Zach Britton was one of the best closers in the game over the first half of 2016 leading to him earning the last outs in this season’s All-Star game. Zach converted all 27 of his saves while extending his shutout streak to 27.2 innings with 30 Ks. Baltimore hopes to have Darren O’Day after the All-Star break, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in a game since June 1st. Brad Brach has been impressive over his last 13.2 innings (no runs and three hits allowed with 18 strikeouts) to lower his ERA to 0.91. Brad has 58 Ks in 49.3 innings. There is still no update on Dylan Bundy moving into the starting rotation. Bundy hasn’t allowed a run in his last 14.1 innings with 19 Ks. The Orioles are 4th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3.12) after 87 games with 22 wins, eight losses, and 31 saves.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox faded to 14th in bullpen ERA (3.88) after 83 games with 12 wins, 13 losses, and 13 saves. Boston placed Craig Kimbrel on the DL with a left knee issue that required minor surgery. He’s expected to be out for three to six weeks leading to the Red Sox acquiring Brad Ziegler. Craig’s knee injury was probably the reason for his failure over his last six games (six runs and 17 baserunners in 5.2 innings). Kimbrel has been successful in 17 of his 19 save tries with 50 Ks in 33 innings. Koji Uehara picked up a pair of saves last week, but he allowed two HRs and four baserunners over his last 2.1 innings. Koji has risk in the 9th due to eight HRs allowed in 33.2 innings. Brad Ziegler finished the first half of the year with a 2.75 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with 18 saves in 20 chances. If Uehara trips up, Ziegler will be ready to steal the short term closing job.
New York Yankees
Aroldis Chapman allowed one run in his last 8.1 innings with three hits and 13 strikeouts. He picked up three wins and four saves over this stretch. Chapman is 17-for-18 in save conversions with 38 Ks in 25.1 innings. Andrew Miller ended the first half of 2016 with a 1.37 ERA and 69 Ks over 39.1 innings leading to five wins, seven saves, and 14 holds. Dellin Betances saw his 9.1 scoreless streak end in his last outing on July 9th when he allowed a run and three baserunners in 1.1 innings. Betances has 78 K sin 44 innings with a solid ERA (2.06) and WHIP (1.00). The Yankees are 13th in bullpen ERA (3.78) after 88 games with 18 wins, ten losses, and 25 saves.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays fell to 27th in bullpen ERA (4.79) after 87 games with 13 wins, 16 losses, and 20 saves. Since returning from the DL on July 4th, Alex Colome has thrown 1.1 shutout innings with one strikeout. Colome converted all 19 of his save opportunities over the first half of 2016 with a 1.69 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Brad Boxberger still hasn’t thrown a pitch in a rehab game. Last week he tossed some pitches in batting practice, which puts him on the path back to the mound. Ryan Garton has struggled in two of his last six games (six runs and ten baserunners in five innings). Tampa called up Dylan Floro over the last week. He allowed one run in 3.1 innings with four Ks. Over 48 innings at AAA in 2016, Dylan had a 2.81 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 38 strikeouts.
Toronto Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with three Ks and three saves. He’s converted 18 of his 20 save chances with 48 Ks in 39.2 innings. Jason Grilli gave up a HR in his last outing, which ended a three-inning stretch with no runs or hits allowed. Over his 25 games, Grilli has a 2.53 ERA with 35 Ks in 21.1 innings. Since returning from the DL, Brett Cecil allowed one run over four innings with four Ks. Toronto moved to 17th in bullpen ERA (4.05) after 91 games with ten wins, 20 losses, and 23 saves.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox continue to hang tough in bullpen ERA (3.45 – 8th) after 85 games with 12 wins, ten losses, and 27 saves. David Robertson missed time last week due to a left leg strain. Fantasy owners hope the issue is minor with the All-Star break helping his health. Over his last 13.2 innings, Robertson allowed two runs and 23 baserunners with 16 Ks. David is 23-for-25 in save conversions with underlying risk due to a high WHIP (1.40). Nate Jones hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven innings 12 Ks. Jones has two wins and two saves over his last seven games. Zach Duke pitched his best ball of the season over the last month (0.77 ERA with 17 Ks in 11.2 innings).
Cody Allen has a six-inning shutout streak with six strikeouts and three saves. He’s been successful in 18 of his 20 save chances with his ERA (2.79) and WHIP (1.16) now in a desirable area. Bryan Shaw extended his scoreless streak to 10.1 innings with 10 Ks, but he did walk six batters. His ERA (4.04) is at his lowest point of the year since April 6th. Dan Otero has a 1.38 ERA over his last 26 innings with 26 Ks. The Indians ranks 9th in bullpen ERA (3.55) after 83 games with 13 wins, 13 losses, and 19 saves.
The Tigers sit 26th in bullpen ERA (4.53) after 88 games with 13 wins, ten losses, and 25 saves. Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven innings with six strikeouts. Rodriguez is 24-for-26 in save opportunities with a 2.93 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Justin Wilson has struggled a bit in his last four games (two runs and six baserunners over four innings). Bruce Rondon still doesn’t look like a winning asset in the bullpen (three runs and four baserunners in his last two innings – two HRs allowed).
Kansas City Royals
It looks like Wade Davis will be back just after the All-Star break after throwing on the side over the last week. Davis converted 19 of 21 save tries with strength in his ERA (1.23) and his WHIP (1.02). While Davis was out, Kelvin Herrera earned a save on July 9th, but he struggled on July 6th (two runs and three baserunners in one inning). Over his last 12 games, Kelvin has a 2.13 ERA with 17 Ks in 12.2 innings. Joakim Soria pitched his way out of save contention over the last two weeks (three runs and seven baserunners in 5.2 innings). Kansas City dropped to second in bullpen ERA (2.92) after 88 games with 17 wins, 12 losses, and 21 saves.
The Twins remains one of the weaker teams in the majors in bullpen ERA (4.51 – 25th) after 86 games with 13 wins, 18 losses, and 13 saves. Brandon Kintzler is 5-for-5 in save chances since taking over the closing job for Minnesota. Over his last 26 games, Brandon has a 2.42 ERA with 16 Ks and two walks. The slide of Fernando Abad continued over the last week. He’s allowed seven runs and 15 baserunners in his last eight innings. Trevor May has looked sharp over his three innings (no runs and four Ks) since returning from the DL.
Will Harris showed a crack on July 8th when he allowed four runs and four baserunners over one-third of an inning. Over his last 13 games, Will has a 4.38 ERA and 1.46 WHIP while earning a win and eight saves. He’s converted all nine of his save tries in 2016. Luke Gregerson picked up a save on July 6th, but he didn’t pitch well (one runs and four baserunners in one inning). Over his last 13 games, Luke has been closer worthy (1.42 ERA and 20 Ks in 12.2 innings). Ken Giles has been very good over his last six games (no runs in six innings with nine Ks). Over his last 27 games, Giles has a 2.13 ERA with 34 Ks in 25.1 innings. Ken looks real close to regaining a closing opportunity. The Astros rose to 5th in bullpen ERA (3.20) after 88 games with 18 wins, ten losses, and 26 saves.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels faded to 19th in bullpen ERA (4.09) after 87 games with 13 wins, 15 losses, and 15 saves. Huston Street continues to show job loss risk. Over his last ten games, Huston allowed nine runs and 25 baserunners over 7.2 innings with seven Ks. Street is 7-for-9 in save conversion with 11 walks allowed in 17.2 innings. Cam Bedrosian hasn’t allowed a run since May 31st (16.2 shutout innings with 18 Ks) to lower his ERA to 1.09. Bedrosian looks real close to earning a closing opportunity. Joe Smith doesn’t look healthy since returning from the DL (five runs and 13 baserunners over 4.2 innings)
The window for Ryan Madson to close in Oakland looks to be just about over. He blew back-to-back save last week while pitching poorly in three of his last six games (seven runs and 14 baserunners in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts). Ryan has been successful in 17 of his 22 save conversions with risk in his ERA (4.94) and WHIP (1.48) over his last 23.2 innings. Ryan Dull picked up a save on July 9th when he tossed one shutout inning with one K. Dull has been electric over his last 13 games (one run and four hits over 12.2 innings with 15 Ks and no walks). I expect him to gain the closing job over the last two and half months of the season. Liam Hendriks allowed one run and seven baserunners in his last 5.2 innings with five Ks. The A’s sit 21st in bullpen ERA (4.30) after 89 games with 14 wins, 12 losses, and 24 saves.
The Mariners are 7th in bullpen ERA (3.44) after 88 games with 12 wins, 15 losses, and 23 saves. Steve Cishek has been a disaster in each of his last three games (four runs and five baserunners in 2.1 innings with two Ks allowed). Cishek has been successful in 21 of his 26 save opportunities. Edwin Diaz has 17 Ks over his last 7.1 innings, but he allowed three runs and nine baserunners. Diaz has the strikeout ability to close, but he needs to allow fewer baserunners (25 in 17.2 innings) and fewer HRs (3). Joaquin Benoit threw the ball better in July (no runs in three innings with three Ks).
The Rangers still have the second-worst bullpen ERA (5.10) after 89 games with 21 wins, 16 losses, and 32 saves. Sam Dyson hasn’t allowed a run in July (three innings with two Ks) after getting smashed in his last game in June (four runs and five baserunners in one-third of an inning). Dyson is 18-for-20 in save tries with success in ERA (2.59) and WHIP (1.08). Shawn Tolleson was ripped up in his last two games (seven runs and 11 baserunners over 2.1 innings). Matt Bush improved his scoreless streak to five innings with four strikeouts.