Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 Fantasy Baseball: AL Closer Report

Check out a free version of Senior Fantasy Expert Shawn Childs's Closer Report, in which he examines the backend of each team's bullpen in the American League. Join Scout Army for exclusive access to BOTH of Shawn's weekly Closer Reports!

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AL East

Baltimore Orioles

http://www.scout.com/player/92186-zach-britton?s=532

On June 21st, Zach Britton struggled in a non-save situation leading to one run and two hits over two-thirds of an inning. This ended his 19 inning shutout streak. Britton remains perfect in save situations (21-for-21). Brad Brach tossed three shutout innings over his last two games with five Ks, but he did allow a run in two of his previous three appearances. His ERA (1.16) and WHIP (0.88) continue to offer an edge with strength in Ks (45 in 38.2 innings). Dylan Bundy is starting to round into form. Over his last three games over 6.1 innings, he’s allowed no runs and four baserunners with six Ks. Darren O’Day still hasn’t thrown off the mound, which leaves him a week or so away from being back on the major league roster. The Orioles slid to 4th in bullpen ERA (3.15) after 70 games with 18 wins, seven losses, and 25 saves.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox moved to 9th in bullpen ERA (3.39) after 66 games with nine wins, 12 losses, and 17 saves. Craig Kimbrel pitched poorly in his last outing on June 20th when he allowed two runs and three baserunners in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss. This ended an excellent start to June where he allowed no runs and two hits in six innings with six Ks. Craig has only had four save chances over the first three weeks of June. Overall, Kimbrel has a solid 2.57 ERA and 0.79 WHIP with 42 Ks in 28 innings. Koji Uehara hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with seven Ks.  Koji has 19 Ks in his last 9.2 innings. Over his last six games, Junichi Tazawa gave up one run and five baserunners in 5.2 innings with four Ks.

New York Yankees

There is a strong chance the Yankees hold the keys to the 2016 World Series Championship. They currently sit at 34-34, which 5.5 games behind the Orioles for the division lead. I believe the AL East is wide open plus the Wild Card winner won’t run and hide so New York should stand pat with their edge in their bullpen. If they have a losing streak over the next month, there is a very good chance they move one of their elite bullpen arms to a contender. Aroldis Chapman struggled in two of his last three games (three runs and four baserunners in three innings with four Ks, which includes a pair of HRs), but he didn’t blow a save. Chapman has converted 13 of his 14 save chances with some slide in his ERA (3.18). Andrew Miller is still the best arm in this bullpen in 2016. He has four wins, seven saves, and ten holds with 55 Ks in 29.2 innings leading to a plus ERA (1.21) and WHIP (0.67). He allowed one run (HR) over three innings this week with eight Ks. As great as Dellin Betances’ stats look (62 Ks in 33.1 innings with a 3.24 ERA and 1.02 WHIP), he’s really been a losing play over his last 14 games (seven runs and 15 baserunners in 14 innings with 24 Ks). Betances has two wins, four losses, and 17 holds in his 34 games pitched. The Yankees faded to 17th in bullpen ERA (3.96) after 70 games with 12 wins, eight losses, and 21 saves.

Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Colome had his worst game of the season on June 18th when he allowed three runs and four baserunners in two-thirds of an inning to take a loss. It ended his 26 innings scoreless streak. His command has been on the decline over his last five games (five walks in 4.2 innings). Colome still hasn’t blown a save in 19 chances. Tampa moved Matt Andriese to the bullpen to make room for Blake Snell in the starting rotation. He threw 3.2 shutout innings since the job change. The Rays need more length to their bullpen arm as Erasmo Ramirez was smacked around again in his last two games (four runs and five baserunners in 1.1 innings). Over his last 12 games, Ramirez has a 7.07 ERA and 2.21 WHIP. Ryan Garton is on the improve over his last five games (no runs and eight baserunners in 5.2 innings with eight Ks). Ryan had a 2.31 ERA at AAA in 2016 over 23.1 innings with 30 Ks. Their recent struggles in the bullpen pushed their bullpen ERA to 4.03 (19Th) after 68 games. Their relievers have 13 wins, 13 losses, and 19 saves.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are a tick behind the Rays in bullpen ERA (4.16 – 20th) after 73 games with eight wins, 16 losses, and 18 saves. Over his last five games, Roberto Osuna allowed four runs and eight baserunners in six innings with 11 Ks. Roberto is 13-for-15 in save conversions while maintaining his strength in his ERA (2.01) and WHIP (0.93). Jason Grill has started to take on water in his last three games (two runs and six baserunners in three innings with four Ks). His ERA in the AL is 2.70 while showing risk in his WHIP (1.50). Drew Storen has been Toronto’s best reliever over the last month (1.59 ERA with 10 Ks in 11.1 innings). He extended his scoreless streak to six innings with five Ks.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox

http://www.scout.com/player/91495-david-robertson?s=532

David Robertson has rebounded from his rough four games stretch in late May and early June (nine runs and 13 baserunners in four innings) to allow one run in his last seven innings with six Ks and five saves. His downside is still there as he did allow 12 baserunners over this stretch. Robertson converted 18 of his 20 save chances. Over his last nine games, Nate Jones has a 1.86 ERA and 0.62 WHIP with nine Ks in nine innings of work. Chicago placed Zach Putnam on the DL on June 21st. Other than ten walks in his last 25 innings pitched, Zach was their best reliever over the last 60 games (1.44 ERA and 1.24 WHIP). Zach Duke has allowed one run in his last seven innings with 10 Ks. The White Sox sit 11th in bullpen ERA (3.48) after 68 games with nine wins, nine losses, and 19 saves.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians rank 8th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.35) after 67 games with 11 wins, 11 losses, and 15 saves. Cody Allen blew his second save in 16 chances on June 17th when he allowed a run and two baserunners, but he did pick up the win. Over his last 11 games, Allen has 1.64 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with 15 Ks in 11 innings. Bryan Shaw didn’t allow a run in his last 2.2 innings with five Ks after getting drilled for four runs and eight baserunners in his previous two innings of work. Zach McAllister looks to be back on the uptick (one run and seven baserunners in 6.2 innings). Dan Otero has been one of Cleveland’s better arms over the last 11 games (one run in 11.1 innings with 14 Ks).

Detroit Tigers

Francisco Rodriguez threw two shutout innings over the last week with three Ks and a save. Over his last ten games, Rodriguez allowed four runs and 12 baserunners in nine innings in 12 innings. Francisco is 20-for-22 in save chances. Justin Wilson allowed a run in two of his last three games. Justin has 35 Ks in 27.1 innings with a 3.62 ERA. Shane Greene struggled on June 17th when he allowed three runs and three baserunners in two-thirds of an innings. Over his last nine games in the bullpen, Greene allowed four runs and nine baserunners in nine innings with 13 Ks. The Tigers called up Bruce Rondon on June 19th. He’s looked splendid in his first two games back in the majors (no runs and one baserunner in three innings with three Ks). His fastball came in at 99.1. At AAA, Rondon had a 3.74 ERA and 1.84 WHIP over 21.2 innings with 30 Ks. Detroit fell to 29th in bullpen ERA (4.74) after 70 games with eight wins, eight losses, and 21 saves.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals still have the best bullpen ERA (2.71) in baseball after 70 games with 14 wins, four losses, and 19 saves. Over his last 12 games, Wade Davis allowed one run in 11.2 innings with 12 Ks and eight saves. Wade has been successful in 18 of his 19 save tries. He lowered his ERA to 1.03 with strength in his WHIP (0.95) as well. Joakim Soria hasn’t allowed a run in his last 7.2 innings with eight Ks. Over his last 26 games, Soria has pitched at an elite level (2.00 ERA with 23 Ks in 27 innings). Kelvin Herrera threw 3.1 shutout innings over the last week with six Ks, which is a move in the right direction after allowing a run in four of his previous seven games.

Minnesota Twins

Brandon Kintzler picked up two saves in his last two games despite allowing a HR in one game. He looks the favorite for saves for the Twins going forward with Glen Perkins officially out for the year. Kintzler hasn’t seemed like a 9th inning arm in his last nine games (four runs and eight baserunners in 8.1 innings with six Ks). Fernando Abad pitched poorly over the last week (four runs and four baserunners in one inning) to remove himself from the save conversion as least for now. Over the whole season, Abad has been the best reliever on the Twins (2.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP). Buddy Boshers has thrown the ball well in his 12 games in the majors (one run in 10 innings with 11 Ks and two wins). Minnesota has the third worst bullpen ERA (4.67) after 69 games with 12 wins, 14 losses, and ten saves.

AL West

Houston Astros

http://www.scout.com/player/105672-will-harris?s=532

The Astros’ bullpen moved to 6th in bullpen ERA (3.23) after 71 games with 12 wins, ten losses, and 21 saves. Will Harris is still perfect in his five save chances while allowing only one run in his last 25.1 innings with 26 Ks. Harris has an impressive ERA (0.57) and WHIP (0.76) with 15 holds. Luke Gregerson hasn’t allowed a hit in his last 4.2 innings with nine Ks as he tries to work his way back into the 9th inning. Ken Giles remains on the bumpy road (4.76 ERA in his last seven games with nine Ks). Michael Feliz allowed a run in two of his last five games. His arm has looked impressive since moving to the bullpen. Over his last 12 games, Feliz has a 1.02 ERA in 17.2 innings with 23 Ks.

Los Angeles Angels

Huston Street may be headed back on the DL based on his recent struggles. In his last five games, he’s allowed five runs and 15 baserunners in four innings leading to two blown saves in three chances. On the year, Huston now has a 4.26 ERA with seven save conversion in nine chances. Joe Smith is close to resuming to the mound. The Angles placed him on the DL on June 7th. When he returns to the majors, I will look to pick him up for insurance for Street in saves. Fernando Salas remains on a negative path in his last 12 games (nine runs and 18 baserunners in 11.2 innings with six Ks). Cam Bedrosian extended his shutout streak to 7.2 innings with eight Ks. His success (1.50 ERA) may force LA into giving him possible save chances if Smith doesn’t return as quickly as expected. Los Angeles is 15 in bullpen ERA (3.95) after 69 games with 11 wins, 11 losses, and 15 saves.

Oakland A’s

The A’s rank 16th in bullpen ERA (3.95) after 70 games with 12 wins, eight losses, and 18 saves. Ryan Madson picked up his first save on June 21st since May 30th. Over his last 8.2 innings, Ryan allowed two runs and seven baserunners with six Ks. He’s 13-for-16 in save chances.  Sean Doolittle picked up his first win of the year in his last game. His arm continues to show closer ability. Over his last 27 games, Sean has a 1.54 ERA with 30 Ks in 23.1 innings. John Axford ended his 7.2 innings shutout streak in a bad way in his last three games (four runs and eight baserunners in one inning). Liam Hendriks returns from the DL on June 19th. His arm looked much better in his two shutout innings with two Ks than his early season failure (7.36 ERA and 1.58 WHIP).

Seattle Mariners

Steve Cishek picked up two saves over the last week in three innings of work with four Ks. Cishek has been successful in 16 of his 20 save conversions with strength in his ERA (2.56) and WHIP (0.92). Over his last ten games, Steve has a 1.74 ERA with 14 Ks in 10.1 innings. Joaquin Benoit still doesn’t look right. In his last six games, Benoit allowed four runs and 11 baserunners in 6.2 innings with six Ks. Edwin Diaz has a 2.57 ERA over his last seven innings with 11 Ks, but he allowed 12 baserunners. The Mariners are 5th in bullpen ERA (3.20) after 70 games with 11 wins, 11 losses, and 17 saves.

Texas Rangers

Texas remains at the bottom of the bullpen ranking after 71 games despite a 44-25 record. They rank 27th in bullpen ERA (4.66) with 16 wins, 13 losses, and 28 saves. Sam Dyson is 14-for-15 in save chances with 1.98 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Over his last 17 games, Sam allowed three runs and 12 baserunners in 16.1 innings with 15 Ks. Jake Diekman extended his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings with only two hits allowed in his last 13 innings. Jake lowered his ERA to 1.35 with 31 Ks in 26.2 innings. Matt Bush hasn’t allowed a run in his last 6.2 innings with nine Ks.


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