Closing Time 8/27: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday
Light pink row designates Closer By Committee
- With only a month to go in the regular season, and potentially only weeks left for fantasy owners, this week serves as a final reset of the rankings as we go into the stretch run. Unlike before, strength of schedule is now something worth monitoring, not just recent success and usage.
- We also have to be mindful of any potential shut down risks, or limit risks, like Kenley Jansen, Ken Giles and Sean Doolittle (once he returns) who are all looking at limited usage in September. Doolittle is expected back by the end of this week or early next, but it’s doubtful we see him work in back to back games for the remainder of the season.
- Hector Neris, Will Smith and Jose Leclerc all rank in the bottom 8 for strength of schedule remaining, and all three have shown some vulnerability as of late. Ian Kennedy‘s Royals have the 12th toughest schedule remaining, but I’m more worried about his ability, or lack thereof, to miss bats (9.1% SwStr rate is 2nd lowest amongst closers since the All-Star break), recent outings (5 ER over 2 IP) and supporting cast (3rd worst record in baseball).
- Alex Colome continues to be the luckiest, most overrated closer in all of baseball, but given the White Sox easy schedule the rest of the way, he still deserves a top 25 spot. He is one of only two relievers on this list with both a SIERA and xFIP over 4.50 since the All-Star break, Ryne Stanek being the other. Colome also ranks last in K/BB% among closers since the break with a 7.1% mark.
- The hardest remaining schedule award goes to Hansel Robles and the Angels who, after a two-game set with the Rangers starting tonight, get to face 8 playoff contenders in their last 9 series. The only non-contending team they play is the White Sox, who actually have a winning record at home, so expect tough sledding for Robles and the Angels the final month of the season.