No major changes to this week’s rankings, outside of the return of Edwin Diaz. I have him outside of the top 10 for now, but if he can string together a few dominant performances, he should move up quickly. David Robertson was arguably the best closer of the week, and I’ll admit he feels too low at 20 here. The White Sox have gone on a little streak here lately, but there’s almost no way it lasts. As long as he remains in Chicago, he’ll struggle to find saves.
TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U
- Greg Holland actually allowed a run this past week, but it was in a non-save situation. Wade Davis also allowed his first 2 earned runs of the season on a 2 run HR to Mac Williamson, but was still able to hold on for the save. These 4 have established themselves clearly as being above the rest of the pack, although I’m still a bit skeptical about Davis being able to sustain such low ERA and WHIP numbers.
TIER 2: Save Tonight
- As expected, Edwin Diaz is back in the closer role for the Mariners, perhaps for no other reason than the fact they have no viable alternatives. In 3 games since regaining the job, he has 2 saves, 4 K’s and has only allowed 1 baserunner. I’m taking a bit of a cautious, wait and see approach with his ranking for now, but he certainly could end up being a top 5 closing option the rest of the way.
- Cody Allen had a tough week, allowing 7 hits, a walk and 3 earned runs while blowing a save. The K’s are still coming in bunches, and his ERA still looks nice at 2.61, but his 1.45 WHIP is just too high. Part of the reason for this could be back luck, as he has only allowed 8 walks but has a ridiculously high .417 BABIP. However, his 26.5% GB rate is lowest among all active closers, which is a concern.
TIER 3: Bound for the Floor
- Koda Glover, now officially the one and only Nationals closer, has been lights out since earning his first save after his DL stint. He has 4 saves over that span, and in 4.2 innings he has only allowed one hit while striking out 6. The K’s are nice to see, as he was struggling to miss bats up until he landed on the DL. As long as he remains the closer in Washington, he will have plenty of value in most leagues.
- The Phillies are really bad, so much so that the team and Hector Neris may end up with just 1 total save for the whole month of May. The team as a whole has just 6 in 2 months, roughly 1/3 of Greg Hollands total. As incredible as that is, Neris himself has been really good in non-save chances lately. Since his last save, a little more than 2 weeks ago, he has pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs and has struck out 7. Saves should start to trickle in as the Phillies have to win some close games sooner rather than later (right?), giving him some sneaky value going forward
TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)
- Bud Norris and Tony Watson both seem to be on their way out as their respective team’s closers, for different reasons however. Norris, despite pitching well, is likely to lose the job to either Huston Street or Cam Bedrossian in the next week or so, while Watson has struggled to the point where the Pirates really need to consider giving Felipe Rivero a shot. I have a haunting suspicion that Street will get a chance for the Angels when healthy, which is less than ideal for everyone but opposing lineups. Rivero would however be a nice upgrade for the Pirates, as he would be a top 15 closer for me rest of season probably.
- I’m still not sure what to make of the Padres situation, but if there is ever any doubt about who is first in line for saves for a bottom feeder club like themselves, it’s usually best to just leave it alone. Brad Hand at least can help in other categories even if he isn’t picking up saves, but I wouldn’t overpay or drop anyone of significance for either him or certainly Brandon Maurer, if available in your league.