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MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts


Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth charts for the AL and NL, and dominate in saves this year.

We will be updating the MLB Closers & Saves Depth Charts every day, all season long. Be sure to also check out these quick-hit notes from @DavidMarcillo77 looking at the biggest offseason bullpen news from around MLB:

  • 5/22: Rockies closer Wade Davis has been placed on the injured list with an oblique strain. Rockies manager Bud Black did the fantasy baseball world a favor and already announced that Scott Oberg will assume the closer's role while Davis is out. It's an oblique strain for Davis, so it could be a while before he's back on the hill.
  • 5/22: So much for Luke Jackson? The Braves closer struggled his way to his fourth blown save on Tuesday. Lefty Sean Newcomb has been excellent of late and was given a save chance on Monday. Jacob Webb has been solid in the eighth inning lately as well. It doesn't seem like Jackson is in trouble just yet, but one more bad outing could downgrade the Braves bullpen right back into committee mode.
  • 5/22: Jose Leclerc is back to pitching in high-leverage situations and he's pitching well. The last 16 batters that have faced Leclerc have gotten out, and it shouldn't be long now until he claims his ninth inning again. He should be scooped up immediately in any leagues he was dropped in.
  • 5/20: The Braves and Mariners made a trade on Monday, with Anthony Swarzak heading to Atlanta in exchange for Jesse Biddle and Arodys Vizcaino. "Viz" is out for the year, but Swarzak should get some holds with the Braves. He won't challenge Luke Jackson for the closer's role in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Roenis Elias finds himself with a bit less competition in Seattle.
  • 5/20: Brandon Workman found himself in the ninth inning and earned the first save of his career on Sunday. Ryan Brasier was available, but he was passed over for Workman, which may be a thing that starts to happen more often. Much like the Angels bullpen, the Red Sox bullpen's best pitcher, Matt Barnes, is working in a more versatile high-leverage role and won't be locked into the ninth inning.
  • 5/16: Ty Buttrey is still clearly the best reliever in the Angels bullpen, but it's Hansel Robles that has emerged as the closing option in Anaheim. Robles has been solid and given his role, he needs to be picked up in most formats.
  • 5/16: Steve Cishek got his second save in two games, showing that he's at the very least the head of the committee in Chicago at least until Pedro Strop returns from the IL (or Brandon Morrow reappears from the ether).

Be sure to also read our other articles on closers, setup men, and bullpens here:

 

AL EAST: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds  Candidates Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Yankees Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances (INJ), Adam Ottavino Chad Green, Zach Britton N/A
Volatile Red Sox Ryan Brasier, Brandon Workman Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree Tyler Thornburg, Brandon Workman Brandon Workman
Solid Blue Jays Ken Giles Joe BiaginiRyan Tepera Danny Barnes N/A
Solid Orioles Mychal Givens Paul Fry, Richard Bleier (INJ), Miguel Castro Mike Wright, Evan Phillips N/A
Questionable Rays Jose Alvarado Diego Castillo, Chaz Roe Ryne Stanek N/A

 

AL CENTRAL: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Tigers Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Blaine Hardy, Daniel Stumpf N/A
Solid White Sox Alex Colome Kelvin Herrera Nate Jones, Jace Fry N/A
Solid Indians Brad Hand Adam Cimber, Alex Wilson Dan Otero, Neil Ramirez N/A
Volatile Royals Wily Peralta Ian KennedyBrad Boxberger, Jake Diekman Tim Hill, Richard Lovelady N/A
Questionable Twins Blake ParkerTaylor Rogers Trevor Hildenberger Trevor May, Addison Reed N/A

 


AL WEST: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Questionable Rangers Shawn Kelley Jose Leclerc, Chris Martin Nick GardewineJesse Chavez Jose Leclerc
Questionable Angels Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey, Luis Garcia Cody Allen, Cam Bedrosian, Noe Ramirez Hansel Robles
Solid Athletics Blake Treinen Lou Trivino, Joakim Soria Ryan Buchter, Fernando Rodney N/A
Solid Astros Roberto Osuna Hector Rondon, Ryan Pressly Chris Devenski N/A
Volatile Mariners Roenis Elias Cory Gearrin, Nick Rumbelow Connor SadzeckMatthew FestaChasen Bradford (INJ) Roenis Elias

 

NL EAST: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Volatile Braves Luke Jackson Sean Newcomb Anthony Swarzak Sean Newcomb
Solid Marlins Sergio Romo Adam Conley Tayron Guerrero N/A
Solid Mets Edwin Diaz Jeurys Familia Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Paul Sewald N/A
Questionable Phillies Hector Neris Juan Nicasio, David Robertson Pat NeshekSeranthony Dominguez Hector Neris
Solid Nationals Sean Doolittle Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal Justin Miller, Koda Glover N/A

 

NL CENTRAL: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Questionable Cubs Pedro Strop (INJ) Steve CishekBrandon Kintzler Brad Brach Steve Cishek
Solid Reds Raisel Iglesias David HernandezJared Hughes Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett N/A
Solid Brewers Josh Hader Junior Guerra Jeremy Jeffress N/A
Solid Pirates Felipe Vázquez Keone Kela Kyle Crick N/A
Solid Cardinals Jordan Hicks Andrew Miller Luke Gregerson, Jon Gant N/A

 

NL West: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Backup / Handcuff More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Diamondbacks Greg Holland Archie BradleyYoshihisa Hirano Matt KochAndrew Chafin N/A
Solid Rockies Wade Davis (INJ), Scott Oberg Bryan Shaw, Carlos Estevez Jake McGee, Seung Hwan Oh Scott Oberg
Solid Dodgers Kenley Jansen Joe Kelly Scott Alexander, J.T. Chargois N/A
Solid Padres Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Phil Maton, Matt Strahm N/A
Solid Giants Will Smith Mark Melancon, Tony Watson Sam Dyson N/A

 

Previous Closers and Saves News Updates

  • 5/16: Diego Castillo picked up another save last night, and may be emerging as the closer for a talented Rays bullpen with lots of strong arms.
  • 5/15: Roenis Elias picked up the rare seven-out save on Tuesday night, and Mariners manager Scott Servais said save opportunities would keep going to the hot hand. A seven-out save seems to qualify as a hot hand, so Elias could get the next few save chances until someone else jumps ahead. The Mariners bullpen looks to be one best avoided in most formats.
  • 5/13: Luke Jackson looks like he's set to take the ninth inning all to himself in Atlanta. He's given up just one run in his last 19 innings of work and picked up a two-inning save on Sunday. He should be picked up anywhere he's available.
  • 5/9: Rangers placed Shawn Kelley on the IL with an infection. He had been acting as the team's closer, but Chris Martin got the save last night - his first of the season.
  • 5/8: Cubs closer Pedro Strop has been placed on the IL with a hamstring injury. Steve Cishek and possibly Brandon Kintzler are expected to fill in, although a full-on committee approach seems likely.
  • 5/8: Good news for the A's and for Blake Treinen's fantasy owners: he was available last night and was loosening up in case he was needed, but Mike Fiers went ahead and pitched a no-hitter, so Treinen didn't make an official appearance.
  • 5/8: Taylor Rogers earned a save on Tuesday even though Blake Parker was available, so that combined with recent usage puts the Twins bullpen back into a committee, although Parker should still get more chances than anyone else.
  • 5/7: Junior Guerra picked up a save for the Brewers while Jeremy Jeffress pitched the eighth inning on a day off for Josh Hader. Hader remains the closer in Milwaukee, but it looks like Guerra has become next in line instead of Jeffress. Guerra and Jeffress will both have value in holds leagues, but it's looking like Hader is the only one with real value in standard leagues.
  • 5/6: Luke Jackson earned a save in a game where A.J. Minter was ready and available, shifting the Braves bullpen into committee mode for now. If the two pitchers continue pitching the way they have, there's little doubt that Jackson will take over the ninth inning before long. He's worth picking up.
  • 5/6: Hector Neris is looking the most like a closer in the Phillies bullpen, as he's the only reliever to earn a save since April 16th. There's still a bit of a mix-and-match in the seventh and eighth, but it's looking like Neris is the one to own in standard leagues out of the Philadelphia bullpen.
  • 5/1: Updates from Texas, as Jose Leclerc has officially been removed as the closer.
  • 5/1:Angels reliever Ty Buttrey was brought in to keep a game tied in the eighth inning, leading to Hansel Robles getting and converting a save opportunity after the Angels took the lead. This could happen occasionally, as Buttrey works the toughest inning while Robles is saved for the save. Buttrey will have the better overall stats, but Robles could end up with more saves.
  • 5/1: Things still don't look good for Rangers closer Jose Leclerc. Manager Chris Woodward didn't yank him from the role just yet, but he did say that he could start giving Leclerc some less stressful innings for now. Chris Martin and Shawn Kelley are next up, with Kelley perhaps the likelier choice due to better numbers this year and previous closing experience.
  • 4/29: Giants closer Will Smith has been good enough, but as his 3.72 ERA continues to rise, the risk of Mark Melancon taking over the ninth inning grows. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has already said, “He’s going to save some games for us. We’ll have him in that role sometimes.”
  • 4/29: The Braves thought A.J. Minter would slide smoothly into the closer's role after Arodys Vizcaino was lost for the season, but Minter is sporting a 9.35 ERA and was pulled from a save chance this weekend. Luke Jackson looks like the next guy up, although an official move hasn't been made yet.
  • 4/27: Former Angels closer Cody Allen was taken out of the closer's role, and soon after ended up on the Injured List with a back injury. It'll be a long time until he gets another look in the ninth inning, if it happens at all this season.
  • 4/26: Cubs reliever and potential closer Brandon Morrow was shut down after experiencing some renewed elbow soreness. He's expected to start throwing again in about two weeks. Morrow's return from elbow surgery is not going as expected, but he could end up as the Cubs closer and a valuable fantasy piece in the second half.
  • 4/25: Manager Brad Ausmus has said that Cody Allen is out as the closer in Anaheim. Allen had a 5.40 ERA and a somehow-even-worse 8.16 FIP and his leash has officially run out. The Angels pen is squarely in Volatile territory now. Ausmus has said it's going to be a committee approach, but the smart money is on Ty Buttrey as the pick up despite Buttrey blowing the save Wednesday night. Buttrey came into a bases loaded 7th inning after Luis Garcia made a mess of a 5-2 lead. Buttrey allowed a sac fly and a fielders choice which tied the game. After pitching a clean 8th with two strikeouts, Buttrey was left in for one inning too long by Ausmus and he let up the go-ahead run. He still struck out three with zero walks and just two hits allowed. Overall, Buttrey still has pretty shiny peripherals. Allen can be safely dropped in most leagues now.