Closing Time 9/27: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

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With one more week to go in the 2017 MLB season, we also get one last closing change of importance. Jeurys Familia will spend the final week of the season in the role following A.J. Ramos dealing with bicep soreness following a string of poor outings. For those who stayed patient and held on to Familia til this point, perhaps it has paid off for you, if you are still alive that is. For most, holding out this long was a waste. If you are in the championship round of your league right now, and Familia is available, he is certainly worth a look as extra save insurance. Outside of him and maybe Brad Brach at this point, not much else on the waiver wire will probably help. That being said, good luck to all of you still competing at this point and it has been a pleasure delivering these weekly articles to you all 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, Josh Hader

  • It’s too late in the season to panic, but Corey Knebel has now had 2 back to back poor outings leading to loses in each. Over those two games (3 innings) he has issued 4 walks and 4 hits to go with 3 earned runs while striking out only 2. You have to still ride him out til the end, but that’s definitely not what owners want to see at this time.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sean Doolittle continues to be a beast for fantasy owners and the Nationals alike. It’s funny to think back at the time of the trade that sent him to Washington, most thought that either he and Ryan Madson were brought in to act in a set up role or Madson was the one who would be closing. Fast forward two months later, and Doolittle has literally been the 2nd best closer in baseball since the move. He’s still just one of many waiver wire pick ups on this list throughout the season who can make or break a fantasy owners season.
  • Roberto Osuna has made a nice little comeback the past 2 weeks following a brief hiatus in September. He has yet to allow a base runner in 4 games since his return, while also striking out 6 and picking up 3 saves. His season has been the definition of hot and cold, but when he’s been hot like he is, he is a must use fantasy option.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

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

17. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Michael Lorenzen, Kevin Shackelford 

18. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)—Paul Sewald, Jerry Blevins

19. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)—Jose Ramirez, A.J. Minter  

20. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Luis Garcia, Victor Arano

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

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

23. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)—Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens  

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

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

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

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

  • It’s a shame how Rasiel Iglesias’s season is coming to a close here, with now 3 consecutive bad outings. He had been so solid, if unspectacular, all year-long, and the past 2 weeks will taint those number some. He has now allowed 5 earned over his past 3.2 innings, allowing 8 baserunners and blowing a save that also led to a loss. He should be a RP1 pick heading into next year, but might be better off left on the bench for the rest of the week.
  • With Zach Britton sidelined for the rest of the season, Brad Brach will once again be used to close out games for the Orioles this week. The Orioles de facto closer this year, he already has more saves than Britton and should pick up at least one or two more the rest of the way. There’s a chance the O’s decide to move Britton or Brach (or both) this offseason, so their closer situation next season is very much up in the air.

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

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

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

30. Mike Minor/Scott Alexander(Kansas City Royals)—Joakim Soria, Brandon Maurer, Kelvin Herrera

  • There still seems to be no clarity in the Royals bullpen mess this week. although Mike Minor picked up the teams last save on Thursday. For those in a desperate situation to find saves, Minor very likely is available in your league so go add him.
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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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