Closing Time 9/13: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

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This past week marks the end of what was a very disappointing inaugural season as a full-time closer for Kelvin Herrera. He struggled to stay healthy all year and was never really able to string together consecutive positive fantasy weeks at any time. The numbers prove he was never really right, highlighted by his 11.5% SwStr%, which was his lowest number since 2012 and a far cry from last seasons 15%. He also posted career high ERA, WHIP, FIP and xFIP numbers by a fairly wide margin. I’d still bet on a bounce back next season, but whether are not that comes as the Royals closer is a huge question mark and just one of plenty decisions the team will need to make this off season.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Tony Watson

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Addison Reed, Matt Barnes

3. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)—Anthony Swarzak, Jacob Barnes

  • Kenley Jansen had a little hiccup this past week which made me debate switching him and Craig Kimbrel. At this point of the season, it doesn’t make much difference anyway but decided to keep the order in tact based of actual fantasy scoring for the year.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

4. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)—Daniel Hudson, Joaquin Benoit

5. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)—Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson 

6. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)—Joe MusgroveChris Devenski   

7. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)—David Robertson, Dellin Betances

8. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop 

9. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen 

10. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith

11. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick Vincent, Emilio Pagan

12. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Tommy Hunter, Brad Boxberger

13. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)—Kirby Yates, Phil Maton  

14. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)—Brad Brach, Mychal Givens 

  • Aroldis Chapman made his return to 9th inning duties on Saturday, which is obviously great news for owners who hung on to him while he was figuring some things out. He has been his normal, lights out self in September, picking up 6 K’s while allowing just one base runner over 4 innings. He could be a difference maker in the fantasy playoffs for teams and if someone dropped him a few weeks ago and he is still available somehow, go add him now.
  • Zach Britton hasn’t been all that special the past two weeks, but he at least is showing some signs of being capable of returning to 2016 form. The K’s are starting to come more often than the walks, while he has only allowed 3 hits in his past 6 outings. The Orioles are still clinging to their playoff lives and should lean heavily on Britton in high leverage late innings situations.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

15. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)—Paul Sewald, Jerry Blevins

16. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Adam Ottavino, Jake McGee 

17. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)—Jim Johnson, Jose Ramirez

18. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)—Archie Bradley, David Hernandez

19. Juan Nicasio (St. Louis Cardinals)—Tyler Lyons, Seung Hwan Oh

20. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Luis Garcia, Edubray Ramos 

21. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger 

22. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)—Matt Bush, Tony Barnette

23. Blake Treinen  (Oakland Athletics)—Santiago Casilla, Ryan Dull 

24. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Drew VerHagen    

25. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin

  • Greg Holland has turned it around and though he may not be the guy he was in the first half, he is still a capable closer worthy of using in most leagues right now. It seems he has figured out his slider again.
  • It looks like Juan Nicasio is the official closer of the St. Louis Cardinals after he converted the teams last two save chances. It’s far from a surprise after he was traded to the Cardinals last week and he would certainly be the top waiver target for those looking for extra saves.

TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)

26. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan Tepera, Dominic Leone

27. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)—Cam Bedrosian, Yusmeiro Petit 

28. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)—Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider

29. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox)—Gregory Infante, Danny Farquhar

30. Brandon Maurer/Scott Alexander/Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

  • At this point of the season, it’s probably safe to drop Roberto Osuna in re-draft leagues, as his combination of missing time to be with his new born child mixed with his ineffectiveness on the mound lately make him close to useless for the next week and a half. If there are better options out there, make the move.
  • The Angels closing situation is just infuriating for owners, so at this time I can’t recommend any option they have. If you have to own one, it would still be Blake Parker.

Disabled List

Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

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Rick Graham

Former player and coach at the collegiate level. Born and raised in Boston and a proud Red Sox fan to boot (not of the pink hat variety).

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