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I made the playoffs in my main league as the number two seed, so don't worry folks, I still have credibility when I write these fantasy bullpen pieces (I was in the top five in every pitching category, but let's just say I don't write an offense piece each week for a reason...)

Hopefully your team is in the playoffs too, or even better, maybe enjoying a bye week. With matchups mattering even more now even though MLB rosters are getting more and more bloated with September call ups, let's take a look at what bullpens saw significant changes this week.

Good luck to everyone in the playoffs, and for those who missed the post season this year: stay with us at Rotoballer next year for everything from your draft to the playoffs!

Editor's Note: Try our exclusive Premium Lineup Tools for free, all throughout the MLB playoffs! Our proprietary Matchup Rating projections, Lineup Optimizer, DFS value picks and more. Sign Up Now!


Bullpen News for Week 23

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees pulled Aroldis Chapman out of their ninth inning last month. They installed elite setup man Dellin Betances in his place. Betances is one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, but he's in the middle of quite a rough patch. He's posted a 7.94 ERA and allowed about two base runners per inning over the past two weeks. That won't work as the closer for a team with playoff hopes. Manager Joe Girardi has already considered returning to Aroldis Chapman as full-time closer, and it seems that decision could come any day. It's highly unlikely that anyone dropped a guy of Chapman's upside, but there's always a chance that he was dropped when he lost his job as closer. Take a look at your wire just in case, and if he's there, grab him right away.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals lost closer Trevor Rosenthal for the rest of this year and most if not all of next year as well. They still haven't named a closer even though they have won their way back into the thick of the National League Wild Card race. Seung Hwan Oh is having, to be generous, a very mediocre season. But he had an excellent season last year and the team knows he can "handle" the ninth inning. Still, lefty Tyler Lyons was given a shot at a save opportunity and earned his second save of the season this week. Lyons is the higher upside guy right now in terms of strikeouts and better ERA and WHIP numbers, but Oh still seems like the guy more likely to get a save chance on any given day. It's something to keep an eye on though, as Lyons could be a solid fantasy closer if he starts earning more chances down the stretch.

Odds and Ends

Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller is still working his way back from his second stint on the disabled list due to a knee injury. Given the ridiculous Indians winning streak, they've developed a comfortable lead in the AL Central and should be able to let Miller rest until the playoffs. He's unlikely to be a factor again this year in fantasy leagues.

Chicago White Sox closer Juan Minaya is finally the closer, and not the head of a committee any more. He hasn't been great though, so who knows how long he keeps his new job. He's not worth rostering outside of deep leagues and AL-only.

Kansas City Royals closer Kelvin Herrera is getting a bit of a breather. The Royals aren't too concerned about his injury, but they are making sure he doesn't pitch for a few games. Brandon Maurer will get any save opportunities that come up (he's already converted one and blown another.)


Roster Moves of the Week


Blake Parker, Los Angeles Angels- Pick up Blake Parker. He's the closer for a team that's fighting for a playoff spot, and he's a good one. He should see plenty of save opportunities and will help in most other categories as well. He's worth owning in most formats.

Juan Minaya, Chicago White Sox- If you're in dire need of saves down the stretch, Minaya might be able to help. He's not a particularly great reliever, and the White Sox won't win too many games, but he's the closer, so he has some fantasy value in deeper leagues.


There are no urgent drops this week, but if you're still holding on to Andrew Miller, it's time to let go.


Best of the Week

 Ken Giles, Houston Astros- 5 IP, 9 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.20 WHIP

Astros closer Ken Giles had a fantastic week, allowing just one walk in five innings while surrendering no hits and striking out nine. He picked up three saves along the way.

Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies- 3 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Phillies closer Hector Neris has had an up and down season, and it even showed in his first "Best of the Week" appearance stat line. Neris tossed three innings, striking out four (good), and picking up three saves (good). He allowed no runs to score (good), but allowed four base runners (bad) two on walks and two on hits. Despite the bloated WHIP, Neris was the only closer besides Giles to earn three saves this week, and that lands him on this list.

Felipe Rivero, Pittsburgh Pirates- 3 IP, 5 K, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Pirates closer Felipe Rivero had a decent week, but decent was good enough to land him on "Best of the Week" this week due to a lot of less-than-decent performances from closers around the league. Rivero punched out five in three innings, recording two saves while allowing two hits and a walk. Among closers with two saves this week, he had the most strikeouts and (was tied for) the lowest ERA.


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