly trying to pump up the trade value of both Holland and Wade Davis by sticking them in the 9th, but even with their previous closing experience neither was truly viable.
Barlow has closer “stuff" but was limited to a fireman role earlier in the season due to his talent and Mike Matheny‘s refusal to limit him to just the 9th. While LHP Josh Brentz might receive saves here and there based on matchups, Barlow is the guy to roster. His 20.7% K-BB% is very good and he’s already notched seven saves this season.
- Check out our Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings and Depth Charts.
- Closer: N/A
- Backups: Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Diego Castillo
This bullpen is quite a mess. Diego Castillo was acquired with the assumption that he’d take over the 9th inning, but he has recorded just one save in nine appearances with the Seattle Mariners. Paul Sewald has been their best reliever all season — even during Kendall Graveman‘s tenure — but his time is split between the final two innings. Meanwhile, Drew Steckenrider has emerged as a potential closing option with two saves over the past two weeks and five total on the season.
Sewald’s 34% K-BB% is as elite as it gets, while Steckenrider’s 17% is merely good. While he’s having a fantastic bounce-back season, Steckenrider is far from a shutdown closer with his 4.29 xFIP and 3.73 SIERA.
Accordingly, Sewald is the reliever to roster here given his skill set and recent activation from paternity leave, but expect a full mix of closing options in Seattle for the foreseeable future. The Mariners are doing everything in their power to frustrate fantasy managers, and it is certainly working.