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 9 Waiver Wire

There are currently at least NINE bullpens in Major League Baseball operating with a closer-by-committee approach. While it has been heavily discussed and essentially proven to be the best option in a "real" game, it sure makes for a headache in the fantasy baseball world where there can oftentimes be a bicycle race (✔) to get the most saves.

A few bullpens are defaulting back to what they used to do, with managers essentially admitting that they may have jumped the gun in removing a closer after one or two bad appearances. Still, it's getting harder and harder to keep track of what's going on with relief pitchers these days, so keep an eye on this weekly article and the depth charts to stay one step/inning/save ahead of the rest of your league.

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 9

Atlanta Braves

After weeks of me recommending Luke Jackson and adding him to my own main fantasy team, he had a bad outing and the Braves decided to try Sean Newcomb in the ninth inning instead. That didn't last long, as Jackson is right back in the closer's role where he belongs. Maybe we should temper our expectations a bit and understand that his leash is shorter than it might have seemed, but Newcomb is not the answer in the ninth and does not have the swing-and-miss stuff that Jackson features. He was likely dropped in a lot of leagues, so it's worth taking a look at the waiver wire: if he's there, get him on your team.

Boston Red Sox

Ryan Brasier was on thin ice after some bad performances last week. This week, he performed...badly, again. The closer's role in Boston doesn't belong to anyone right now, as they look like they're going with a committee approach to the ninth inning. Matt Barnes is the best pitcher in that bullpen, but he's likely to still be used in the highest leverage situations regardless of inning. He could start earning a few more saves here and there though since there won't be anyone waiting around for the ninth. Brandon Workman and Marcus Walden should see save opportunities as well, and Brasier should make his way back into the mix sooner or later. Keep an eye on the Red Sox bullpen to see how things shake up, but for right now Barnes is looking like the only one worth owning in most formats.

Baltimore Orioles

The 2019 Orioles were never going to be a great source of saves, but at least they were entering the season with Mychal Givens, a guy who can strike other guys out, as their full-time closer. A full-time closer, even on the worst team in baseball, is still worth something in fantasy. Givens went ahead and worked himself right out of the closer's role though, leaving the Orioles with yet another committee. Shawn Armstrong seems to be leading that committee, with Paul Fry and Branden Kline along for the ride. Armstrong is the pick up here for owners desperate for saves, but he's not a guy that you'll need to run to the wire to pick up in most formats.


Short Relief

  • It looks like it's still Shawn Kelley in Texas, but probably not for long. Jose Leclerc was working his way back into significant innings before shoulder stiffness and calf soreness forced him to take a little time off. I still think it's Leclerc's job before the end of June, but Kelley has been solid in the meantime.
  • Pedro Strop should be back in the Chicago Cubs bullpen this weekend, but it's unclear how the roles will shake up. Steve Cishek has been solid as the leader of the committee, but Strop might step back into the closer's role he had before he got hurt and move everyone else down an inning. Stay tuned.
  • Since May 15, the Tampa Bay Rays have had only three save opportunities. Two of those have gone to Jose Alvarado, and the other to Diego Castillo. That's likely the way things will shake up in Tampa Bay all season, it's a full-on committee approach but Alvarado and Castillo will be the two arms most commonly seen in the ninth inning.


Roster Moves of the Week


Shawn Armstrong, Baltimore Orioles - If your team is desperate for saves, Armstrong might be worth looking at on the waiver wire. He's a decent enough pitcher that he should pick up saves on most of the times he gets save chances, but he's just part of a committee and not great in any other categories, so he's not someone that needs to be owned in most formats.

Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves - Just in case Jackson was dropped with the whole Newcomb experiment last week, he needs to be picked back up immediately.


Sean Newcomb, Atlanta Braves - Yeah, that didn't happen.

Mychal Givens, Baltimore Orioles - Givens is no longer the closer, and a middle reliever on a bad team has no fantasy value. Even if he might get the job back eventually, he's not worth keeping on your roster until then.


Best of the Week

Brad Hand, Cleveland Indians - 3 2/3 IP, 3 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Cleveland closer Brad Hand had yet another strong week, saving three games and striking out six while allowing no runs but two walks and three hits.

Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies - 3 1/3 IP, 3 SV, 7 K, 2.70 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

Phillies closer-by-committee leader Hector Neris saved three games this week, striking out seven batters while allowing a run on two hits and a walk. It's the first appearance this season for a Phillies pitcher on the Best of the Week list.

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers - 4 IP, 3 SV, 3 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Tigers closer Shane Greene had an interesting week, mostly because he didn't really pitch well, but his numbers ended up being quite good for fantasy purposes. Greene allowed five runs in just four innings, but all five runs were unearned so his ERA stayed a pristine 0.00 for the week.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

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

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs is in the books, and hopefully you're still writing another chapter in it. Week 14 was absolutely brutal from an injury perspective, with several big name players getting carted off the field and burying multitudes of fantasy teams in the process. Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Devante Parker, Alshon... 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 15 Le'Veon Bell (flu) is back at practice and should return for TNF. Bilal Powell (ankle, flu) is likely... Read More

Week 14 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 14, the quarterback position was littered with surprises. Drew Brees dropped over 40 fantasy points on a 49ers Defense that's given up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season and Jameis Winston hung 456 yards and 5 touchdowns on a Colts Defense that's been solid against the pass all year. Mitch... Read More

The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 15)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More

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 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 15 is here and for those of you that won the first week of your fantasy playoffs, congratulations. If you had a bye week, good luck to you this week. Kicker lives still matter, and three different kickers had 15 or more points last week. Three different kickers outscored Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick... Read More

FAAB Bidding - Week 15 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... 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

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