Fantasy Baseball: Week 5 Closer Report

Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs takes a very close look at each team’s bullpen to help you find the next gunslinging arm to provide saves. Get ready to DOMINATE your league!
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Atlanta Braves

Over the first month of the season, Arodys Vizcaino only has one save while failing to convert a second opportunity. He improved his shutout streak to five innings with one hit, one walk, and three Ks. On the year, Vizcaino has 1.69 ERA with seven walks and 11 Ks over 10.2 innings. A.J. Minter lost his way in his last four games (three runs and nine baserunners over 4.1 innings) due to struggles with walks (five). Dan Winkler has been the best arm in the Braves’ bullpen in April (1.59 ERA with 17 Ks over 11.1 innings).

Arizona Diamondbacks

Brad Boxberger hasn’t blown a save in his six chances, but he did take a pair of losses last week while looking shaky in all three games (three runs, seven baserunners, and two Ks over two innings). ArchieBradley picked up his second save of the year on April 22nd when Boxberger was getting a day of rest. Last week Bradley didn’t allow a run over 3.1 innings with three baserunners and six Ks. Archie has a 2.03 ERA over 13.1 innings with 16 Ks. Yoshihisa Hirano remains a third strong option in the Diamondbacks’ bullpen over the first month of the season. Over his last eight innings, Hirano gave up a run and three hits with six Ks.

Baltimore Orioles

The Indians beat Brad Brach for three runs, four hits, and a home run in a non-save situation in his last game on April 22nd. Over his first 8.2 innings, Brach has three saves in four tries with a 5.19 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. Darren O’Day pitched poorly in his last four innings of work (four runs, six baserunners, and two home runs) to take his name out of save consideration. Mychal Givens remains on the broken road after showing no upside over his last 8.1 innings (seven runs, eight hits, and eight walks). Zach Britton threw off the mound last week for the first time as he works his way back from his Achilles injury, He remains at least five weeks away for the majors.

Brad Brach


Boston Red Sox

Craig Kimbrel made his first mistake of the year on April 24th leading to a game-losing home run. Kimbrel is 5-for-5 in save conversions with a 1.08 ERA and 11 Ks over 8.1 innings. Joe Kelly pitched at a high level over his last 10.1 innings (no runs, five hits, one walk, and nine Ks) to push his ERA (3.38) and WHIP (0.94) into a favorable area after allowing four runs in his first appearance of the year. CarsonSmith hasn’t allowed a run over his last 4.1 innings with four Ks.

Chicago Cubs

Over the last week, Brandon Morrow earned his second and third saves of the year in as many chances. Morrow improves his scoreless streak to seven innings with seven Ks. Carl Edwards looks the closing part in 2018 after pushing his K total to 20 after 10.2 innings with one run and four walks. Edwards extended his shutout runs to 8.2 innings with 17 Ks and two walks. Steve Cishek struggled at times over his last 7.2 innings (three runs, 12 baserunners, and seven Ks).

Chicago White Sox

Joakim Soria is trying his best to hold onto the closing job for the White Sox. His last save opportunity came on April 5th (blown save), but he hasn’t allowed a run over his last four innings with six Ks. Nate Jones picked up a save on April 11th, but Chicago hasn’t had a ninth-inning save chance since leaving Fantasy owners in the dark on who will get the next opportunity. Jones hasn’t allowed a run over his last 5.1 innings with eight Ks.

Cincinnati Reds

Raisel Iglesias blew his first save in four chances on April 24th when he allowed a run and three baserunners over two-thirds of an inning. Iglesias has a 1.74 ERA on the year with only three hits allowed over 10.1 innings while striking out 14 batters. He needs to clean up his walks (seven) to maintain his success over the long haul. Amir Garrett struggled for the first time all season when the greedy Reds tried to extend him to a third inning vs. the Braves. He gave up three runs, four baserunners, and a home run over 2.1 innings with one K. His season stats (2.25 ERA over 12 innings with 12 Ks) remain in a strong area.

Cleveland Indians

April has been a very good month for Cody Allen in 2018. He’s been perfect in his four save chances while picking up a win over ten shutout innings with 12 Ks. Andrew Miller has been very good out of the gate as well (no runs over ten innings with 17 Ks, a win, and a save). Nick Goody pitched well in his first seven games (1.17 ERA over 7.2 innings with six Ks).

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Colorado Rockies

In his ten appearances in 2018, Wade Davis is 9-for-10 in save opportunities with a 1.93 ERA and ten Ks over 9.1 innings. He pitched his best over his last five shutout innings (no hits and one walk with five Ks). Jake McGee turned in a disaster outing in his last game (four runs, four baserunners, and a home run) after posting a 1.74 ERA over his first 10.1 innings with nine Ks. Adam Ottavino continues to pitch the best ball of his career over his first 12.2 innings (one run, two hits, two walks, and 24 Ks).

Detroit Tigers

With two blown saves (two runs and five baserunners over three innings) in his last three appearances, Shane Greene is opening the door slightly for Joe Jimenez to steal his job. On the year, Greene has a 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with three saves in five chances. Jimenez still hasn’t allowed a run over 9.2 innings with eight Ks and two wins.

Houston Astros

Over the last week, Ken Giles tossed three perfect shutout innings with one K to throw his name back in the closing ring for the Astros. The previous week Giles missed a couple of games due to a minor back issue. His only save came on April 9th. Ken now has strength in his ERA (2.25) and WHIP (0.75). Chris Devenski is doing his best to keep the ninth inning role after improving his shutout streak to eight innings with nine Ks and two saves. Brad Peacock pitched four shutout innings over the last week with two walks and five Ks.

Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera pushed his scoreless streak to 6.2 innings with no walks, nine Ks, and four successful saves. His start to the year points to high upside, but he needs the Royals to win more games. BurchSmith pitched poorly in both of his games last week (three runs and nine baserunners over 4.2 innings with three Ks). Tim Hill hasn’t allowed a run over his last 7.1 innings with three walks and six Ks).

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Los Angeles Angels

Over the last two weeks, Keynan Middleton has five saves with a 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and ten Ks over eight innings. After pitching in three straight games, Middleton was given the night off giving CamBedrosian a save chance. Bedrosian responded with 1.1 shutout innings with two Ks. Over his last four games (no runs over five innings with six Ks), Cam has looked closer-worthy. I’m not sure if Middleton can handle the closing job over the long haul based on his struggles with HRs (11 over 58.1 innings) in 2017, so Bedrosian looks like the best backup plan in LA heading toward May. Blake Parker has a 2.84 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over his last 6.1 innings with five Ks.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Fantasy owners still have buyer’s remorse with Kenley Jansen after his first nine games. Jansen is 3-for-5 in save conversions with a 6.23 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, and ten Ks over 8.2 innings. Over the last week, Kenley pitched two shutout innings leading to a save. Josh Fields continues to pitch at a high level. He has two wins, and a save in 2018 with a 0.82 ERA and 14 Ks over 11 innings. Pedro Baez struggled over the last week (two runs and six baserunners over 2.1 innings with three Ks.

Miami Marlins

After going 16 days between save chances, Brad Ziegler converted his second save on April 24th when he tossed a clean inning. Over his first eight games, Ziegler allowed a hit or more in each game leading to a poor ERA (6.62) and WHIP (1.55) while picking up three losses. Kyle Barraclough struggled a bit over his last six innings (three runs, seven baserunners, and two HRs) to put his name in question for saves. DrewSteckenrider has a 1.54 ERA over 11.2 innings with 15 Ks to remain as an option to take over the 9th inning once the Marlins’ management figures out Ziegler doesn’t belong in the majors anymore.

Milwaukee Brewers

The impressive ride of Josh Hader continued in Week 4 of the baseball season. Over his last four games, Hader pitched seven shutout innings with two hits, one walk, and 12 Ks leading to three two-inning saves. Josh has 1.23 ERA over 14.2 innings with 29 Ks. With Corey Knebel trending toward a return to the majors in three weeks or so, Hader may find himself in the Brewers’ rotation in June. Jacob Barnes pitched great over his last 6.1 innings (no runs, one hit, and ten Ks) while picking up a save. Knebel threw off the mound last week, which is a positive sign for his return late in May.

Minnesota Twins

Fernando Rodney blew a save in two of his last three games. Rodney has 4.05 ERA over 6.2 innings in 2018 with failure risk in his WHIP (1.80). Addison Reed struggled over his last 5.2 innings (three runs, seven baserunners, and five Ks). Trevor Hildenberger looks ready to pitch his way off the major league roster after allowing five runs, 11 baserunners, and three home runs over 6.1 innings.

New York Mets

Over his last four games, Jeurys Familia has two saves and two blown saves while allowing two runs and six baserunners over three innings with four Ks. Familia is 9-for-11 in save conversions with an edge in his ERA (1.38) and WHIP (1.08). A.J. Ramos struggled over his last four games (four runs and four baserunners over 2.2 innings with five Ks). Robert Gsellman showed more risk over his last six innings after allowing ten baserunners with four coming via a walk. Gsellman pitched well in the bullpen in 2018 (2.03 ERA with 19 Ks over 13.1 innings).

New York Yankees

Aroldis Chapman has three saves in April with two runs allowed over nine innings with 18 Ks. He threw three no-hit shutout innings in his last three games with seven Ks. David Robertson has a 0.87 ERA over his last 10.1 innings with two walks and 15 Ks. Dellin Betances pitched slightly better over his last three games (no runs over 2.1 innings with four baserunners and four Ks).

 USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

Oakland A’s

Blake Treinen was knocked out of a save opportunity on April 24th after getting hit by a line drive. The injury looks minor, and Blake should be back on the mound in a day or two. Over his last 8.1 innings, Treinen has a win, a lose, two saves, and two blown saves with a 2.16 ERA and 12 Ks. Santiago Casilla picked up the save on Tuesday night after the Treinen injury. Casilla threw the ball well over his first nine innings in 2018 (two runs, two hits, and eight Ks) to remain in the backup plan for saves. Ryan Dull has a 5.40 ERA over his first 3.1 innings after returning from the DL while allowing only one hit with five Ks.

Philadelphia Phillies

Hector Neris picked up a win and three saves over his last 4.1 shutout innings with three Ks. He has a 4.00 ERA over nine innings with nine Ks while converting four of his five saves. Tommy Hunter returned from the DL last week. In his first two games, Hunter threw 1.2 perfect innings with one K. EdubrayRamos has a 0.96 ERA over 9.1 innings with 12 Ks in 2018.

Pittsburgh Pirates

For the second time in nine games, Felipe Vazquez struggled in his last outing when he allowed a run and three hits over one-third of an inning. Vazquez has five saves on the year with a below-par ERA (5.40) and WHIP (1.44). Michael Feliz pitched great over his last nine innings (one run, five hits, and 14 Ks), but his ERA (5.00) still needs work after allowing four runs in his first game of the year. Kyle Crick looks like a new man after his first 4.2 innings in the majors. He’s yet to allow a run with seven Ks and only one walk. Crick has a live arm if he continues to throw strikes.

San Diego Padres

Brad Hand extended his scoreless streak to 8.1 innings with 16 Ks and six saves. Hand is 6-for-7 in save chances with strength in his ERA (1.59) and WHIP (1.06). Kirby Yates has been perfect over his last four innings with five Ks. Craig Stammen saw his 11.2 inning shutout run end on April 18th when he allowed three runs and four hits over an inning of work.

San Francisco Giants

Hunter Strickland got back on the save bandwagon over the last week when he tossed three shutout innings with four Ks and three saves. Strickland has a 1.64 ERA and 11 Ks over 11 innings with five saves in seven chances. Tony Watson allowed one run over 10.2 innings in 2018 with 14 Ks. Sam Dyson looked better over his last four games (no runs over 3.1 innings with no Ks).

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners pushed Edwin Diaz last week when he pitched in back-to-back games in Texas. On April 19th, Diaz earned a save when throwing 19 pitches. The next night, Edwin struggled with his command leading to only 18 strikes thrown over his 40 pitches. I hated to see the high volume of work especially after pitching the night before. Three days later, Diaz tossed a perfect inning with two Ks to earn his ninth saves in nine chances to lower his ERA to 0.79 with 21 Ks over 11.1 innings. Juan Nicasio pitched three shutout innings over the last week or so with no walks and a strikeout.

 Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals

Greg Holland is still looking for his first saves with the Cardinals. His arm has looked much better over his last three games (no runs over three innings with four Ks). Over his last six games, Bud Norris has 4.05 ERA and 1.50 WHIP with ten Ks over 6.2 innings while picking up four saves. Dominic Leone hasn’t allowed a run over his last 4.2 innings with four Ks.

Tampa Bay Rays

After a poor seven-game run (seven runs and 19 baserunners over six innings), Alex Colome pitched two no-hit shutout innings with no walks and three Ks leading to a pair of wins. Alex is 4-for-6 in save conversion with a poor ERA (7.00) and WHIP (2.22). Jose Alvarado was trending toward saves after posting a 1.13 ERA over his first eight innings with ten Ks, but he struggled in his last two games (three runs and three baserunners over three innings with three Ks). Sergio Romo struggled in his last two games (three runs and five baserunners over two-thirds of an inning).

Texas Rangers

Keone Kela still hasn’t blown a save in three opportunities, but he did struggle over the last week. He allowed three runs and six baserunners over his last 1.1 innings with two Ks leading to a loss and a save. Kevin Jepsen lost his way in his last game on April 23rd when he allowed four runs, four baserunners, and a home run over one inning. Chris Martin picked up 21 saves in Japan in 2016 when he posted a 1.07 ERA over 50.2 innings with 57 Ks. Over his first 11.1 innings in 2018 with the Rangers, Martin has a 3.18 ERA with 12 Ks. Possible dark horse for saves if Kela trips up.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Red Sox beat Roberto Osuna for a pair of runs in the 9th on April 24th to blow his first save in seven chances. Osuna has a 1.74 ERA over his 10.1 innings with nine Ks. Seung Hwan Oh allowed a hit or more in all ten games this year. Over his last four innings, Oh hasn’t allowed a run with seven hits, no walks, and five Ks. Ryan Tepera allowed three runs over 11.1 innings with 14 Ks.

Washington Nationals

Sean Doolittle is 4-for-4 in save conversions with a 2.70 ERA and 19 Ks over ten innings. Batters only have three hits against Doolittle. The Mets drilled Ryan Madsen for six runs and six baserunners over two-thirds of an inning last week. His ERA fell to 6.35 while also showing disaster in his WHIP (1.85). Brandon Kintzler extended his scoreless run to eight innings with three hits, four walks, and nine Ks.

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