Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts

Florio's Bullpens and Saves Report - Monitoring for Future Closer Changes

Giovanny Gallegos - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Relief Pitchers, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Every week, I write about bullpens and I think “How much is going to change in the next week?” You would think it is not much, but a week can feel like a lifetime in some bullpens. And in others, you can go the entire season without any changes. But whether they are big or small or just eyeing a potential change down the road, I have you covered. 

And the changes are only beginning. The trade deadline shakes up bullpens across the league every year and we are yet to have any trades go down. But trust me, they are coming. And while it's impossible to guess exactly how things will change, it's fine to start looking ahead to teams that could be impacted. 

That is one thing I will start to do this week. While there have been no trades made, we can start to plan on what teams may opt to trade off some of their late-inning arms. It's never a bad idea to handcuff your closer or even add a reliever in one of these pens to attempt to get out in front of any trades. 

Featured Promo: Get any full-season MLB and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Team Sync platform, Premium articles, daily Matchup Rating projections, 15 lineup tools, DFS cheat sheets, Research Stations, Lineup Optimizers and much more! Go Premium, Win More!


Changing Bullpens for Fantasy Baseball

The Rockies' bullpen has been pretty straightforward this season. Pierce Johnson had picked up the first 11 saves for Colorado but has done so pitching to a 6.85 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. While he provided saves, it was unreliable giving up that sort of production. The last two saves have gone to Justin Lawrence, who has pitched to a 3.06 ERA, 2.62 xERA, and 1.08 WHIP with a 27 percent strikeout rate.

That’ll play for sure. On one hand, he appears to be the new closer on a team that likes to use one primary option. On the other hand, he pitches half his games in Coors Field. Because of that, keep your bids in check. I would recommend around 10 percent of your FAAB, but up to 12 or even 15 percent if you are desperate for saves, particularly for those in deeper leagues.

Daniel Bard remains an option here as well, but the longer we go without seeing him in the closer role, the more likely it becomes that he doesn't return to it this season. While he has a 0.55 ERA, the xERA is 7.02. Yikes!

The Cubs have been an inconsistent bullpen for much of the season, but things seem to have settled down. The Cubs now have two options that they trust in late-inning situations in Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay. In the last two weeks, two saves have gone to Leiter and one to Alzolay.

The bad part? Leiter leads the team with three saves all season. Still, he is the preferred option as he sports a 2.66 ERA, 3.46 xERA, and 0.89 WHIP with a 38 percent strikeout rate. Alzolay has a 2.25 ERA, 2.34 xERA, 0.86 WHIP, and a 26% strikeout rate. Leiter should be universally rostered, while Alzolay is in play in 12-team leagues or deeper. 

The White Sox have had four pitchers pick up a save already this season and that does not include Liam Hendriks, who returned last week. In the last week, he has picked up the lone save for the White Sox. Hendriks allowed a couple of runs in his first outing, and who can blame him given how emotional of a moment it was?

But in his two outings since, he has not allowed a base runner and struck out half the batters he has faced. Graveman should be started as long as he is getting saves, but Hendriks is coming. He is a great stash candidate that should be universally rostered. 

The Yankees bullpen has been extremely frustrating this season. In the last week, Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta picked up a save each. As much as the fantasy baseball community may like Michael King or call Ron Marianaccio a sleeper, those two have been the most consistent late-inning options for the Yankees.

Holmes remains the top arm to roster here, followed by Peralta. Oh, and Tommy Kahnle just returned this week as well and could work his way into the late-inning picture. But for now, Holmes and Peralta remain the two to roster. The rest are players to keep a close eye on as this situation can change quickly. 


Speculative Saves for Fantasy Baseball 

The Cardinals have had a changing of the guard when it comes to saves. They may still list Ryan Helsley as the lead closer, but he has one save in the last two weeks to Giovanny Gallegos’ three. It doesn’t matter that his ERA in that span is over 10. If he is getting the bulk of save opportunities, he needs to be rostered and started.

For now, both of the Cardinals' late-inning arms can be started in fantasy baseball. But if I had to choose between the two? Give me Gallegos, as he just has the much larger track record as a closer, and it's how the Cards bullpen operated last season. Jordan Hicks and Genesis Cabrera are fallback options if the other two continue to struggle. 

The Red Sox have a set closer in Kenley Jansen. But in the last two weeks, he has pitched to a 3.60 ERA, with a 1.40 WHIP and 14 percent walk rate. There is no reason to panic yet, but I have seen chatter on social media if a change could be coming, so I wanted to include them. The Red Sox could also toy with the idea of trading Jansen depending on the standings come July. Two other arms to know in this pen are Josh Winckowski and Chris Martin

The Mets have three relievers they trust in their bullpen, which leads to all three getting some save chances. There is a clear pecking order here among David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Brooks Raley. Robertson is the top arm to roster, but Ottavino is also worthy of rostering in 12-team leagues or deeper. Raley is an option for those in NL-only or 15-team leagues or deeper. 

The A’s may not have a set closer. If I had to guess, I would recommend Richard Lovelady and Trevor May as the top options to roster in this bullpen. The issue? The A’s have not picked up a save in the last month. I know I always advocate that you can find saves on bad teams -- but the A’s are a different level of bad. They are an embarrassment. Honestly, you're better off avoiding this bullpen altogether. 


Elite Strikeouts and Ratios for Fantasy Baseball

Hunter Harvey is in the midst of a strong campaign. He has pitched to a 3.33 ERA, 3.93 xERA, 1.00 WHIP, and a 31 percent strikeout rate. Not only can he provide strong ratios and strikeouts, but he also has three saves on the year already. Plus, not only is he working his way into the current saves picture, but he should be next in line if the Nationals trade Kyle Finnegan. Harvey is one of the top non-closer relievers to roster in fantasy baseball. 

Tanner Scott has struck out 44 percent of the batters he has faced in the last month, the fifth-highest among relievers with double-digit innings in that span. He is behind only Felix Bautista, Alexis Diaz, Camilo Doval, and Craig Kimbrel -- not bad company to be in. Plus, he gives you close to starter innings as a reliever.

In that span, he has pitched to a 1.29 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP. Save chances are currently going to Dylan Floro, but Scott is an injury away from potentially closing out games. Either way, he provides elite ratios and strikeouts, and a lot of innings. Scott is an arm for those looking to use a reliever rather than a low-end starting pitcher to get ratios. 

I have written about Aroldis Chapman a lot this season, despite the majority of saves going to Scott Barlow. But do not overlook Carlos Hernandez. He has pitched to a 4.45 ERA, 3.41 xERA, and 1.12 WHIP with a 33 percent strikeout rate. The Royals could trade one or both of Barlow and Chapman. If so, the young Hernandez could close out games for them in the second half of the season. He provides ratios and strikeouts now but could get a big boost in value after trades start to happen. 

Jason Foley has pitched to a 1.42 ERA, 3.31 xERA, and 1.03 WHIP with a 22 percent strikeout rate. He provides really strong ratios and already has two saves this season. The Tigers are quickly falling out of contention. Closer Alex Lange is under team control for a while, so he is no lock to be traded. If a trade was to go down, Foley would be next in line in this bullpen. Foley and Lange are the same age and under team control, so both could be involved in trade rumors. 

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio. 

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More Fantasy Baseball Player Profiles


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts


Anthony Davis2 hours ago

Aims To Play In All 82 Regular-Season Games
Larry Nance2 hours ago

Pelicans Hope To Have Larry Nance Jr. Ready For Season Opener
Zion Williamson2 hours ago

Worked On Being "Unguardable" In Offseason
Kenrich Williams2 hours ago

Fully Healthy Ahead Of New Season
Cameron Johnson3 hours ago

Misses Start Of Training Camp
Christian Koloko3 hours ago

Ruled Out Indefinitely
Geno Smith10 hours ago

Avoids Serious Injury
Pat Freiermuth10 hours ago

Likely Out 2-3 Weeks
Joe Ryan10 hours ago

To Start Game 3 If Needed
Philadelphia Phillies10 hours ago

Trea Turner Healthy For Wild-Card Series
Darren Waller10 hours ago

Has Another Dreadful Performance In Week 4
Javonte Williams10 hours ago

Shouldn't Miss Much Time
Daniel Jones11 hours ago

Sacked 11 Times In Blowout Loss
Corbin Burnes12 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Against Diamondbacks
Byron Buxton12 hours ago

Unlikely To Be On Roster For Wild-Card Series
Carlos Correa12 hours ago

Royce Lewis, Carlos Correa Expected To Be Ready For Wild-Card Series
Jordan Montgomery12 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Geno Smith13 hours ago

Returns In The Second Half
Geno Smith13 hours ago

Questionable To Return With Knee Injury
Bones Hyland13 hours ago

Likely To Be Backup Point Guard
Seattle Seahawks14 hours ago

Jamal Adams Will Not Return On Monday Night
Trey Murphy14 hours ago

III Could Be Back In November
Domantas Sabonis14 hours ago

Is Fully Healthy
Kevin Gausman14 hours ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Bryce McGowens14 hours ago

Dealing With Minor Injury
Gordon Hayward14 hours ago

Healthy Entering Camp
Matthew Stafford14 hours ago

"Should Be Good" For Week 5
Kyren Williams15 hours ago

Dealing With Hip Contusion
Saquon Barkley15 hours ago

Officially Inactive On Monday Night
Radim Simek15 hours ago

Opening Night Availability In Doubt
Ivan Miroshnichenko16 hours ago

Getting Strong Opportunity With Capitals
Jansen Harkins16 hours ago

Claimed Off Waivers By Penguins
Trevor Zegras16 hours ago

Ducks Agree To Three-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys16 hours ago

Cowboys Not Concerned With Micah Parsons' Injury
Josh Manson16 hours ago

Expected To Be Ready For Opening Night
New England Patriots16 hours ago

Matthew Judon, Christian Gonzalez Out Indefinitely
Buffalo Bills17 hours ago

Tre'Davious White Done For The Year
Kenny Pickett17 hours ago

Dealing With Bone Bruise
Jonathan Taylor17 hours ago

Could Play In Week 5
Evan Mobley17 hours ago

Adds Seven Pounds Of Muscle
Max Strus17 hours ago

Expects To Start This Season
Devin Vassell17 hours ago

Spurs Agree To Extension
Joe Burrow18 hours ago

Will Start In Week 5
Minnesota Twins18 hours ago

Royce Lewis Unsure If He'll Be Ready For Wild-Card Series
Brandon Woodruff18 hours ago

To Miss Wild-Card Series With Shoulder Injury
Devin Vassell20 hours ago

Wants To Remain With The Spurs
Tee Higgins20 hours ago

Says He Could Be Back This Week
Keldon Johnson20 hours ago

Ready To Show He's A Good Defender
Jonathan Taylor20 hours ago

To Practice Wednesday
Isaiah Livers20 hours ago

Out 6-8 Weeks With Ankle Sprain
Jonathan Isaac20 hours ago

Expected To Fully Participate In Training Camp
Desmond Ridder21 hours ago

Not Being Benched
Jimmy Garoppolo21 hours ago

To Remain Starter When Healthy
Luis Arraez21 hours ago

Expected To Return In Game 1?
Max Scherzer23 hours ago

Limited To Flat-Ground Work
Brandon Pfaadt23 hours ago

To Start Game 1 For D-Backs
Payton Pritchard23 hours ago

Celtics, Payton Pritchard Working On Extension
James Harden23 hours ago

Misses Media Day, Waiting For Trade
Malcolm Brogdon23 hours ago

Likely To Remain In Trade Discussions
Martin Truex Jr1 day ago

. Finishes 19th At Talladega
Alex Bowman1 day ago

Starts Strong But Finishes Poorly At Talladega
Drake Batherson1 day ago

Racks Up Four Points In Preseason Win
Kyle Busch1 day ago

Underwhelms At Talladega
Matthew Knies1 day ago

Shining In Preseason
Filip Chytil1 day ago

Progressing From Upper-Body Injury
Brad Keselowski1 day ago

Earns Crucial Stage Win At Talladega
Daniil Tarasov1 day ago

Doubtful For Start Of Season
Kyle Palmieri1 day ago

Has Started Skating But Remains Absent For Islanders
Samuel Savoie1 day ago

Undergoes Successful Surgery
Kevin Harvick1 day ago

Has Runner-Up Finish Stripped Due To DQ
Denny Hamlin1 day ago

Championship Hopes In Great Shape After Talladega
Ryan Blaney1 day ago

Wins Talladega, Advances To Round Of Eight
Jesús Luzardo1 day ago

Jesus Luzardo Set To Start Game 1
Tampa Bay Rays2 days ago

Tyler Glasnow Expected To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Zack Wheeler2 days ago

To Start Game 1 Of Wild-Card Series
Cole Sillinger2 days ago

Might Start Campaign In AHL
2 days ago

Brandon Sutter Announces Retirement
Ilya Mikheyev2 days ago

Questionable For Opening Night
Conor Timmins2 days ago

Set To Miss Time
Robby Fabbri2 days ago

Not Expected To Be Out For Long
John Gibson2 days ago

Escapes Serious Injury
Justin Steele2 days ago

No Longer Starting On Sunday
NASCAR2 days ago

J.J Yeley Tries To Duplicate Spring Talladega Magic
Kyle Larson2 days ago

Begins Fourth At Talladega On Sunday
Erik Jones2 days ago

Contends Well At Talladega And It Shows
Ryan Preece2 days ago

Could Use A Little Luck At Talladega
Austin Dillon2 days ago

Starts 14th At Talladega On Sunday
Brennan Poole2 days ago

Could Move Up On Sunday
Daniel Suarez2 days ago

Keeps Improving At Talladega
Harrison Burton2 days ago

Has Some Good News Sunday
Austin Cindric2 days ago

Cracks Top Ten In Qualifying
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Likes To Lead Laps At Talladega
NASCAR2 days ago

Bubba Wallace Runs Well At Talladega
Tyler Reddick2 days ago

Starts 13th At Talladega On Sunday Again
Chase Elliott2 days ago

Worth A Shot At Talladega
Alex Bowman3 days ago

Will Start 20th At Talladega
Félix Bautista3 days ago

Felix Bautista To Undergo Tommy John Surgery
Philipp Kurashev3 days ago

Sits Out Blackhawks Morning Skate Saturday
Alex Killorn3 days ago

Out 4-6 Weeks With Broken Finger
Bobby Witt Jr.3 days ago

Joins Rarefied Air With Homer In Win
Jake Guentzel3 days ago

Returns To Practice
Cale Makar3 days ago

Joins Avalanche Practice In Regular Jersey
Nico Hoerner3 days ago

Forced From Friday's Game
Jorge Polanco3 days ago

Day-To-Day With Sore Ankle
Jon Gray3 days ago

Rangers Lose Jon Gray To Forearm Tightness