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


Closers and Saves Report - Week 11 Waiver Wire

Hockey is over (congrats, Blues), basketball is done very soon, and football won't start for a while. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage: BASEBALL! School's out, the sun is beating down across America, it's summer folks. And that means baseball takes center stage. This season is already showing the importance of relief pitchers, and the emergence of bullpen committees across the league and more and more teams using openers is rearranging the landscape of relief pitching league wide.

This week, as Toronto watched their Raptors try to take home an NBA championship, their baseball team lost their closer to an injury. Meanwhile, the Seattle bullpen continued to be a mess while things seemed to take on a more specific shape in the Minnesota pen. Down in Texas, the Rangers showed that even closer committees are bigger there, with four guys taking on the role as the possible ninth-inning arm.

Take a look at our Closer Depth Chart, which is updated daily. Let's jump in and take a look at what's been going on in the bullpens around baseball.

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!


Bullpen News for Week 11

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays placed closer Ken Giles on the injured list this week due to elbow inflammation. Giles was having a great season, saving 11 games while blowing just one. He'd posted a sparkling 1.08 ERA backed up by a 1.15 FIP. His 42.4% K% and 7.1% BB% were also both elite rates. Giles told reporters he had a hard time recovering from back-to-back outings, but he doesn't expect to be on the shelf any longer than the required 10 days. Elbow issues are concerning though, so hopefully he's right. In the mean time, Toronto needs someone to close out games. Joe Biagini was the immediate favorite for the role, but he struggled in his first save chance and had to be bailed out by Daniel Hudson, who was able to earn his fist save of the season. Biagini and Hudson will likely split duties, and either can be picked up by owners desperate for a temporary source of saves. Neither guy is a must-own at this point, however.

Minnesota Twins

Blake Parker continues to struggle, and his current 4.37 ERA is actually better than how he's pitched (6.46 FIP). He's been slowly falling out of favor in the Twins bullpen, and it might not be long before he's back in middle relief at best. This week, Taylor Rogers, who has been amazing all year, was unavailable for a save chance. Instead of going with Parker, the Twins gave the ball to Trevor May, who was able to convert his first save of the year. Rogers has worked his way to the top of the Minnesota closer hierarchy and is clearly the arm to own for fantasy, but it looks like May could be jumping ahead of Parker in the committee. Keep an eye on how the three relievers are used this weekend.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers bullpen has been in flux all season, with Jose Leclerc starting out as closer, then getting demoted for Chris Martin, who was then replaced by Shawn Kelley, and now we're into an all out all-arms-on-deck approach. Rangers manager Chris Woodward announced that, "no one is the closer" in Texas, and the team would go with some mix of Leclerc, Kelley, Martin, and Jesse Chavez for closing opportunities. It still seems inevitable that Leclerc will take over the role and keep it for himself sooner or later, but it is certainly taking longer than anyone expected. Still, Leclerc is the long-term own here, but Kelley could still have value over the next couple of weeks.


Short Relief

  • Hunter Strickland had a setback in his rehab and won't be ready as soon as expected. He's still on his way back to the Seattle bullpen, but it won't be as soon as originally expected. Meanwhile, the Mariners bullpen is still a mess so Strickland has a chance to work his way into the ninth inning pretty quickly.
  • Miguel Castro earned a save for the Orioles when Mychal Givens was unavailable, but it seems like it's still mostly Givens' job.
  • Anthony Swarzak has been very good since joining the Braves. He's not a threat to Luke Jackson's closer role, but he has become a solid option in holds leagues.
  • Vince Velasquez seems like a solid late-game option in the Phillies bullpen all of a sudden. You could do worse in holds leagues, but there's not much there in standard leagues just yet.
  • Ian Kennedy came up with two saves this week, and it looks like he's taken the lead in the Royals bullpen. There's not a ton of value there, but he could sprinkle in a save or two a week going forward.


Roster Moves of the Week


Joe Biagini and/or Daniel Hudson, Toronto Blue Jays - With Ken Giles injured, Biagini and Hudson figure to split closer duties for a bit. Biagini was the immediate favorite, but he needed to be bailed out by Hudson in the first non-Giles save chance, so that may have already changed. Neither guy is a must-own, but anyone looking for a couple of saves over the next week or two could take a closer look at the bullpen of the north.

Hunter Strickland, Seattle Mariners - Strickland won't be back this week as expected, but he should still be back soon and he'll be rejoining a Mariners bullpen that has been a complete disaster of late. Strickland himself isn't guaranteed to not join forces in the disaster, but there's a chance he could stake his claim to the ninth inning fairly quickly. Owners willing to take the risk on a speculative add can look in his direction.

Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals - With two saves this week, Kennedy looks like he's become the guy to own out of the KC bullpen. He won't have a ton of value, but he's been very good this year and could provide a sprinkling of saves and strikeouts.


Blake Parker, Minnesota Twins - Parker is still officially part of the closer committee in Minnesota, so this may be jumping the gun a bit, but he's been pretty bad this season and it won't be long before the Twins realize that and relegate him to middle relief. If there's someone with more upside available on your waiver wire, Parker is absolutely not a guy you need to hang onto at this point.


Best of the Week

Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers - 4 1/3 IP, 3 SV, 9 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP

Brewers closer Josh Hader had a strong week, saving three games and striking out nine batters in just 4 1/3 innings. He did walk four, but when you don't allow a single hit all week, four walks are just fine thank you.

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants - 4 IP, 3 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Giants closer Will Smith put up a scoreless week, saving three games and striking out six. He did allow three hits and two walks, but none of those base runners were able to come around to score.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!

More Recent Articles


Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More

Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points,... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

It is almost inconceivable that we are progressing into the second week of fantasy postseason matchups. Congratulations to those of you whose teams are still competing in the playoffs. Your meticulous planning during the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your leagues' championships. This critical week provides the opportunity to... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

Week 15 is upon us, which means that even the holdovers who play in leagues with four team playoffs and no byes are now in fantasy playoff mode. This is it: the home stretch. Are there any wide receivers left on the waiver wire who can help you in the playoffs? Let's look at some... Read More

Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you. Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs in almost in the books, and if you're fortunate enough to have advanced then it's already time to start thinking about Week 15 lineups, especially for those who stream quarterbacks. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options available as eliminated owners have stopped making moves, and if you... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... Read More

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 14 Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Jared Cook has been ruled out of the game after... Read More

Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More

Week 14 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 14... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 14 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 14 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 14 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss Week 14. Adam Thielen (hamstring) has officially been ruled out. Le'Veon Bell... Read More

Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 14

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 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

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 14

In Week 13, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were the high-end options that had great matchups. Adams had a huge two-touchdown game while Hill only came up with 55 scoreless yards, falling victim to game flow as the Chiefs led from start to finish, scoring a defensive touchdown in the process. Several of the wide receivers... Read More

Week 14 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