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MLB Closers and Saves Report Week 24

We're in the thick of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues, and if you're anything like me, you're stressed, anxious, and hoping to have at least one more week of lineups to set and waiver wires to comb through.

September call-ups make for some crowded bullpens, but there is still value that can be found on the wire, especially with teams this week forming new committees or dissolving old ones.

For those of you still worried about your fantasy bullpens in Week 24: congrats! You're either doing well and trying to win your playoff matchup, or you're in a season-long league without playoffs but doing well enough to be in contention. So...let's jump in and see if there's any help to be had around these parts.

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Bullpen News for Week 24

Kansas City Royals

The Royals removed Kelvin Herrera from the closer role and will be going with a small committee made up of Brandon Maurer and Scott Alexander. Maurer would seem to have the slight upper hand for now, since he has some experience closing in the past. Mike Minor might also sneak in to a few save chances here and there, but the main competition seems to be between Maurer and Alexander. Either one can be picked up in holds leagues, but standard league players should wait and see if either guy emerges with the ninth inning to himself. Those desperate for saves should go with Maurer for now.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have had a mess of a bullpen almost all season long, but the newly acquired Juan Nicasio is doing his best to settle things down. Nicasio has risen to the top of this closing committee, seemingly moving ahead of former committee-leader Seung Hwan Oh and lefty Tyler Lyons. Nicasio is an interesting case because even though he seems to have made his way into the ninth inning for now, he is ineligible for the postseason roster if the Cardinals make it there. It will be interesting to see how long manager Mike Matheny sticks with Nicasio in critical situation before potentially giving those situations to someone who may be in similar ones in the playoffs. For now, Nicasio is worth a pickup for owners that are lacking in saves.

Colorado Rockies

For a while, Rockies closer Greg Holland was demoted to Rockies closer-by-committee member Greg Holland. He seems like he's back in a set role now though. Struggles pushed him out, but recent success has brought him back in. While his leash may be a little shorter the next time Holland struggles, manager Bud Black has put an end to the committee for now and given the ninth inning back to Holland.

Odds and Ends

The Los Angeles Angels looked like they were going to move from a committee to a bona fide closer in Blake Parker. Manager Mike Scioscia had other, worse ideas. The committee is back in Anaheim, featuring Parker, Cam Bedrosian, and now Yusmeiro Petit. Still, Parker seems like the best bet for a save each night.

Arizona Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney pitched poorly one day, then Archie Bradley (who has pitched well all year) got a save the next day. No closer controversy though, according to manager Torey Lovullo, just a day off for the veteran Rodney. Still, with the playoffs coming up and Fernando Rodney being, well...Fernando Rodney, look for Bradley to potentially take over if the veteran's struggles continue.

Miami Marlins closer Brad Ziegler is dealing with a bad back (and some very bad outings to go with it). He's being evaluated and may be forced to miss some time. In his place, Kyle Barraclough and Brian Ellington have already blown saves- in the same game! It'll likely be Barraclough in the ninth if the Marlins ever have another lead to protect this season, but rookie Drew Steckenrider may get a chance here and there as well.

Cleveland Indians relief ace Andrew Miller was activated from the disabled list this week, but likely won't pitch meaningful innings for a while until he gets his feet wet in lower-leverage situations. He's also unlikely to pitch in back-to-back games, as the team will want to rest him and make sure he does not get injured again before they begin their playoff campaign.


Roster Moves of the Week


Brandon Maurer, Kansas City Royals - The former San Diego Padres closer appears to be the current leader of the Kansas City Royals closer committee. Maurer is sharing the role with Scott Alexander for now, but Maurer's experience likely puts him at least slightly ahead. He's by no means a must-add, but could be helpful for teams that are struggling with saves this week.


Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals - Herrera has struggled plenty this season, and on the day the team announced he was being removed from the ninth inning, he pitched poorly in an earlier inning. It doesn't seem like Herrera will get his job back this season, so he can be let go in most formats.


Best of the Week

 Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians- 3 IP, 4 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Indians closer Cody Allen, much like the entire Cleveland Indians team, has been excellent lately. He had a perfect week this week, saving three games while striking out four and not allowing a single base runner.

Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers- 3 IP, 6 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Brewers closer Corey Knebel allowed just two hits this week, saving three games while striking out six. He's become one of the elite fantasy closers and should be started with confidence throughout the fantasy playoffs.


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