Week 5 Fantasy Closers: Bullpen Depth Chart News & Baseball Saves Tips

Last Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Read on for The Game Day’s Week 5 Fantasy Closers: Depth Chart News, Saves Tips & Baseball Bullpen Report. See which MLB relief pitchers are locked in to save chances and which are in jeopardy with their job security. Keeping up with bullpen depth charts is vital for fantasy baseball teams. Identify which sleepers for saves and closers on the rise should be on your radar.

See our full 2021 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings & Depth Charts for every MLB bullpen.

Week 5 Fantasy Baseball Closers: Depth Chart News, Saves Tips & Bullpen Report

Kansas City Royals

  • Closer: Josh Staumont
  • Backups: Greg Holland, Scott Barlow, Wade Davis

While Staumont is the closer in Kansas City at the moment, someone with his history of poor control cannot be the long-term closer for 2021 unless either: substantive changes occur, he remains very lucky, or the Royals are willing to live with the faults that are to come. His 5.49 xFIP and 4.46 SIERA thus far are lackluster by even middle-relief standards and his minor league history (despite mostly as a starter) suggests that his walk issue is not easily resolved.

Greg Holland was actually fine in the closer role beforehand and converted both save opportunities he saw prior to his massive bullpen-game blow-up last Tuesday. It is obviously tough to ignore that blow-up but really, he has been fine this season aside from it, specifically in 5 of his last 6 appearances. Holland was placed on the COVID-IL a few days after the bullpen-game blow-up and removed nearly 24 hours after. He will not be the closer again until Staumont falters but we can potentially see that happen any day now.

Scott Barlow is the actual best reliever in this bullpen but the Royals seem to prefer him as their fireman option rather than reserving him for a specific late-inning role.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Closer: N/A
  • Committee: Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, Sean Doolittle

Well, Sean Doolittle converted the most recent save opportunity, but that was likely due to Antone and Sims pitching deep the night before along with 2-out-of-3 top batters being lefties in Corey Seager and Max Muncy.

Doolittle has the history and could be a valuable asset to flip at the trade deadline if he can close games consistently, but he is too mediocre this year to rely on. A reliever who made a career off of two pitches and incredible command is not going to cut it with a 14% walk rate. The velocity is up and he is much better than in recent years but this is far from even just a good version of Doolittle.

Antone is likely a fireman, but he could be elongated as a 2-to-3-IP closer rather than your traditional 1-IP. The Reds are so, so desperate for back-end relief to trust that this may be the only option viable. Garrett has been miserable and Sims had a forearm strain of sorts in the offseason which has kept his usage fairly sporadic.

If anyone is going to take on a *traditional* closer role, it is Sims but even so I doubt the Reds care enough to not continue mixing and matching.

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Detroit Tigers

  • Closer: Gregory Soto
  • Backups: Bryan Garcia, Jose Cisnero

Gregory Soto is the closer here despite his own faults. With three saves on the year, it is tough to think of this in any other way.

While there was some hope that the righty Bryan Garcia may be favored due to the rarity of lefty closers, he has not been effective enough to consider. Soto will continue to be the guy until he isn’t because this bullpen is terrible and he is the least awful option of the bunch.

More Fantasy Baseball Closer News

  • Washington Nationals closer Brad Hand has not allowed a run in 6 IP and has accrued 3 saves, but he isn’t getting strikeouts and has been lucky with 0 home runs allowed, a strikingly low .200 BABIP, and a 100% rate of runners left on base. Don’t be shocked if things fell apart if those K’s stay low.
  • Atlanta Braves closer Will Smith now has 5 saves and seems to be the guy there even when RHP Chris Martin returns from IL.
  • Colorado Rockies closer Daniel Bard has struggled this season, but his peripherals are still good. Pitching in Coors Field stinks for everyone, so give him some leeway. He still has the baton here.


Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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