Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings & Grid

Frank AmmiranteSenior Sports Writer
Last Updated: May 31, 2023

Welcome to The Game Day’s Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings, Depth Charts, Bullpen Report, & Sleepers For Saves.

When you’re working the fantasy baseball waiver wire and trying to find the best sleepers for saves, you must know each Major League Baseball team’s relief pitchers.

So, who has a path to 2023 fantasy baseball saves? Who’s going to focus on holds and set-up appearances? Frank Ammirante ranks each fantasy bullpen from strongest (1) to weakest (30) while giving security ratings for each club’s relief corps.

See which fantasy baseball closers are secure, questionable, or on shaky ground in their job security so you can plan ahead and stay aggressive on the waiver wire.

By identifying the closer pickups you should make now, you can have more control over what’s sure to be an erratic fantasy baseball saves picture in 2023.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings

Drag the table to the left to see the entire closer depth charts and rankings list. News updates or new closers are denoted by all caps.

RkTeamCloserNext In LineWatchJob SecurityNotes
1PadresJosh HaderNick MartinezSteven WilsonGREAT
2OriolesFélix BautistaYennier CanoBryan BakerGREAT
3GiantsCamilo DovalTaylor RogersJohn BrebbiaGREAT
4PiratesDavid BednarColin HoldermanRobert StephensonGREAT
5RedsAlexis DíazLucas SimsIan GibautGREAT
6GuardiansEmmanuel ClaseJames KarinchakTrevor StephanGREAT
7Blue JaysJordan RomanoErik SwansonNate PearsonGREAT
8AngelsCarlos EstévezChris DevenskiBen JoyceGREAT
9AstrosRyan PresslyBryan AbreuHector NerisGREAT
10Red SoxKenley JansenChris MartinJosh WinckowskiGREAT
11BrewersDevin WilliamsPeter StrzeleckiJoel PayampsGREAT
12TigersAlex LangeJason FoleyWill VestSOLID
13MetsDavid RobertsonAdam OttavinoBrooks RaleySOLID
14RangersWill SmithBrock BurkeJosé LeclercSOLID
15MarinersPAUL SEWALDJustin TopaAndrés Muñoz (IL)SOLIDMuñoz has started his rehab assignment.
16TwinsJhoan DuránJorge LópezBrock StewartSOLID
17BravesRaisel IglesiasNick AndersonCollin McHughSOLID
18CardinalsRYAN HELSLEYGiovanny GallegosDrew VerHagenSOLIDGallegos continues to take away saves.
19White SoxLIAM HENDRIKSKendall GravemanJoe KellySOLIDHendriks has returned to action.
20RaysJASON ADAMColin PochePete Fairbanks (IL)SOLIDFairbanks goes back to the IL.
21PhilliesCraig KimbrelSeranthony DominguezGregory SotoSHAKY
22RockiesPierce JohnsonJustin LawrenceDaniel BardSHAKY
23NationalsKyle FinneganHunter HarveyCarl Edwards Jr.SHAKY
24DodgersEvan PhillipsBrusdar GraterolCaleb FergusonCOMMITTEE
25YankeesClay HolmesMichael KingWandy PeraltaCOMMITTEE
26RoyalsScott BarlowAroldis ChapmanTaylor ClarkeSHAKY
27DiamondbacksMiguel CastroAndrew ChafinScott McGoughCOMMITTEE
28MarlinsDYLAN FLOROTanner ScottA.J. Puk (IL)SHAKYPuk is ready to start his rehab assignment.
29CubsMARK LEITER JR.Adbert AlzolayMichael FulmerCOMMITTEEThis is a committee with Leiter Jr. and Alzolay.
30AthleticsTrevor MayShintaro FujinamiSam MollSHAKY

Read on for more fantasy baseball closer tips.

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Fantasy Baseball Closer News

Now on to the latest happenings in saves, which are all current as of Wednesday, May 31.

Mariners: Paul Sewald could get fewer opportunities

With Andrés Muñoz officially starting his rehab assignment, we could see fewer save opportunities for Paul Sewald. The Mariners may opt to utilize Muñoz when the opposing lineup has the top of the order due up in the ninth.

  • Paul Sewald Fantasy Tip: While I still expect Sewald to handle the primary saves share in Seattle, I have to bake in some risk with Muñoz’s return on the horizon.

Cardinals: Ryan Helsley has been disappointing this year

Ryan Helsley has six saves on the season, which is now one fewer than teammate Giovanny Gallegos. It’s clear that the Cardinals like to use Helsley in high-leverage situations outside of the ninth inning at times.

  • Ryan Helsley Fantasy Tip: Helsley is coming off a blown save against the Guardians on May 28. While he’s still a mid-tier closer with upside, I have to bump him down the rankings right now.

White Sox: Liam Hendriks has returned to action

Liam Hendriks made his return on May 29, coming on in the seventh inning. It’s great to see that he’s recovered from cancer and is already back on the mound.

  • Liam Hendriks Fantasy Tip: Hendriks allowed two runs in his low-leverage appearance, so we need to be patient with him in the near future, which is reflected in this ranking.

Prepare for your fantasy MLB drafts with more tips

Rays: Jason Adam gets another shot as closer

Jason Adam resumes acting as closer with Pete Fairbanks (hip) back on the injured list. While an MRI revealed no structural damage for Fairbanks, this is his second trip to the IL this month.

  • Jason Adam Fantasy Tip: Fairbanks could be back in June, but it’s hard to trust him to stay healthy at this point. Adam has a chance to soar up these ranks in the near future.

Marlins: Dylan Floro’s days as closer are numbered

Dylan Floro is likely to lose his role as closer in the next two weeks because A.J. Puk has started his rehab assignment. Puk had six saves with 19 strikeouts in 14.2 innings prior to getting injured.

  • Dylan Floro Fantasy Tip: You can continue to ride Floro for saves until Puk is back. Once Puk has returned, you can safely drop Floro in all formats.

Cubs: The committee has started to take shape

The Cubs are going with a committee at closer with Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay. The latter converted the save on May 30, pitching two scoreless innings vs the Rays. In that same game, Leiter worked in the seventh inning.

  • Mark Leiter Jr. Fantasy Tip: You can roster both Leiter and Alzolay if you’re truly desperate for saves, but understand that this is going to be a frustrating situation for fantasy baseball, at least for the foreseeable future.

How to Find Fantasy Sleepers for Saves

It can be difficult navigating bullpen usage, especially over the long haul of a 162-game season. That’s why we’re here to help you find fantasy sleepers for saves.

Follow the tips outlined below to decipher how each MLB team likes to use their bullpen.

Team Trends

It’s important to determine how each team and manager likes to deploy their relievers. Some prefer to take the traditional approach in using one reliever in the ninth, like the Atlanta Braves. Others prefer to use their best reliever in high-leverage situations, such as the Minnesota Twins.

You have to accept that some closers will have a lower percentage of team save opportunities than others, depending on their team. If you draft a closer like Andrés Muñoz, you’ll need to “roll with the punches" when Seattle decides to use Paul Sewald in the ninth at times.

This means that you should never drop your committee closer if they were bypassed for a save opportunity on a given night. It could be that their manager wants to use them to face their opponent’s best hitters in the seventh or eighth inning.

Bullpen Usage

When trying to decipher a team’s preferences in the bullpen, take a look at how their manager uses their relievers, even in non-save situations. This can help you understand the pecking order for saves within each bullpen.

For example, this season, we weren’t quite sure about the Diamondbacks’ closer, but we knew they wanted to use one reliever in the role. When we saw Kevin Ginkel called upon in the eighth inning with the team trailing 7-2, we knew that we could cross him off the list of potential closers.

That made it clear that it was likely to be Scott McGough in the role to start off the year. Sure enough, we saw him get the first save opportunity in the following game. Always be sure to pay close attention to bullpen usage.

Stuff and Command

If you’re debating which reliever to pursue on a team with an unclear situation, the best bet is to target the one with the best stuff. If they have strong command as well, that’s an added bonus. A good example of this is Ryan Helsley, who took over for Giovanny Gallegos in 2022.

This season, this situation is exemplified in Miami, where A.J. Puk is the current front-runner for saves. If you prioritized stuff in this bullpen, you would have had a head-start on the competition when targeting a potential closer for the Marlins.

You would have also landed on the top candidate in another tenuous situation with this approach with Michael Fulmer in Chicago. When debating between two potential relievers, go with the one with better stuff because they have more upside.


Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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