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Closers and Saves Report - Week 7 Waiver Wire

Let's talk about a Crazy Little Thing Called Saves. (Count it ✔) The Braves might have accidentally stumbled into one of the best closers in baseball. The Twins and Mariners continue to play the messy bullpen game, but it looks like maybe the Rays are settling into some kind of routine?

The top two relievers in the Cubs bullpen are on the IL, but rather than a committee, someone has stepped up and seemingly taken the reins. The Phillies looked like they had a closer ready to go, then he disappeared. Meanwhile, the Angels discovered the best thing to do with their best reliever (and it isn't "make him the closer").

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.

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Bullpen News for Week 7

Atlanta Braves

Soooo...Luke Jackson, right folks? I've been (don't say it don't say it don't say it) Lukewarm on him for the most part, but he keeps proving me wrong. All of a sudden, Luke Jackson might be one of the few remaining elite closers in baseball. On Opening Day, he gave up a grand slam to Rhys Hoskins. Since then though? He's given up just one run. That's it. Just one. So Luke Jackson has allowed five runs this season, and four of them came on one swing of the bat on the first game of the year. He was drafted by the Rangers in 2010 so he's been around for a while, but his 19 games this season is already almost halfway to his career high. This is his first time in a significant role, but despite the lack of experience, most of his peripheral stats point toward continued success. At this point, Jackson needs to be owned in all formats and, at least until he shows otherwise, should be treated as an elite ninth-inning option.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are the masters of the "Your Fantasy Team Doesn't Matter To Us" game, but it looks like they might be settling into a somewhat consistent ninth-inning option. Jose Alvarado and Emilio Pagan have both looked like the closer at different points this season, but they're both being used in key moments, even in the middle innings sometimes. Diego Castillo, meanwhile, has emerged as the more-consistent saves option. He leads the team in saves and seems like the only one manager Kevin Cash "saves" for the later innings. That being said, everything in the Rays bullpen is subject to rapid change, so who knows? For now though, Castillo looks like the one to own in Tampa Bay.

Los Angeles Angels

The best reliever in the Angels bullpen is Ty Buttrey. Angels manager Brad Ausmus knows that, so he makes sure Buttrey and his 0.86 ERA are available at the most crucial points in the game. Sometimes, that can be as early as the sixth inning. Instead of pigeonholing his best reliever into the closer's role, Ausmus has made Buttrey into his fireman reliever: a guy who comes in when he's needed most, regardless of inning. That means that someone else has to take the role traditionally reserved for a ninth-inning-winning-by-three-runs-or-fewer reliever, and that's been Hansel Robles. Robles is no Buttrey, but he's been pretty solid himself and should be in line for plenty of save opportunities going forward.

Philadelphia Phillies

It looked like the Phillies had finally settled on a closer after David Robertson got hurt, as Hector Neris saved a few games and looked like he was being saved for the ninth inning by manager Gabe Kapler. Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared. After a scoreless outing on May 3rd, Neris didn't pitch again for a week. He got two outs on May 10th, then didn't pitch again until five days later. It's hard to consider him the closer at this point, but he's still as good a bet as anyone else in Philly, especially with Robertson looking like he'll be out for another month or more.


Short Relief

  • The Cubs thought Brandon Morrow would be closing. He hasn't. Then the Cubs thought Pedro Strop would be closing. He did, but now he can't. Now, the Cubs have Steve Cishek closing. We'll see how long that lasts as his role certainly seems temporary, but for now, Cishek is worth a look in most formats.
  • The Twins keep mixing and matching in the ninth inning, and it almost went wrong on Wednesday, but Trevor Hildenberger made a mess then got sent down to Triple-A while Mike Morin barely cleaned up the mess but got credit for a save. Blake Parker and Taylor Rogers are still the ones to own in Minnesota.


Roster Moves of the Week


Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves- Seriously, forget everything you've read in this series about Luke Jackson in the past and check if he's still available on your league's waiver wire. He needs to be owned in all formats.

Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs- Cishek is still available in most leagues, and while he may only hold the role temporarily, he should be a good source of saves for the time being.

Hansel Robles, Los Angeles Angels- Ty Buttrey is the one putting up elite stats in the Angels bullpen, but Robles is the one putting up saves and that's what you need to see in standard leagues. Robles is available in most leagues and should be owned and started instead.


No immediate drops again this week, but anyone still holding A.J. Minter with their fingers crossed and go ahead and uncross while they click "drop"


Best of the Week

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees- 4 IP, 4 SV, 7 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.75 WHIP

Chapman was the only closer with four saves this week, helped out by his two-save Wednesday (as the Yankees took both ends of a doubleheader against the Orioles). He also struck out seven but did allow a solo home run and two other hits.

Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros- 3 IP, 2 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Not a perfect week for the Astros closer, but he had the most strikeouts among relievers with two saves. He struck out six in his three innings, allowing two hits and a walk in the process.

Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves- 6 IP, 3 SV, 8 K, 1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP

Luke "Maybe the Best Closer in Baseball" Jackson blew a save this week when he allowed his first run since Opening Day. Still, he did save three games and struck out eight batters, landing him in the top three for this week.


More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

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