The National League West is another top-heavy division, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants again sure to make things interesting all the way to the end of the season. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies would need tons of things to go right to have a chance to compete, and the lowly San Diego Padres are projected to be the worst team in baseball in 2017, with many projections putting them over 100 losses. Still, there are pitchers with fantasy value coming from each and every NL West team.
Today we are here to discuss the closer depth chart for the NL West, including fantasy baseball items like closers, saves and holds. To read about the other divisions, just click here.
Here's a look at the back of the bullpen depth charts for the division.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Closer: Fernando Rodney
Volatility Rating: Extremely Volatile (like a Fernando Rodney ninth inning)
The Arizona Diamondbacks, for some reason, signed 40-year-old reliever Fernando Rodney to a one year, $2.75 million contract to be their closer. Rodney was excellent in the NL West last season, pitching to a pristine 0.31 ERA in 28 2/3 innings with the Padres before being traded to the Miami Marlins and putting up a putrid 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings. If he can pitch for the DBacks like he did for the Padres, he'll obviously be an excellent closer worthy of a spot in every fantasy league. However, Rodney is known about as well for his inconsistency as he is for his arrows after a save. His position as closer is one of the most volatile in the league, making him less than a must-own in standard formats. In deeper leagues or NL-only, he's worth a look simply based on position scarcity.
Jake Barrett worked as Arizona's closer for a period last season, and overall pitched to a 3.49 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. He walked 28 in that span and posted a 1.26 WHIP. None of those numbers are ideal closer numbers, but he may be the guy Arizona turns to if (when?) Rodney falters. Another option would be Enrique Burgos. Burgos was also riding the Arizona closer carousel for a bit last season, but despite over a strikeout per inning (43 Ks in 41 1/3), he posted an ugly 5.66 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. He seems to have "closer stuff" but that doesn't matter if guys are walking and getting hits in bunches. Burgos has a chance to put it together, but he's not even a deep league option at this point. The DBacks bullpen could be one of the worst in baseball in 2017.
Fantasy must-own: None
Worth fantasy consideration: Fernando Rodney (NL-only and deep mixed leagues)
Closer: Adam Ottavino
Volatility Rating: Questionable
The Colorado Rockies always have a hard time assembling a solid pitching staff due to playing their home games in the thin air of Denver. Their bullpen, at least, looks like it could be a strong point this season, however. Adam Ottavino is set to enter the Spring as the team's closer after saving seven games last season. He posted a 2.67 ERA and nice tidy 0.93 WHIP in 27 innings, striking out 35. The Rockies also signed former Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland to strengthen their bullpen corps. Holland is coming off of Tommy John Surgery and experienced significantly diminished velocity, so what he'll be able to do remains mostly a mystery. If he's the old Greg Holland and Ottavino falters, there's an excellent chance he'll take over the ninth inning. Still, Ottavino will have the job heading into camp, and would have to lose it himself first, regardless of Holland's performance.
Lefty Jake McGee is another late inning option despite his struggles last season, his first in Colorado. He saved 15 games with a 4.73 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. He wasn't good overall, but has closing experience and may step in if necessary. While trusting any Colorado pitcher is a hard sell, Ottavino is the one to own from the Rockies bullpen for now and maybe for the whole season.
Fantasy must-own: Adam Ottavino (all formats assuming a strong Spring)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Closer: Kenley Jansen
Volatility Rating: Rock Solid
The Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to be one of the best teams in baseball in 2017, and they have the elite closer that an elite team needs. After flirting with the Miami Marlins and a few other teams, Kenley Jansen eventually re-signed with the Dodgers on a five year, $80 million deal. Last season, he saved 47 games with a 1.83 ERA and a ridiculous 0.67 WHIP. His 104 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings were excellent as well. He enters the season with as strong a hold on the closer role as anyone in baseball. Not only because of how great he is, but also because of how mediocre the rest of the Dodgers bullpen is. Pedro Baez is the team's primary setup man, and that sound you just heard was the collective groan of millions of Dodgers fans nationwide. Baez put up respectable numbers- a 3.04 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 83 strikeouts in 74 innings to go with 23 holds- but seemed to choke when it mattered most, blowing several games for the Dodgers in critical moments. Still, he should be a decent source of holds and could get the first chance at the ninth inning if Jansen gets hurt.
Grant Dayton is another interesting bullpen arm in Los Angeles. He came out of nowhere last season to post a 2.05 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts in only 26 1/3 innings. He's unlikely to work any ninth innings, but he should be a good source of holds and will likely go undrafted in most leagues. Finally, Sergio Romo recently joined the Dodgers, signing a free agent contract after spending his entire career with the rival San Francisco Giants. He'll work in a setup role for the Dodgers and should be a good source of holds as well.
Fantasy must-own: Kenley Jansen (every league ever)
San Diego Padres
Closer: Brandon Maurer
Volatility Rating: Slightly Volatile
The San Diego Chargers had a bad season, then announced that they were moving to Los Angeles. The San Diego Padres are almost certainly going to have an even worse season, but the only good sign is they definitely won't be moving once they've made their fans suffer through it. The Padres are currently projected to be the worst team in baseball in 2017, with many projection systems putting them beyond 100 losses. Still, there are some intriguing arms in the San Diego bullpen. Brandon Maurer ended last season as the team's closer and enters this season in the same spot. He saved 13 games last season and put up a 4.52 ERA/1.26 WHIP with 72 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings. None of those numbers are great, but as the incumbent closer, he enters camp with a decent hold on the job.
An actually elite relief pitcher waits in the wings, however, as Carter Capps is hopping and skipping back from Tommy John Surgery. Capps, acquired from the Miami Marlins for what amounts to the change in between couch cushions for a Major League team, posted an unreal 1.16 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 31 innings in 2015 before missing all of the 2016 season. He's an absolutely dominant reliever and should be ready for the beginning of the season. He'll start off as a late inning setup man, but could quickly work his way into the closer role, where he'd immediately be an elite option despite the overall woes of the Padres as a team. Ryan Buchter also has an outside shot at fantasy relevance, but will more likely work in middle relief. If elevated to a setup role, however, he would be a worthwhile add in deeper holds leagues.
Fantasy must-owns: None for now, Carter Capps perhaps soon
San Francisco Giants
Closer: Mark Melancon
Volatility Rating: Solid
The San Francisco Giants bullpen was an absolute dumpster fire last season, costing the team several games and eventually a chance to advance in the post season. So they went out and did something about it, signing closer Mark Melancon to a four year, $62 million dollar contract. Melancon saved 47 games last season while putting up a 1.64 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. His strikeout numbers have always been solid but never elite, but Melancon is still an excellent fantasy closer regardless.
Hunter Strickland and Will Smith are both solid choices in holds leagues, but Derek Law may actually be the "next man up" for the ninth inning role if Melancon were to suffer any kind of injury. For now, Melancon should be owned throughout all of fantasy baseball, with Strickland and Smith owned in holds leagues and Law on watch lists.
Fantasy must-owns: Mark Melancon (all formats)