With the MLB season in full swing, some bullpen hierarchies are becoming a lot clearer, while others have fallen apart. Though some managers may keep fantasy owners guessing, it is important to at least have an idea of who has a chance at a save, and who is most likely not even going to appear in a game today. Don’t sleep on saves! In a shortened season, they all count that much more.
First, notes from last night and thoughts on today’s games:
- The Reds vs Pirates game has been postponed. The Blue Jays and Rays will finish last night’s game today and then play a second game in the evening.
- The Red Sox are using an opener, Chris Mazza. Colten Brewer threw over 70 pitches on Friday and Marcus Walden has been atrocious. You are really grasping for straws if you’re looking to find a win here, but I think I’d trust Austin Brice the most.
- There is a small chance Aroldis Chapman is activated today, but I doubt he would see a save chance so quickly.
- Jose Alvarado has been placed on the Injured List. While he was no immediate threat to Nick Anderson‘s closer role, he was a highly effective pitcher (until that most recent outing vs TOR, anyway) on a team that loves to muddy up its closer situation. With Oliver Drake and now Alvarado on the IL, Anderson’s role becomes that much more cemented.
- Ryan Pressly earned a much-needed dominant save last night. He preserved the Astros one-run lead and only needed eight pitches to do it. He struck out JP Crawford and Kyle Lewis in just three pitches each.
- Rafael Montero earned the save last night but it took him 23 pitches to get it. Jonathan Hernandez threw 19 pitches himself. It’s unlikely, but Hernandez or perhaps even Nick Goody could vulture a save today.
- Robbie Erlin is going to start for the Braves today. The most innings he has accumulated in a single appearance this season is 2.2 IP. Smart money would be on Tyler Matzek or Grant Dayton as the most likely candidates to vulture a win, but I wouldn’t rule out Bryse Wilson, either. He was horrible in his only appearance this season, but was the name called upon after Touki Toussaint only lasted 4 innings. There is no doubt the Braves would love to see one of their young guys like Wilson gain some confidence, especially with how shaky their staff is behind Max Fried at the moment.
- Andrew Miller earned his first save of the season in convincing fashion during the Cardinals second game of their double-header. Giovanny Gallegos was called upon to pitch the 6th inning (because it was a double-header, the game was only 7 innings total) of a four-run lead in Game 1, striking out the side in order (Moncada, Grandal, Abreu) and needing just 11 pitches to do it. John Gant and Alex Reyes were also great, though, and Miller obviously earned the save in the second game. This situation is a tough one. With nothing to conclude, it is simply worth following. As for today, none of those four arms threw too many pitches yesterday so a save could be had by any of them. Since Miller earned the most recent one, I think I would go with him.
- Corey Knebel was called upon for the save last night but blew his opportunity. Ultimately, Alex Claudio earned the save in extra innings. This was all only because Josh Hader threw 35 pitches the night before and was seemingly unavailable. Nothing to read into.
- Archie Bradley needed 22 pitches to get through 1.1 IP for the save last night, and it was a really ugly save. He gave up 5 hits and 3 ER. This isn’t enough for Junior Guerra to take the job from him, but I would not be surprised if Guerra was called on today for the save.
- Kirby Yates is off to the IL with bone chips in his elbow. This thrusts Drew Pomeranz into the closer’s role, and he has already accumulated four saves this season as it is. He immediately becomes an elite option for saves and should be added every where.
- Kenley Jansen has pitched two nights in a row but, in total, he has only thrown 14 pitches. He should be fine for today if the Dodgers need a save.
- Trevor Gott was awful last night. He only pitched 0.2 innings, blew the save, gave up two home runs, and surrendered four earned runs. It was brutal. In his last 1.0 IP, he has given up 9 ER and 4 HR. You read that correctly. He is almost definitely unavailable for a save today (45 pitches the last two days) and I think there is a chance he may have lost this job. Go for Tony Watson if looking for a save today.
Bullpen Depth Charts