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Week 27 MLB Closers and Saves Report

Well, this is it. The Fantasy Finals! Some leagues are already done, having crowned their champions last week. Others will bring it down to the bitter end, leading right up to the "real" playoffs. Here's hoping you're either still alive or have already been crowned champion. Thanks for coming along for another ride this season with Rotoballer's Closers and Saves Report!

The Angels got a rookie to close some games near the end of the season, but he'll make an early exit. The Braves found a power lefty to close for them, but mechanical issues caught up to him and they need him right for their playoffs. The Twins have had a hard time in the ninth inning all season, and this week was no exception. A closer started a game for Chicago, as the concept of the Opener spreads.

All that and more in this week's Closers and Saves Report, so let's dive into the news, the best performers, and any suggested moves for your fantasy team this week:

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Bullpen News for Week 27

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels shifted things around a ton in the bullpen this season, with nine different pitchers earning saves. Blake Parker's 14 was the highest total in the pen. Rookie Ty Buttrey seemed to settle into the role nicely over the past couple of weeks, but he was shut down due to bursitis in his knee and veteran Jim Johnson actually earned a save this week. Assuming no trades or free agent signings, Buttrey might be the favorite for saves next season, but that all depends on Keynan Middleton's recovery from Tommy John Surgery.

Atlanta Braves

A.J. Minter was doing a pretty solid job as Atlanta's closer for a while, but some recent mechanical issues have led the Braves to use Arodys Vizcaino in the ninth inning again. Meanwhile, Minter is working on "getting right" before the Braves begin postseason play. Vizcaino could be sticking in the ninth inning for the playoffs, but assuming Minter can work things out in time, he should play a vital role in the late innings as well.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins had a hard time closing games out since making some deals around the July 31 trade deadline. Trevor Hildenberger had some good flashes, but he's had a very rough month of September. Manager Paul Molitor said he would be using this final week of the season to try different pitchers in different roles, presumably to do some early research for next season. Taylor Rogers or Trevor May will likely get any save chances the Twins have in these last few days.


Roster Moves of the Week


Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves - Vizcaino was dropped in a lot of leagues when he was overtaken by A.J. Minter and then in even more leagues when he ended up on the disabled list for a while. He's back, and he looks to be back in the closer's role as well. Anyone looking for a quick save or two on this final weekend might do well with "Viz."

Trevor May/Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins - One of Trevor May or Taylor Rogers will likely get any save chances this weekend for the Twins. Owners desperate for just one more save can flip a coin and choose one of these two.

Blake Parker, Los Angeles Angels - With Ty Buttrey's season over and Jim Johnson being 2018 Jim Johnson, Blake Parker seems like the logical choice if the Angels need to save a game this weekend.


A.J. Minter, Atlanta Braves - Minter is working things out with his delivery and mechanics and likely won't pitch another significant inning until the playoffs.

Ty Buttrey, Los Angeles Angels - Buttrey kind of came out of nowhere in the Angels bullpen and looked solid. He's an exciting arm to watch for next year, but he's been shut down this season due to bursitis in his knee.


Best of the Season

Given that this will be this season's final Closers and Saves Report, let's take a look at the best performers this season, instead of just this week:

Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics - 79 1/3 IP, 98 K, 37 SV, 0.79 ERA, 0.83 WHIP

Seven runs. That's all that Blake Treinen has allowed this season. Seven runs. Many starting pitchers will have at least one start per season where they blow up and give up seven runs. Blake Treinen gave up that many in a whole season. He also saved 37 games and struck out 98 batters while walking just 21. It was an elite season from a guy who has to now be considered one of the elite closers in baseball.

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners - 72 1/3 IP, 121 K, 56 SV, 1.99 ERA, 0.79 WHIP

Edwin Diaz had a chance to save 60 games this season, but it just didn't wind up that way. Still, 56 saves and 121 strikeouts in just over 72 innings of work is amazing. He walked just 17 batters and allowed 16 runs on 40 hits. He's another elite closer and was arguably the most valuable reliever in standard leagues this season.

Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox - 61 1/3 IP, 93 K, 42 SV, 2.79 ERA, 1.01 WHIP

Craig Kimbrel helped lead the Red Sox to the best record in baseball, contributing 93 strikeouts and 42 saves in just over 61 innings of work. He looked like vintage Craig Kimbrel for most of the season and should be another strength on a team full of them heading into the postseason.

Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers - 79 IP, 140 K, 11 SV (21 HD), 2.28 ERA, 0.80 WHIP

Josh Hader had a ridiculous 140 strikeouts in just 79 innings of work. He only walked 29 in the process of racking up his 140 Ks. Hader was a top relief option in holds leagues, but even in standard leagues that only counted saves, his strikeout total and strong ratios were good enough to give him legitimate value even when he wasn't closing games.

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