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 have to know each Major League Baseball team’s relief pitchers. Who has a path to 2021 fantasy baseball saves? Who’s going to focus on holds and setup appearances?
Kev Mahserejian ranks each fantasy baseball 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 remain in the race for your fantasy baseball league title. Identify the fantasy baseball league pickups you should make soon so you can have control over erratic 2021 fantasy baseball saves pictures.
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Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Closers: Depth Chart News, Saves Tips & Bullpen Report
- Closer: Gregory Soto
- Backups: Jose Cisnero, Michael Fulmer (IL)
With Fulmer (neck) back on the injured list, Soto has seemingly re-established himself as Detroit’s closer this season. Soto was just selected to the All-Star team and is under team control through 2025, which makes him unlikely to be traded at the deadline.
Fulmer — a possible trade candidate — just began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo and is set to return from the IL soon. If he makes it back before the deadline, it’s possible that he’ll be re-inserted into the closer role to spike interest among contending teams. Regardless of whether he’s traded or not, Fulmer is a mediocre closing option and will likely shift to a setup role either way.
If Soto does lose his ninth-inning job when Fulmer returns, it will likely only be temporary. Hang onto him until the deadline passes, then re-evaluate whether he’s worth retaining for the rest of the season.
- Closer: Craig Kimbrel
- Backups: Ryan Tepera, Rex Brothers, Andrew Chafin, Rowan Wick (IL)
This has nothing to do with Kimbrel’s performance, but rather the Cubs as a whole. They are gearing up for a rebuild and trading Joc Pederson was the first domino to fall. Kimbrel is likely next in line given how often high-end relievers are dealt at the deadline. The price tag will be hefty, but some team is bound to pony up given his track record.
Kimbrel’s fantasy value should not be affected by a trade, but his backups are the targets here. Tepera — the presumed next man up — is also a trade candidate given how inexpensive he is salary-wise. He’s been incredible since last season and has closed several times in the past, so he is absolutely worth considering as a pickup.
Chafin is another trade candidate, but if he stays in Chicago there is a chance he sees closing opportunities until Wick is activated from the IL. Wick has not pitched in the bigs at all this season, but he’s working his way back from an oblique injury and is currently on a rehab assignment. With six career saves under his belt, he’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues where saves are at a premium.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings, Depth Charts, Bullpen Report, & Sleepers For Saves
NEW CLOSER IN ALL CAPS.
|Rk||Team||Closer||Next In Line||Watch||Job Security||Notes|
|1||Mets||Edwin Diaz||David Robertson||Adam Ottavino||GREAT||Diaz has 205 career saves, coming off an elite season with an insane 50.2 K%.|
|2||Guardians||Emmanuel Clase||James Karinchak||Trevor Stephan||GREAT||Clase put up a sub-1.50 ERA in the last two years, including 42 saves last season.|
|3||Blue Jays||Jordan Romano||Erik Swanson||Yimi Garcia||GREAT||Romano has combined for 59 saves in the past two seasons, totaling 36 last year.|
|4||Padres||Josh Hader||Robert Suarez||Luis Garcia||GREAT||Hader got off to a rocky start with the Padres, but found his groove with a 0.87 ERA in Sept/Oct.|
|5||Brewers||Devin Williams||Matt Bush||Peter Strzelecki||GREAT||Williams gave us a preview of what's to come in 2023, posting 15 saves with a 40.0 K% in 2022.|
|6||Orioles||Felix Bautista||Dillon Tate||Mychal Givens||GREAT||Bautista became one of the best closers in baseball following the Jorge Lopez trade.|
|7||Braves||Raisel Iglesias||A.J. Minter||Joe Jiménez||GREAT||Iglesias has a strong track record, so he should be a high-end closer following Kenley Jansen's departure.|
|8||Astros||Ryan Pressly||Rafael Montero||Héctor Neris||GREAT||Pressly has combined for 59 saves with strong ratios in his last two seasons.|
|9||Cardinals||Ryan Helsley||Giovanny Gallegos||Jordan Hicks||GREAT||Helsley had a 1.25 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 39.3 K% with 19 saves last year.|
|10||Giants||Camilo Doval||Taylor Rogers||John Brebbia||GREAT||Doval racked up 27 saves last season, but the 10.5 BB% is an issue.|
|11||Red Sox||Kenley Jansen||Chris Martin||John Schreiber||GREAT||Jansen has 391 career saves, including 41 last year, giving him a long leash.|
|12||Yankees||Clay Holmes||Jonathan Loáisiga||Tommy Kahnle||GREAT||Holmes will look to build off a strong season that saw him rack up 20 saves with strong ratios.|
|13||Pirates||David Bednar||Robert Stephenson||Wil Crowe||GREAT||Bednar had an elite 25.2 K-BB%, but he plays for one of the worst teams in baseball.|
|14||Twins||Jhoan Duran||Jorge Lopez||Emilio Pagán||SOLID||Duran is the better pitcher, but Lopez has more experience -- I'd take the risk with Duran's superior upside.|
|15||Rockies||Daniel Bard||Pierce Johnson||Dinelson Lamet||GREAT||Bard has been great for the Rockies, but the 10.2 BB% is concerning.|
|16||Royals||Scott Barlow||Dylan Coleman||Amir Garrett||GREAT||Barlow racked up 24 saves with a 19.0 K-BB%, but the Royals are a bad team, meaning fewer opportunities.|
|17||Reds||Alexis Diaz||Lucas Sims||Tejay Antone||SOLID||Diaz really emerged down the stretch, posting six saves in Sept. The issue is the walk rate (12.9%).|
|18||White Sox||KENDALL GRAVEMAN||Aaron Bummer||Joe Kelly||SOLID||Graveman is expected to take over as closer. We send out our prayers to Liam Hendriks as he battles cancer.|
|19||Rangers||Jose Leclerc||Jonathan Hernández||Joe Barlow||SOLID||Leclerc posted a 1.85 ERA in the 2nd half last season, ready to take over as closer for an improved team.|
|20||Athletics||TREVOR MAY||Zach Jackson||Dany Jiménez||SOLID||The A's signed May to a one-year deal worth $7 million, so he should be the closer this year.|
|21||Mariners||Paul Sewald||Andrés Muñoz||Diego Castillo||COMMITTEE||Sewald was great last year, but so was Muñoz, so there's risk of a committee.|
|22||Tigers||ALEX LANGE||Jason Foley||Jose Cisnero||SOLID||Lange takes over as Tigers' closer following the Gregory Soto trade.|
|23||Angels||CARLOS ESTEVEZ||Jimmy Herget||Ryan Tepera||SOLID||Estevez was brought in as a free agent, expect him to be the closer for the Angels.|
|24||Marlins||Dylan Floro||Tanner Scott||JT Chargois||SOLID||Floro finished off the year strong, racking up six saves in Sept.|
|25||Rays||Pete Fairbanks||Jason Adam||Jalen Beeks||COMMITTEE||Fairbanks was great down the stretch, but the Rays always like to use a committee.|
|26||Nationals||Kyle Finnegan||Carl Edwards Jr.||Hunter Harvey||SOLID||Finnegan had a respectable 3.51 ERA with 11 saves for the Nationals after taking over as closer.|
|27||Dodgers||Evan Phillips||Daniel Hudson||Alex Vesia||COMMITTEE||Expect a committee between Phillips and Hudson for the Dodgers this year.|
|28||Cubs||Brandon Hughes||Brad Boxberger||Manuel Rodriguez||SHAKY||Hughes is first in line, but don't sleep on free agent addition Boxberger (two 30+ save seasons)|
|29||Phillies||Seranthony Dominguez||Craig Kimbrel||Gregory Soto||COMMITTEE||This is a full-blown committee between Dominguez, Kimbrel, and Soto.|
|30||Diamondbacks||Mark Melancon||Kevin Ginkel||Joe Mantiply||SHAKY||Shakiest situation in MLB, deferring to the veteran Melancon here.|