Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


2019 Bullpen Outlooks - American League West

Last up in our coverage of the bullpens in each division is the American League West. The AL West has some solid bullpens and some huge question marks. Two teams feature closers who are brand new to their team and the other three will have relievers returning to their roles. There are both high-upside and uninspiring-but-reliable guys in each bullpen.

Despite a likely top-heavy division, there should still be fantasy value coming out of each AL West city. We'll take a look team-by-team and see who are the obvious adds, and who might be a hidden gem under the bullpen dirt.

Let's ride the bullpen cart through the bullpens of the American League West. Be sure to also check out our full fantasy baseball closer depth charts for each team, including holds candidates and setup men.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Houston Astros

Closer: Roberto Osuna
Volatility Rating: Solid
Other Relevant RP:  Ryan Pressly, Chris Devenski, Hector Rondon

The Houston Astros have the deepest bullpen in the American League West. It starts at the top with closer Roberto Osuna. Osuna's not a good dude, but he's a good closer. He missed 75 games last season while serving a suspension stemming from a domestic violence incident. He ended up pitching in 38 games, collecting 21 saves and posting a 2.37 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP. He didn't strike out as many batters as he had in previous seasons though, posting a pedestrian 7.58 K/9.

Setting up Osuna will be some combination of Ryan Pressly, Chris Devenski, and Hector Rondon. Rondon served as the team's closer for stretches last season, posting 15 saves and a 3.20 ERA. He'll return to the Astros bullpen, but he'll be behind Osuna. Ryan Pressly was acquired from the Twins last season and ended up with a 2.54 ERA and 101 strikeouts. He could be the primary setup man and should be a strong reliever in holds leagues.

Fantasy Must-Own: Roberto Osuna (all formats), Ryan Pressly (all holds leagues)


Los Angeles Angels

Closer: Cody Allen
Volatility Rating: Solid
Other Relevant RP: Ty Buttrey, Justin Anderson, Cam Bedrosian

The Los Angeles Angels had a decent closer emerge last season in the form of Blake Parker. They then let him go for nothing after the season, non-tendering him and watching him sign with the Twins. The Angels did go out and get Cody Allen, the former Cleveland closer, to add to their bullpen. Allen was unhittable at times last season, but very, very hittable at other times. In total, he ended up saving 27 games but posted a troubling 4.70 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. There's upside with Allen, but there's significant risk as well.

Backing him up and setting him up will be Ty Buttrey, Justin Anderson, and Cam Bedrosian. Buttrey came out of nowhere last season to post some impressive numbers before two poor end of season performances skewed his numbers. Buttrey was shut down due to knee bursitis before the season ended, and the injury was clearly affecting him in his last two outings. Going into those appearances, he had a sparkling 0.59 ERA. He came out of those last two outings with a 3.31 mark. He's not going to be 0.59-ERA good this season, but a clean bill of health and some innings at the big league level under his belt could lead to a solid season as a setup man and make him a valuable piece in holds leagues.

Fantasy Must-Own: Cody Allen (AL-only and deeper mixed leagues), Ty Buttrey (holds leagues)


Oakland Athletics

Closer: Blake Treinen
Volatility Rating: Solid
Other Relevant RP: Lou Trivino, Joakim Soria, Fernando Rodney

The Oakland A's will bring back one of baseball's best closers to their ninth inning in 2019. Blake Treinen was amazing last season, saving 39 games and posting a minuscule 0.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP with an even 100 strikeouts. He should be one of the first closers drafted in any format this season. He'll be setup by a solid mix of veterans Joakim Soria, Fernando Rodney, and Lou Trivino. Seasoned fantasy baseball players know better than to ever trust Fernando Rodney as a closer, but his value in holds leagues could actually be significant. Soria should return solid value as well, with Trivino perhaps being the best bet out of the three.

Fantasy Must-Own: Blake Treinen (all formats, should be one of the first closers drafted), Lou Trivino (holds leagues)


Seattle Mariners

Closer: Hunter Strickland
Volatility Rating: Questionable
Other Relevant RPs: Anthony Swarzak

The Seattle Mariners had one of the best closers in baseball last season, but they traded him to the Mets this offseason. They then signed former Giants closer Hunter Strickland in what may be the biggest bullpen downgrade of the year. Still, Strickland seems set to be handed the ninth inning, and that could be fantasy significant. He saved 14 games last season, posting a 3.97 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with just 37 strikeouts. He's essentially the definition of an average reliever, although he's shown signs of upside now and then. Given his general struggles combined with Mariners manager Scott Servais already saying, "there may not be a set closer on a particular night," Strickland is a hard sell in most fantasy formats.

Working behind or perhaps alongside Strickland will be Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak was an impressive reliever before a nightmare 2018 season made a lot of people forget his solid numbers in the past. He could be a worthy reliever in holds leagues, but should not be owned in any standard leagues unless the Mariners switch gears and give him the ninth.

Fantasy Must-Own: None, although keep an eye on both Strickland and Swarzak to see how things work out in the Seattle bullpen.


Texas Rangers

Closer: Jose Leclerc
Volatility Rating: Solid
Other Relevant RPs: Jesse Chavez, Shawn Kelley

The Texas Rangers quietly had one of baseball's best closers in the second half of last season. Jose Leclerc stormed into the closer's role and never looked back. He posted a 1.56 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, saved 12 games, and struck out 85 batters in 57 2/3 innings. To avoid any possible questions, manager Chris Woodward already went ahead and named Leclerc the team's closer in January. He's a must-own in any format.

Leclerc will be set up by veteran relievers Jesse Chavez and Shawn Kelley. Both struck out about a batter per inning and posted solid sub-three ERAs in 2018, but there is more upside in the other setup men in the AL West bullpens. In deeper leagues that count holds, Kelley would be the preferred add slightly over Chavez.

Fantasy Must-Own: Jose Leclerc (all formats)

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

Today’s Most Viewed Players

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Todd Gurley was not on the final injury report and is expected to play. David Johnson (ankle) will... Read More

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 7

In Week 6, Julio Jones didn't score, but he came through with a decent fantasy day, going over 100-yards receiving. Brandin Cooks brutal Week 6 showing was a little bit of a surprise given his 2018 track record against the 49ers, but the Rams offensive line was overwhelmed which led to a rough day for... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 7

Welcome to our Week 7 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More

Week 7 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that bye weeks are in full swing; streaming becomes a more viable and almost necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions throughout the season could easily be the difference in winning a championship. Each week, I... Read More

Pass Rush vs QB Matchups to Watch - Week 7

It's Week 7 and the injuries just keep piling up. Heading into this week, six different teams will be starting quarterbacks that were not their opening-day starters, and that doesn't take into account teams like the Indianapolis Colts or Kansas City Chiefs, who just lost quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) for at least three weeks. To... Read More

Inside the Tent - Week 7 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 7) - Targets and Avoids

Another week, more upsets. The Cowboys, Chiefs and Chargers all went down knocking out about 15-20 percent of remaining entrants in survivor pools, including myself. The Baltimore and New England wins were never in doubt, but the Redskins and Packers just barely squeaked out wins. If you've made it this far, you've done a job... Read More

A Necessary Guide to Streaming Tight Ends in 2019

Okay, follow my instructions, keep calm, and everything is going to be alright. Don't panic yet! We've burned almost half of the football fantasy season, if we assume playoffs start in Week 14. So far, it's been a wild one, and as expected, the tight end position has been as unpredictable as ever. We all... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 6 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed to help you fulfill... Read More

Buys and Sells - The King's Guide for Week 7

Not every football fan is a baseball fan. But many of us sports aficionados did follow the game for awhile, and still do. At some point, many of have witnessed a trade, where a team out of contention dealt away a star player for some minor leaguers. One team received an immediate impact player, while... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system.   NFL Matchup Ratings - Weekly Lineup Projections FLEX RB WR TE QB DEF K ** click column headers to sort table Player... Read More

Week 7 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

We're almost halfway through the NFL season already. Time really does fly. At this point in the year, you should know whether your fantasy squad is a pretender or contender for a fantasy title. You may only be missing a couple of key pieces. If so, you should certainly consider trading for a player or... Read More

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 7 (Top 100)

Luckily for fantasy owners in IDP leagues, Week 7 sees the return of Darius Leonard to the field (and our top 10 ranks), as well as the Bears Defense. While perennial stud Luke Kuechly, exciting rookie Devin Bush, and surprising DPOY candidate Shaquil Barrett are on bye, we aren't losing too much from the player... Read More