Craig Kimbrel has been atop of the fantasy baseball closer rankings all year, so it's time to give the game's best closer some love. He's allowed five earned runs while striking out 40 batters in 22 2/3 innings this year, and we expect him to continue to produce at this rate for the rest of the year.
On the other end of the spectrum, Joe Maddon has announced that the Tampa Bay Rays will go to closer-by-committee, after Grant Balfour gave up five runs in the ninth against the Mariners on June 8. Balfour doesn't fall completely out of relevance, but Jake McGee, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Joel Peralta could all be earning saves for the Rays.
Rankings and information to date as of June 9. An asterisk next to a player's name indicates additional notes below.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings
|Rankings updated as of June 9|
5. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers -- After imploding in San Francisco back on May 11, Jansen has allowed one run on three hits with 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
8. Joakim Soria, Texas Rangers -- Soria has a 2.05 ERA, 0.76 FIP and 0.68 WHIP this season. He has surrendered one earned run since the middle of April.
10. Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants -- Romo has gotten back on track after allowing four runs on five hits and two walks across three outings. He has thrown three straight clean innings with two strikeouts since then.
14. Casey Janssen, Toronto Blue Jays -- Janssen allowed his first two earned runs of the year in blowing his second save on June 9, but he has stabilized the Toronto bullpen.
17. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals -- Rosenthal has allowed one run on six hits in his last 7 2/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking two in that stretch.
18. Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates -- Grilli has taken control of the ninth inning for the Pirates once again. Mark Melancon still has value, but Grilli is the closer.
21. Jenrry Mejia, New York Mets -- Mejia has struggled of late, allowing five runs and five hits in his last 2 1/3 innings. The stuff is there for him to be a dominant closer, but there are bound to be a few speed bumps.
22. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles -- He's never going to post gaudy strikeout numbers, but Britton has taken the closer's role in Baltimore by the reins.
25. Ernesto Frieri, Los Angeles Angels -- Frieri has converted his last five save opportunities and is back in control of the ninth inning for the Angels.
27. Joe Nathan, Detroit Tigers -- Be very afraid, Nathan owners. His velocity is slipping and his ERA is up above 7.00.
28. LaTroy Hawkins, Colorado Rockies -- Hawkins hasn't been very good, but it doesn't appear Walt Weiss is in any rush to turn to Adam Ottavino or Rex Brothers in the ninth.
30. Jake McGee, Tampa Bay Rays -- With Grant Balfour out of the closer's role, McGee ascends to the top of the committee. He has a 1.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings this year.
31. Joba Chamberlain, Detroit Tigers -- Joe Nathan is struggling mightily in the ninth, and that could lead to Chamberlain getting himself a few save opportunities.
34. Juan Carlos Oviedo, Tampa Bay Rays -- Oviedo will likely be part of the committee that replaces Grant Balfour, but Jake McGee is the first guy to own.
35. Joel Peralta, Tampa Bay Rays -- Peralta could factor into the ninth innning for the Rays with Grant Balfour on the outs, though he's probably running third, at best.
38. Joaquin Benoit, San Diego Padres -- Owners speculating for saves have to be in on Benoit. Huston Street is a prime candidate to get traded with the Padres sure to be sellers.
48. Wade Davis, Kansas City Royals -- Even if Davis never gets a save opportunity (and he won't unless Greg Holland gets injured), he has plenty of fantasy value. He has allowed just four runs in 28 1/3 innings, and has a 0.74 WHIP and 46 strikeouts.