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Fantasy Baseball Week 16: National League Closer Report

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

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NL East

Atlanta Braves

Arodys Vizcaino landed on the DL with an oblique strain on July 16th, which is probably the reason why he struggled in four of his last five games (five runs and 13 baserunners in 3.1 innings). Jim Johnson earned a save on July 10th giving him the inside track for saves on the Braves. Over the last three games, Johnson allowed three runs and eight baserunners in 2.1 innings leading to a win, loss, and blown save. In his last 19 games, Jim has a 2.29 ERA with some risk in his WHIP (1.37). I don’t believe his arm has long-term upside in the 9th even with 136 career saves on his major league resume. Mauricio Cabrera improved his shutout streak to four innings with five Ks and a win. His average fastball in the majors is 100.6 over ten innings of work. Dario Alvarez has been electric since being called up to the majors (2.08 ERA and 25 Ks in 13 innings). The Braves are 21st in bullpen ERA (4.19) after 93 games with 15 wins, 21 losses, and 17 saves.

Miami Marlins

Miami sits 10th in bullpen ERA (3.59) after 93 games with 20 wins, 16 losses, and 37 saves. A.J. Ramos hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven innings with one hit, 11 Ks, and seven saves. Ramos is 31-for-32 in save chances with a solid ERA (2.03) and WHIP (1.15). Fernando Rodney threw the ball great over his last five innings (no runs and one hit with six strikeouts). He’s only allowed four runs and 17 hits over 37.2 innings in 2016. David Phelps faded over his last five games (four runs and 12 baserunners in five innings).

New York Mets

http://www.scout.com/player/123347-jeurys-familia?s=532

Jeurys Familia extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings with 19 Ks. Familia still hasn’t blown a save in his 33 opportunities with an improving ERA (2.44). Addison Reed threw the ball at an elite level over his last 9.2 innings (no runs and two hits with 15 Ks). His success is now closer-worthy. Hansel Robles is rounding into form as well (no runs over his last 7.1 innings with eight Ks). New York is 6th in bullpen ERA (3.17) after 92 games with 15 wins, 11 losses, and 34 saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.35) after 93 games with 14 wins, 14 losses, and 28 saves. Jeanmar Gomez blew his third save in 28 chances on July 18th when he allowed two runs and four baserunners in one inning. Over his last 13 games, Jeanmar has a 2.08 ERA with a win and six saves. Hector Neris has been stable over his last seven innings (two runs and eight baserunners with ten strikeouts). After getting drilled for five runs and five baserunners on July 7th, Edubray Ramos tossed 3.2 shutout innings with three Ks.

Washington Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon threw the ball much better since returning from the DL (no runs and two hits in five innings with eight Ks). Jon is 19-for-21 in save chances with an improving ERA (2.73). Shawn Kelley saw his 4.2 inning scoreless streak end on July 19th when he allowed a HR in one inning. Shawn has 54 Ks over 35.2 innings in 2016 with seven walks. Blake Treinen has a 1.05 ERA over his last 25.2 innings with 22 strikeouts. The Nationals are 2nd in the majors in bullpen ERA (2.97) after 93 games with 12 wins, 13 losses, and 25 saves.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

http://www.scout.com/player/88523-hector-rondon?s=532

The Cubs fell to 15th in bullpen ERA (3.82) after 90 games with 11 wins, 12 losses, and 17 saves. Hector Rondon picked up two saves after the break, but he did take a loss in his last game on July 19th when he allowed a run and three baserunners in one inning. Rondon has blown four saves in 16 tries, which may lead to Chicago adding an impact closing arm before the end of July. Pedro Strop pitched well over his last 24 games (2.45 ERA and 0.77 WHIP with 28 Ks). Carl Edwards continues to add length to the Cubs bullpen since his call up (two runs and nine baserunners allowed in 12 innings).

Cincinnati Reds

http://www.scout.com/player/168121-tony-cingrani?s=532

Tony Cingrani struggled in two of his last three games (two runs and six baserunners in 2.2 innings). Tony only has one save since July 26th. He’s been successful in 10 of his 15 save opportunities. Raisel Iglesias extended his shutout streak to 13.1 innings with five hits and 16 Ks. His arm makes the most sense in the 9th inning over the last two months of the year. Jumbo Diaz has pitched better over his last seven innings (one run and five baserunners with three Ks) since being recalled from the minors. The Reds remain last in the majors in bullpen ERA (5.49) after 93 games with 15 wins, 22 losses, and 15 saves.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are 19th in bullpen ERA (4.04) after 91 games with 12 wins, 14 losses, and 28 saves. Jeremy Jeffress improved his scoreless streak to 7.2 innings with five Ks. He’s allowed 17 baserunners in his last 10.2 innings leading to risk in his WHIP (1.59). Jeremy converted 23 of his 24 saves with no upside strikeouts (29 in 39.1 innings). Tyler Thornburg picked up two losses in his last two games despite allowing no earned runs. Tyler hasn’t allowed a run in his last 7.1 innings with seven Ks. Over his last 25 games, Thornburg has a 1.14 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in 23.2 innings. Will Smith could be traded by the end of the month as many major league contenders are looking for an upside lefty arm. Since returning from the DL, Smith has 2.12 ERA with 15 Ks in 17 innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Mark Melancon blew his last two save chances when he allowed two runs and four baserunners in two innings with three Ks. Mark is 27-for-30 in save conversions with a 1.09 ERA over his last 24.2 innings with 23 Ks. Tony Watson threw two shutout innings over the last week with three Ks. Over his last 14 innings, Watson has a 0.64 ERA with 11 strikeouts. Neftali Feliz lost his rhythm in two of his last five games (three runs and six baserunners in four innings). The Pirates rank 11th in bullpen ERA (3.60) after 92 games with 15 wins, 12 losses, and 31 saves.

St. Louis Cardinals

http://www.scout.com/player/204704-seung-hwan-oh?s=532

The Cardinals are 13th in bullpen ERA (3.69) after 90 games with 13 wins, 13 losses, and 17 saves. Seung-Hwan Oh only has two save chances since taking over the closing job in early July. Over his last seven games, Oh allowed two runs and six baserunners in 6.1 innings with eight Ks. His 2016 resume looks impressive (1.75 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 61 Ks in 46.1 innings), but he needs to be excellent in the 9th to keep the job long-term. Trevor Rosenthal allowed a run in two of his last three games pushing his chance at saves further away. Over his last six games, Trevor has 8.31 ERA and 2.08 WHIP in 4.1 innings. Kevin Siegrist hasn’t been sharp in his two games (one run and five baserunners in two innings) after his return from the DL).

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

http://www.scout.com/player/49630-tyler-clippard?s=532

Tyler Clippard struggled in his last game (three runs and three baserunners in one-third of an innings) while pitching in a non-save situation. It was surprising to see him in that game as Tyler did pitch two innings in the previous game. His usage may point to Jake Barrett having the first chance at saves for the Diamondbacks after Ziegler was traded. Barrett picked up a save after Clippard struggled, but he did allow two hits in two-thirds of an inning leading to two runs scoring. Jake hasn’t allowed a run in his last 4.1 innings with five Ks. Enrique Burgos has a 1.13 ERA over his last eight innings with seven Ks after being called up from AAA (1.95 ERA with 29 Ks in 27.1 innings, but he did walk 17 batters). Arizona is 26th in bullpen ERA (4.55) after 93 games with 11 wins, 14 losses, and 22 saves.

Colorado Rockies

Carlos Estevez picked up a pair of saves after the All-Star break to stabilize his closing opportunity. He’s converted six of nine save tries with a 3.33 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over his last 26 games covering 24.1 innings. Adam Ottavino still hasn’t allowed a run (three innings with three Ks) since returning from the DL. Boone Logan has a 2.84 ERA over 25.1 innings in 2016 with 31 Ks. The Rockies are 28th in bullpen ERA (4.95) after 93 games with 12 wins, 14 losses, and 24 saves.

Los Angeles Dodgers

LA still has the best bullpen ERA (2.96) in baseball after 92 games with 18 wins, 14 losses, and 27 saves. Kenley Jansen saw his 14 inning shutout streak end on July 16th when he blew his fourth save in 31 opportunities. Over his last three games, Jansen allowed a run and five baserunners in three innings of work. In his last 16 games, Kenley has a 0.55 ERA over 16.1 innings with 27 Ks and five hits allowed. Joe Blanton improved his scoreless streak to 9.2 to innings to lower his ERA to 2.05 and his WHIP to 0.77. Pedro Baez hasn’t allowed a run in his last 8.2 innings with 10 Ks.

San Diego Padres

http://www.scout.com/player/159791-brandon-maurer?s=532

The Padres rank 25th in bullpen ERA (4.51) after 93 games with 15 wins, nine losses, and 22 saves. Brandon Maurer continues to pitch at an elite level over his last 14 games (1.23 ERA with 16 Ks in 14.2 innings) after pitching poorly over his first 31 games (7.14 ERA and 1.62 WHIP). Maurer has a five-inning shutout streak with two hits allowed, three Ks, and two saves. Ryan Buchter improved his scoreless streak to seven innings with seven strikeouts. Kevin Quackenbush allowed a hit or more in each of his last eight games (eight innings) leading to four runs.

San Francisco Giants

Santiago Casilla has shown risk in two of his last six games (five runs and 14 baserunners in five innings). He’s been a success in 21 of his 26 save chances with a poor ERA (4.43) and WHIP (1.70) over his last 25 games covering 22.1 innings. Sergio Romo hasn’t allowed a run over 3.1 innings since returning from the DL with no walk and five Ks. Romo has 80 major league saves so it may be time to buy insurance for Casilla. Hunter Strickland continues to allow runs (three runs and nine baserunners over 5.1 innings) leading to him losing a chance at saves if Santiago trips up. The Giants are 16th in bullpen ERA (3.88) after 86 games with 18 wins, 12 losses, and 26 saves.


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