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Fantasy Baseball Week 13: AL Closer Report

Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs takes an in-depth look at the backend of each team's bullpen in the American League.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles

Zach Britton extended his scoreless streak to 22.2 innings with 24 Ks. It appeared he allowed a run last week, but a scoring change led to the run becoming unearned. Zach has yet to blow a save in 23 chances. His ERA (0.83) and WHIP (0.80) remain in an elite area while delivering 38 Ks in 32.2 innings. Brad Brach hasn’t allowed a run or hit in his last seven innings with 10 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.05 while offering an edge in WHIP (0.84) and Ks (50 in 42.2 innings). Darren O’Day has thrown a couple of bullpen session, and the Orioles hope to have him back in about a week. Dylan Bundy hasn’t allowed a run in his last 9.1 innings with 10 Ks. It almost looks like the Orioles are stretching him out to move into the starting rotation. In his last two games, Bundy has thrown three innings in each game. Baltimore is 3rd in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.08) after 76 games with 20 wins, seven losses, and 27 saves.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox struggled in the bullpen over the last week or so, but they are still 10th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3.58) after 73 games with 11 wins, 13 losses, and 18 saves. It’s been tough for Craig Kimbrel to find his rhythm in June. He only pitched in two games over the first 13 days of the month. He then pitched in five games over a seven-game strength leading to fade in his last outing during that stretch (two runs and three baserunners in two-thirds of an inning). Over his last three games. Kimbrel allowed three runs and nine baserunners in 3.2 innings. His last save came on June 19th while only having four save chances in June. He’s 16-for-18 in save conversions. Koji Uehara blew up in two of his last four games (five runs and six baserunners in 3.2 innings) as a result of three HRs allowed. Over 29.1 innings in 2016, Uehara has allowed six HRs with 44 Ks. His ERA (4.91) is out of line when compared to his WHIP (1.06). Junichi Tazawa doesn’t look worthy of being an impact arm on a championship team. He’s allowed a run in three of his last six outing with two coming as a result of a HR. Over his last 11.2 innings, Tazawa allowed eight runs and 13 baserunners including four HRs.

New York Yankees

Aroldis Chapman hasn’t been sharp in his last seven games (four runs over six innings). Chapman has been successful in 15 of his 16 save tries with 31 Ks in 20 innings. Andrew Miller allowed a HR in two of his last seven games. Miller hasn’t walked a batter in his last 12 innings with 23 Ks. Andrew has a win each of the last three weeks, which is a nice bonus to his value. He has 63 Ks in 33.2 innings while issuing only three walks. Dellin Betances hasn’t allowed a run or any baserunners in his last four games with five strikeouts. Betances has two wins, and 19 holds with 67 Ks in 37.2 innings. The Yankees sit 16th in the majors in bullpen ERA (4.01) after 76 games with 14 wins, nine losses, and 23 saves.

Tampa Bay Rays

http://www.scout.com/player/155360-alex-colome?s=532

The Rays fell to 26th in bullpen ERA (4.49) after 75 games with 13 wins, 14 losses, and 19 saves. After getting bombed for three runs and three baserunners in two-thirds of an inning on June 18th, Alex Colome didn’t pitch in any game last week. Tampa decided to place him on the DL on June 28th with a biceps issue. His injury as somewhat hidden as the Rays lost 11 straight games (12 of their last 13) leaving Fantasy owners in the dark of a possible injury. Colome converted all 19 of his save opportunities in 2016. The injury to Alex creates an opening for saves, but most of the options in this bullpen have squirrelly resumes. Matt Andriese makes the most sense as he’s had the most success in 2016 (2.96 ERA and 1.17 WHIP). Matt has struggled in his last six games (nine runs and 32 baserunners in 20.1 innings with 19 Ks). Ryan Garton hasn’t allowed a run in his last 8.2 innings with 10 Ks. Garton has 21 saves on his minor league resume over five seasons with a 3.19 ERA and 237 K sin 248.1 innings. His command (3.9 walks per 9) in the minors doesn’t look closer worthy, but he did show growth in this area in 2016 (2.3 at AAA). Tampa called up Danny Farquhar on June 25th, but he’s allowed three runs (two HRs) in his three innings of work in the majors over the last week. Danny had a 4.38 ERA at AAA over 24.2 innings with 18 Ks.

Toronto Blue Jays

Roberto Osuna has lacked consistency over his last nine games. During this period, he’s allowed a run or more in four games leading to five runs and ten baserunners over 9.1 innings with 13 Ks. Osuna is 15-for-17 in save conversions. Jason Grilli has been on a negative progression over his last six games (three runs and ten baserunners over six innings with nine strikeouts). Drew Storen blew up in his last two games (five runs and six baserunners over 1.1 innings with two Ks). His ERA fell to 6.28 after showing some growth in his previous 13.1 innings (two runs allowed). Toronto slid to 20th in bullpen ERA (4.31) after 79 games with eight wins, 18 losses, and 20 saves.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox rank 9th in bullpen ERA (3.48) after 74 games with 11 wins, ten losses, and 22 saves. David Robertson only allowed one run in his last eight innings, but he’s walked eight batters over this period with eight hits allowed. Robertson has been successful in 20 of his 22 save chances. Nate Jones allowed a run in three of his last eight games (three runs and eight baserunners over 8.1 innings). His ERA (2.88) and WHIP (0.87) look to be closer worthy if Robertson trips up. Zach Duke extended his shutout streak to six innings with nine Ks.

Cleveland Indians

Even with the Indians on a hot streak, their bullpen still has risk at times. Cody Allen allowed a run and four baserunners in his last two innings with two Ks while picking up a save. Allen is 15-for-17 in save conversions with 40 Ks in 32.2 innings. Bryan Shaw rebounded from a bad three games in the middle of June (four and eight baserunners over two innings with two Ks) to toss 3.2 shutout innings in his last four games with six Ks. Zach McAllister has looked much better in his last seven games (one runs in 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts). The Indians moved to 7th in bullpen ERA (3.30) after 71 games with 11 wins, 11 losses, and 16 saves.

Detroit Tigers

http://www.scout.com/player/50579-francisco-rodriguez?s=532

The Tigers continue to have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. They have a 4.39 ERA after 76 games with ten wins, eight losses, and 22 saves. Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with five Ks. Francisco has been successful in 21 of his 23 save opportunities. Over his last 23 games, Rodriguez has a 2.11 ERA with 26 Ks in 21.1 innings. Justin Wilson pitched well over his last 12 games (1.54 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with 13 Ks in 11.2 innings). Alex Wilson is trending back in the right direction as well (two runs and nine baserunners over 8.1 innings with seven strikeouts). Bruce Rondon looks positioned to gain more important innings since being called up from the minors (one run and two hits allowed in seven innings with seven Ks).

Kansas City Royals

Wade Davis allowed one run in his last 14.2 innings with 13 strikeouts to lower his ERA to 0.99. Davis converted 18 of his 19 save chances. The correction process for Joakim Soria added another week to his 2016 resume. Over his last 26 games, Soria has a 1.93 ERA with 23 Ks in 28 innings. Kelvin Herrera has been impressive over his last 5.2 innings (no runs, one hit, and nine Ks). The Royals still have the best bullpen ERA (2.73) in baseball after 76 games with 14 wins, five losses, and 19 saves.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins have the 27th ranked bullpen ERA (4.56) in the majors with 13 wins, 15 losses, and 11 saves. Brandon Kintzler picked up three saves over the last three weeks. Over the last week, his arm has stabilized (3.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts) to lower his ERA to 2.49 with 15 Ks in 21.2 innings. Fernando Abad picked up a save on June 22nd, which was his next game after struggling in back-to-back games (four runs and four baserunners in one inning). Ryan Pressly pitched well over his last 15 games (1.88 ERA and 0.70 WHIP with 15 Ks in 14.1 innings).

AL West

Houston Astros

Will Harris converted all seven save chances since taking over the job on June 5th. His arm has shown more risk over the last two weeks or so (two runs and nine baserunners over six innings with four strikeouts). On the year, Harris has a plus ERA (0.80) and WHIP (0.86) with 34 Ks in 33.2 innings. Luke Gregerson has regained his form since losing the closing job. Over his last 6.2 innings, Luke allowed no runs and one hit with 11 strikeouts. Gregerson has a win in each of his last three games while being 13-for-18 on save conversions on the year. Ken Giles continues to drift in and out of value. Over his last seven innings, Giles allowed two runs and six baserunners with eight Ks. The Astros are 5th in bullpen ERA (3.17) after 77 games with 15 wins, 11 losses, and 23 saves.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are 15th in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.00) after 76 games with 12 wins, 13 losses, and 15 saves. Huston Street tossed two shutout innings over the last week with a two strikeouts and a win. Street has struggled over his last six games (five runs and 14 baserunners in 4.2 innings) inviting some concern with his health. Joe Smith is expected to return for the DL later this week. He threw one clean inning at High-A on June 26th. Over the last three seasons, Joe has 26 saves for LA. Cam Bedrosian extended his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings with 11 Ks. Over his last 29 games, Cam has a 1.08 ERA with 27 Ks in 25 innings.

Oakland A’s

Ryan Madsen earned three saves in his last four games, but he did struggle in his last outing (three runs and six baserunners in two innings) when the A’s asked him to pitch a second inning. Ryan has been successful in 15 of his 18 save opportunities. His job continues to be at risk, but Sean Doolittle has struggled over his last five games (three runs and eight baserunners in five innings with one Ks). Sean did pick up a save on June 23rd). Ryan Dull may emerge as the closer for Oakland if they make some trades over the next month. Dull has only allowed one run and six hits over his last 16 innings with 17 Ks (0.56 ERA and 0.56 WHIP). If you are looking for a possible buy and hold closer in waiting, Ryan fits the bill. The A’s are 19th in bullpen ERA (4.16) after 77 games with 14 wins, nine losses, and 21 saves.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners rank 6th in bullpen ERA (3.23) after 76 games with 12 wins, 13 losses, and ten saves. Steve Cishek allowed a run and six baserunners over his last 3.2 innings leading to a loss and two saves. Steve is 18-for-22 in save conversions. Over his last 13 games, Cishek has 2.08 ERA with 15 Ks in 13 innings. Edwin Diaz has a live arm with closing upside. He allowed two runs and 15 baserunners over his last 10.2 innings with 18 Ks. His average fastball is 96.4 in the majors. Joaquin Benoit has struggled in his last eight games (five runs and 14 baserunners over eight innings with nine strikeouts). This bullpen is full of risk behind the top two arms at this point of the year.

Texas Rangers

http://www.scout.com/player/142473-sam-dyson?s=532

Sam Dyson hasn’t allowed a run in his last 6.2 innings with only two Ks. Over his last 31 games, Dyson had a 1.53 ERA and 0.89 WHIP while converting all 16 of his save opportunities. Jake Diekman fell on his face over his last four games (six runs and seven baserunners over three innings), which came after his 14.2 inning shutout streak. Matt Bush also faded in his last two games (three runs and five baserunners in two innings with one strikeout). Shawn Tolleson has worked his way back into the mix after tossing eight shutout innings with three hits allowed and four Ks. The Rangers still have one of the worst bullpen ERA (4.69) in baseball after 77 games. They have 18 wins, 14 losses, and 30 saves.



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