Closing Time 9/28: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's closers for the 2021 season.

It’s the last week of the season, so if there was ever a time to get crazy about playing reliever matchups, now is the time. The Rockies technically have the easiest remaining strength of schedule and they have a single closer in Carlos Estévez, not some committee. While Estévez has plus stuff, he continues to be an inconsistent pitcher allowing seven hits over his last two outings and 21 hits total this month over 11.2 innings of work. There’s certainly risk involved here, but I think Estévez should be good for at least one more save this season which is hard to say about the bottom third of the list this week.

 

Notes

 

  • You’re not going to go dropping Ryan Pressly the last week of the season, but he does have a tough schedule to finish the season and is coming off back-to-back negative outings this weekend. With the division all but wrapped up, the Astro’s might be wise to give Pressly some time off, as he’s only gone over 62 innings in a season once since 2017.
  • Alex Colomé is tied for the most saves in baseball since the start of August (14), and may have worked his way back towards the top of the list of impending free agent closing options. The Twins end the year with the Royals and Tigers, so Colomé should remain a good bet for a couple saves this week.

 

  • The Mariners keep changing things up on us when it comes to who closes out games for them, but it looks like Paul Sewald may be back as the 1A option for the remainder of the season. The team only has five games left, but they end the year with a three-game set against the Angels, so Sewald (and/or possibly Drew Steckenrider) should be in line for at least one more save chance this year.
  • Tanner Rainey may be in the line to end the season as the Nationals closer, and with the way he’s pitching right now should be a popular sleeper target in drafts next season. Unfortunately, the team has two games left in Colorado before finishing the season against the Red Sox, so he’s tough to recommend this week.

 

  • Mychal Givens recorded eight saves as the Reds closer since the start of August but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he isn’t able to add to that total in the final week here. After two games with the White Sox, the team gets to end their season with the Pirates, but there’s no guarantee Givens would be closing out those games should a save opportunity arise.
  • Andrew Chafin has been great for the A’s since they acquired him, but he only has three saves this month and none in ten days. Not being the defined closer doesn’t help, but neither does the teams remaining schedule, with games against the Mariners and Astros to end the year.

 

  • It’s unfortunate that the Red Sox don’t have a set closer right now, as they have perhaps the best remaining schedule this week with three-game series against the Orioles and Nationals. If I needed to throw a dart, I would consider Hansel Robles as the best bet for saves right now with how well he’s pitched this month, but there’s certainly a ton of risk involved here.
  • Tyler Wells shoulder injury will keep him out the remainder of the season, leaving the Orioles to presumably finish the year with Cole Sulser as their closer. The team does end the year with the Red Sox and Blue Jays, so there’s no real point in adding him anyway.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Raisel Iglesias+1
4Emmanuel Clase+4
5Jordan Romano+4
6Edwin Diaz-
7Scott Barlow+5
8Will Smith+2
9Giovanny Gallegos+2
10Kenley Jansen-5
11Ryan Pressly-8
12Aroldis Chapman-5
13Ian Kennedy
T2
+1
14Alex Colome+6
15Joe Barlow+1
16Michael Fulmer+3
17Paul Sewald+UR
18Mark Melancon-3
19Dylan Floro+4
20Carlos Estevez+6
21Tanner Rainey
T3
+UR
22Mychal Givens-9
23Dominic Leone-2
24Andrew Chafin-6
25Pete Fairbanks-3
26Hansel Robles+UR
27Rowan Wick-2
28Chris Stratton-1
29Tyler Clippard-1
30Cole Sulser+UR

 

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

  • Avatar Tarr says:

    Top 30 for 2022 ranking?

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