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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 15

edwin diaz fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers closers saves

It's (almost) the All-Star Break, folks! Even though all teams have already played at least 81 games, the break is always looked at as the midpoint of the season, with the first "half" always looked at as the games before the break and the second "half" made up of all the games after. Bullpens tend to change dramatically around this time because shortly after the break comes the trade deadline!

This year, the deadline is set for August 2nd, and we're sure to see big-name players make their way to new teams throughout the end of July and the very beginning of August. Big moves can make big differences, but small bullpen moves can as well. Keep following Rotoballer for up-to-the-minute coverage of anything trade-related, but you came here for bullpen news right now, and bullpen news is what you're going to get!

Be sure to also keep an eye on our RotoBaller Fantasy Baseball Closers and Saves Bullpen Depth Charts. They're updated daily, or sometimes even more often in this wild 2022 baseball season. 

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


 Texas Rangers - Bullpen and Closers News

Rangers closer Joe Barlow was doing fine in the ninth inning in Texas. He was certainly nothing special (19.0 K%) and plenty of metrics showed regression was coming (5.21 xERA), but his on-field showing was fine. He had 13 saves in 17 chances and a 3.26 ERA. Early this week though, manager Chris Woodward decided to "alleviate some stress" on Barlow and "allow for a reset" by taking him out of the closer's role. A few days later, although seemingly unrelated, Barlow landed on the injured list with a blister on his right index finger. Woodward said there would be a committee approach in the meantime, but Brett Martin is off to a good start with two solid saves and looks like he could be the favorite ahead of guys like Dennis Santana and Jose Leclerc.

Risers: Brett Martin
Fallers: Joe Barlow


Washington Nationals - Bullpen and Closers News

Nationals closer Tanner Rainey was in the middle of a strong bounce-back season after his atrocious 2021, but it looks like it may come to an abrupt end. Rainey was placed on the 60-day injured list with a sprained UCL. He'll miss at least two months, and there's a good chance he won't be able to pitch again this season. Rainey had pitched to a 3.30 ERA, with 12 saves and a 28.1 K%. With him hurt, the Washington ninth inning should go to Kyle Finnegan or Carl Edwards Jr. Steve Cishek is also in the bullpen and boasts the most closing experience. We'll likely see a committee at least to start until a hot hand takes over. However, the Nationals bullpen is sure to change after the trade deadline, so stay tuned.

EDIT: Nationals manager Davey Martinez officially named Kyle Finnegan "the guy" in the Nationals bullpen, so he's the fantasy add.

Risers: Kyle Finnegan, Carl Edwards Jr.
Fallers: Tanner Rainey


Atlanta Braves - Bullpen and Closers News

Bullpen depth is one of the key things a contending team needs, and the defending champion Atlanta Braves showed just that over these past few weeks. Closer Kenley Jansen spent some time on the injured list due to an irregular heartbeat, and setup men A.J. Minter and William Smith filled in admirably. Jansen was activated this week and pitched a scoreless inning on Wednesday night. Before that, he hadn't pitched since June 26th. In the time Jansen was gone, Minter picked up four saves while allowing only one run and Smith picked up three saves while allowing just one run of his own. The Braves bullpen is one of the best in baseball and should continue to be as the season goes on. Jansen will have the most value in standard leagues, but most of the members of the Braves bullpen will have fantasy value in holds formats.

Risers: Kenley Jansen
Fallers: A.J. Minter, William Smith


Short Relief - Other Bullpen News

-Corey Knebel picked up a save this week and has been much better lately, but the Phillies ninth inning will still mostly go to Seranthony Dominguez and Brad Hand.

-Paul Sewald is more or less the official closer in Seattle now. They may still call it a committee, but Sewald is out there in the ninth with a lead much more often than anyone else. Case in point: he saved both games of a doubleheader this week.

-Alexis Diaz and Hunter Strickland seem like the best bets in the Cincinnati bullpen, although that doesn't really make either of them actually good bets.

-Clay Holmes pitched poorly. That seems newsworthy, given how rarely it happens.

-Adam Ottavino looks like he's jumped Seth Lugo in the Mets bullpen hierarchy and has been the main setup guy ahead of closer Edwin Diaz.

-Yerry De Los Santos is emerging as the main setup guy in Pittsburgh, and could take over as closer if the Pirates end up trading closer David Bednar at the deadline.

-Lou Trivino's overall numbers don't look good at all, but he's pitching well lately and picking up saves in the process. His value is likely temporary though, as he's a prime trade candidate and won't close for a new team.

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