The final week is upon us. Be sure to get your saves—you never know which category is going to be the one you win (or lose) by one to decide a matchup. Save situations are a bit of a mess at this point, but they really have been all year. Find out who could get you a save or a win out of the pen for today and check back tomorrow to begin padding those stats in a new week.
- It’s another loaded Friday slate with 18 total games including three sets of double headers—Padres @ Giants, Brewers @ Cardinals, and Rockies @ Diamondbacks.
- Brand Hand has now pitched in four of the last five games. I’ve got him in red below, BUT I wouldn’t take him out of any lineups. The Indians are in a tough race in the AL Central and every game is meaningful. James Karinchak, who allowed a run in his last outing, is still next in line. Fun stat about Karinchak: 50 of the 78 outs he’s recorded (~64%) have been via strikeout.
- Speaking of the Central, Aaron Bummer was activated from the IL with Steve Cishek and Ross Detwiler being sent to the alternative site. Bummer is a promising lefty who will be a sneaky closer-in-waiting for 2021. He pitched a clean inning at the end of the losing effort and should immediately be considered the set-up man on the South Side.
- Daniel Bard threw 2.2 innings of work in an 11-inning win over the Giants. He’s almost certainly unavailable tonight, leaving Mychel Givens (who did blow the save yesterday) as the most-likely candidate to close.
- Brandon Kintzler also threw multiple innings on Thursday, going two full innings with 27 pitches to lock down the Marlins win over the Braves. Former journeyman closer Brad Boxberger gave up two runs without recording an out, so my guess is that Nick Vincent or Yimi García get the nod if there’s a save opportunity today. García has pitched each of the last two nights, but only needed 21 total pitches to do it.
- The Blue Jays have clinched a playoff spot, in some part thanks to Rafael Dolis throwing 28 pitches over 1.1 innings to close it out. Dolis is likely unavailable tonight, so the save opportunity would either go to Anthony Bass (who threw 21 pitches himself in yesterday’s contest) or someone like Thomas Hatch.
- Jake Newberry picked up the first save of his career for the Royals in their win over the Tigers after Josh Staumont, who I personally presumed would be the closer if Greg Holland was unavailable, gave up four hits and three earned runs in what was then a non-save situation to let the Tigers make it a close one in the eighth. It’s a bullpen in flux at the end of the season with Holland being unavailable with a right oblique injury last night (UPDATE: Holland is done for the season), so I suppose it’s going to be either Staumont or Scott Barlow as the primary closer. While there’s likely another save or two in this pen, I’m not sure I’d try to chase it. I’ve put Holland in red for now, as he isn’t on the IL but I’m not sure I’d count on him to pitch today.
- Not a ton of obvious long relievers to pick for a streaming win, but I suppose the best bets would be Jeff Hoffman of the Rockies or Derek Holland of the Pirates. I…probably wouldn’t stream either of them unless I was desperate in an NL-only league, though. Not a lot of upside here. You’re probably better off grabbing an available seventh or eighth inning guy who might at least grab a hold or a few strikeouts.
Bullpen Depth Charts