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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 2

anthony bender fantasy baseball rankings closers saves draft sleepers waiver wire

Shoutout to baseball! We're back folks, and fantasy leagues are in full swing. There have already been some outstanding performances and some incredibly disappointing ones, in bullpens, rotations, positional players, and from managers too! We're all excited to have baseball back, and the frustration we feel certainly feels better than the no baseball we all feared.

Closers and Saves Report will go back to a format similar to last season's starting next week and will be a weekly article again. For this week though, we'll take a quick look at each bullpen and see where they stand based on our previous predictions from right before the season started. Let's go!

Be sure to 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. 

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AL East Closers and Bullpens

New York Yankees

As expected, Aroldis Chapman is leading the Yankees bullpen with Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green setting things up. This is one of the most stable and predictable bullpens in baseball.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox bullpen seemed mostly set, with new addition Jake Diekman and mid-2021 addition Hansel Robles expected to set up for returning closer Matt Barnes. Instead, it seems like they've gone with an all-out committee approach that has seen Barnes pitch as early as the sixth inning and Robles and Diekman each earning one save a piece. Barnes still seems like the best bet for saves long term, but this could be a messy one for a while.

Toronto Blue Jays

 The Blue Jays pen is set at the top, with Jordan Romano running things. Yimi Garcia and Adam Cimber have shared key setup duties, with Garcia getting the slight edge in holds for those in leagues where they count. 

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles were ready to go into the season with Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott as two of their main relievers, but both were traded to the Marlins before Opening Day. That leaves a whole bunch of question marks in the Baltimore bullpen, but for now it seems like Jorge Lopez might be the head of the committee with Dillon Tate and Paul Fry also making appearances. None of the Orioles relievers are guys that need to be rostered in standard fantasy leagues right now.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays bullpen, as always, is full of question marks, exclamation points, interrobangs, and other punctuation marks you've never heard of. But Andrew Kittredge did earn a save, and he was expected to be the saves leader in Tampa Bay, so maybe that's something? J.P. Feyereisen and plenty of others will see significant high-leverage innings too, but Kittredge remains the best of the confusing choices.


AL Central Closers and Bullpens

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers bullpen is pretty set with Gregory Soto holding the ninth. He's been underrated in most fantasy circles and could be a pretty nice draft value for those who grabbed him late. With the Tigers planning on at least trying to compete this season, Soto could see plenty of save chances. Michael Fulmer is a solid holds league option as well.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox bullpen was always pretty clear at the top, but got even clearer when Craig Kimbrel was traded to the Dodgers. Liam Hendriks has an iron-clad hold on the ninth inning now with no competition, but Kendall Graveman and Aaron Bummer are both great relievers themselves and should have plenty of holds league value.

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland bullpen expected to have James Karinchak, but he'll miss some time to start the season, leaving Bryan Shaw and Anthony Gose (the former outfielder!) to work ahead of closer Emmanuel Clase. It should be a mostly solid bullpen that will get stronger when Karinchak returns.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals bullpen is one of the least settled in the AL Central, but they have some solid pitchers in there and could end up being a good unit. Scott Barlow seems to be the early lead of the committee, with Josh Staumont and Amir Garrett wandering around near the end of games with a lead.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins bullpen is the other unsettled one in the Central. It was solid with Taylor Rogers in the ninth inning, but a trade sent him to San Diego and left the Twins bullpen as a committee. Emilio Pagan looks like the favorite for saves, and Jorge Alcala was in there too before he got hurt and headed to the IL. Jhoan Duran and Tyler Duffey will throw big innings for the Twins this season as well.


AL West Closers and Bullpens

Texas Rangers

The Rangers bullpen underwent a flurry of moves right before Opening Day, but that didn't give any clarity about who would be earning saves in Texas. For now, veterans Matt Bush and Greg Holland seem like the ones that will handle save chances, but Joe Barlow should stick around to pitch meaningful innings as well.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels bullpen was a problem last season, so they added some key pieces in the offseason to try to strengthen things. Raisel Iglesias will continue picking up saves, with Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera holding leads to get the game to their closer.

Oakland Athletics

There were some rumors about the A's trying to trade Lou Trivino before the season, and while that may still happen at some point, he's the closer in Oakland for now. Domingo Acevedo and A.J. Puk will work as they key setup men in the East Bay, with Deolis Guerra joining them once he's off the IL.

Houston Astros

The Astros bullpen is another very solid one, with Ryan Pressly at the top and likely to once again be one of the best closers in fantasy baseball. Ryne Stanek and newcomer Hector Neris will be the main setup guys going forward, but the Astros have some nice depth in their bullpen so things could change as the season progresses.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners entered the season as a full fledged committee, with no plans to have a set closer on Opening Day. Drew Steckenrider seems like the leader of the committee, but Paul Sewald is the more impressive pitcher and Diego Castillo has some closing experience. For now, it's been "Steck" seeing the most save chances, but Sewald is the better choice in leagues where holds count thanks to his strikeout upside. In Thursday's game, Sewald came in last after Steck and Castillo had pitched, so his arrow may be pointing straight up.


NL East Closers and Bullpens

Atlanta Braves

The Braves were already going to have a good bullpen this season, then they went ahead and added Kenley Jansen and now should have one of the best bullpens in the league. Jansen slid directly into the ninth inning, and Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, and plenty of other great relievers will bridge the game from their starters to Jansen.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins bullpen got a shot in the arm right before Opening Day, as the team made a trade with the Orioles to acquire Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott. Dylan Floro should be back from the injured list soon as well. For now, Anthony Bender has handled every save situation, but he's blown one and taken a loss in what was a tie game, leaving his job in jeopardy. Sulser should be next in line, but once Floro is back, the ninth inning could be his.

New York Mets

Don't tell Mets fans, but the Mets bullpen could actually be solid this season. Edwin Diaz has a knack for only giving up runs when it is least convenient (and he also has his pointing at home runs thing), but he's an excellent fantasy closer. Seth Lugo and Trevor May are both solid setup men as well.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies bullpen was the laughing stock of the league last season. They've improved there this season, and decided to make their defense the laughing stock instead. Corey Knebel will handle the ninth inning with lefties Brad Hand and Jose Alvarado holding leads on the way to the closer.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals have question marks throughout the roster, and the bullpen is no exception. Tanner Rainey and Kyle Finnegan figure to spend the season swapping save opportunities, with Sean Doolittle's previous experience maybe giving him some chances if the less experienced guys struggle. Rainey got his second save on Thursday, with Finnegan pitching the sixth inning, so maybe there's some clarity emerging from the Washington pen.


NL Central Closers and Bullpens

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs planned a committee to enter the season, and they've more or less stuck to it so far. Veteran David Robertson seems to have pitched his way to the top of the committee for now with two saves. Mychal Givens was solidifying himself in the eighth inning but then picked up a save on Friday night. Rowan Wick figured to be in there too, but he hasn't seen too many opportunities so far.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds bullpen is another AL Central committee since expected closer Lucas Sims had to start the season on the IL, with a couple of guys most baseball fans haven't heard of and also Hunter Strickland. So far, Art Warren and Tony Santillan seem to be the favorites for saves, but they'll all take a backseat to Sims whenever he's ready to return.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers bullpen is the only solid one in the division and one of the most solid in the league. Josh Hader continues as the ninth inning guy, with Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger both providing significant holds league value ahead of him.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates bullpen has some potentially solid arms, with David Bednar and Chris Stratton likely to share save chances throughout the season. Heath Hembree will work to set things up along with either of the guys who isn't the closer of the day ahead of him.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have some good bullpen arms but new manager Oli Marmol has specifically said that he doesn't want to lock guys into innings. Giovanny Gallegos remains the best fantasy choice if you have to roster a Cardinal (he's the only one with a save so far), but Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley look like they may get some chances too. Jordan Hicks, meanwhile, is now a member of the starting rotation.


NL West Closers and Bullpens

Arizona Diamondbacks

The DBacks solidified their bullpen by signing Mark Melancon, and he'll be the locked in closer as long as he stays healthy. Ian Kennedy and Noe Ramirez make for a solid pair of setup men as well. Arizona has some holes in the roster, but the bullpen shouldn't be much of an issue.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies signed Alex Colome and a lot of people thought that meant he'd be the closer right away. Manager Bud Black said that he prefers to have a closer who can strike guys out, which is something Colome has never excelled at. So it's been Daniel Bard seeing save chances with Colome setting up along with Carlos Estevez. Bard was outstanding in 2020 before struggling through most of 2021. If 2020 Bard is back, he could end up with significant fantasy value.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers bullpen figured to be decent enough even after losing Kenley Jansen, but it was unclear who exactly would lead their relief corps. That changed quickly when they matched up with the White Sox in a deal that sent closer Craig Kimbrel to Los Angeles. He immediately rose to the top of the bullpen hierarchy and could be one of the most valuable fantasy closers, having the job to himself on a team that's sure to win plenty of games. Blake Treinen and Daniel Hudson along with Alex Vesia will pitch in the late innings to get the game to Kimbrel's ninth.

San Diego Padres

The Padres bullpen was a complete mess and their closer seemed to be anyone's guess until a trade just before Opening Day sent Taylor Rogers from Minnesota to San Diego. He slides in as a bona-fide closer and has plenty of solid arms ahead of him like Robert Suarez, Austin Adams, and Pierce Johnson who figure to get the leads to the ninth.

San Francisco Giants

Giants manager Gabe Kapler let reporters know that Jake McGee was his closer this season. He then proceeded to use Camilo Doval as his closer. More mind games from Kapler, or did he just change his mind? Either way, based on Kapler's managing style, the Giants are unlikely to stick to one closer for too long, giving McGee, Doval, and Tyler Rogers all chances to close out games as the season moves along.

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