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Fantasy Baseball Week 20: American League Closer Report

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

AL East

Baltimore Orioles

Walks (11) have been a slight issue for Zach Britton over his last 24.2 innings, but he still hasn’t allowed a run since April 27th (40 innings with 49 Ks). Britton converted all 37 of his save chances. Darren O’Day was placed back on the DL with a sore right shoulder. Brad Brach doesn’t look like the elite arm that he showcased over the first three months of the season. Brad allowed six runs and 15 baserunners in his last nine innings with 10 Ks). Donnie Hart will be the replacement for O’Day in the bullpen. Hart has yet to allow a run over five innings in the majors with one K after making the jump from AA (2.72 ERA with 50 Ks in 46.1 innings). The Orioles remain second in bullpen ERA (3.16) after 118 games with 27 wins, 10 losses, and 43 saves.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox faded to 17th in bullpen ERA (3.89) after 111 games with 18 wins, 20 losses, and 31 saves. Craig Kimbrel rebounded from his tough outing on August 9th, when he issued four walks leading to a run over two-thirds of an inning, to toss three shutout innings with four Ks and three saves. Since returning from the DL, Craig allowed one run and one hit with 11 Ks and six walks. On the year, Kimbrel is 21-for-23 in save conversions. Brad Ziegler blew up on August 11th when he allowed three runs and five baserunners in one inning of work. In his last two games, Brad threw two shutout innings with five Ks. Koji Uehara looks to be at least two weeks from returning to the majors.

New York Yankees

Dellin Betances extended his shutout streak to 9.1 innings with 18 Ks. Over his last 28.1 innings, Betances has a 0.95 ERA with 45 Ks. Since taking over the closing job, Dellin converted all five of his save tries. Tyler Clippard threw the ball much better over the last two weeks (no runs in six innings with six Ks). Adam Warren was bombed for four runs (two HRs) and four baserunners over one-third of an inning in his last outing vs. the Blue Jays on August 16th to end his 11 inning shutout streak. New York slid three spots to 9th in bullpen ERA (3.56) after 119 games with 23 wins, 12 losses, and 36 saves.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays bumped up to 24th in bullpen ERA (4.38) after 117 games with 14 wins, 22 losses, and 30 saves. Alex Colome improved his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings with 10 Ks. His last save chance came on August 6th. Alex has been successful in 27 of his 28 saves chances. Brad Boxberger hasn’t allowed a run over 5.2 innings since returning the DL, but he’s flirting with trouble by allowing 13 baserunners. Kevin Jepsen saw his 5.2 inning shutout streak end on August 15th when he allowed a HR.

Toronto Blue Jays

Roberto Osuna is 26-for-28 in save chance. Over his last 13 games, Osuna allowed a run and seven baserunners in 12.2 innings with 16 Ks. His last blown save came on June 7th. Jason Grilli has been electric over his last seven innings (no runs and two hits with nine Ks). Over his last 25 innings, Jason has a 1.80 ERA with 36 Ks. He is the player that helped stabilize Toronto’s bullpen. Joaquin Benoit extended his shutout streak to 8.2 innings with five Ks. Toronto moved to 16th in bullpen ERA (3.87) after 120 games with 15 wins, 23 losses, and 33 saves.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are 12th in bullpen ERA (3.71) after 113 games with 19 wins, 16 losses, and 34 saves. David Robertson batted .500 over the last week as he blew two of his four save chances while allowing two runs and six baserunners in four innings. David has six blown save in 35 opportunities on the year. Over his last 27 innings, Robertson has a 4.67 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. His job continues to be at risk. Nate Jones extended his shutout streak to 10 innings with 12 Ks. His arm has outpitched Robertson over the last 60 games (1.39 ERA and 41 Ks in 32.1 innings). Dan Jennings looks to be the only other arm of value in this bullpen at this point of the year. Dan hasn’t allowed a run in his last 4.1 innings with seven Ks.

Cleveland Indians

Cody Allen picked up three saves over the last week, which points to him being the favorite to earn the most saves for the Indians going forward. Allen hasn’t allowed a run in his last 5.2 innings with eight Ks. Over his last 25.2 innings, Cody has a 1.05 ERA with 36 Ks. Allen has been successful in 23 of his 25 save chances. Andrew Miller tossed five shutout innings with no hits allowed in his last three games. The Indians seem motivated to pitch him over multiple innings meaning saves could be slim going forward. Bryan Shaw extended his shutout streak to 10.2 innings with 10 Ks. His ERA (3.60) and WHIP (1.30) are at a low point of the year. Cleveland ranks 11th in bullpen ERA (3.57) after 112 games with 16 wins, 16 losses, and 25 saves.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers are 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.14) after 116 games with 18 wins, 16 losses, and 36 saves. Francisco struggled over his last five games (four runs and eight baserunners in four innings with no Ks). Francisco is 33-for-36 in save conversions. Justin Wilson continues to pitch poorly. Over his eight games, he allowed nine runs and 16 baserunners in seven innings). Alex Wilson extended his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings with only six strikeouts. Shane Greene has done a nice job over the last month since moving to the bullpen (2.96 ERA with 24 Ks in 24.1 innings).

Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera tossed two shut innings over the last week with two Ks and a save after getting bombed for three runs and three baserunners on August 9th in one inning of work. Kevin converted all five of his save chances since taking over the closing job. Joakim Soria is back on the uptick after throwing 5.1 shutout innings with eight Ks. Matthew Strahm pitched well in his last four games in the majors (no runs over 4.2 innings with 10 Ks). The Royals gained back two spots in bullpen ERA (3.46 – 5th) after 117 games with 19 wins, 17 losses, and 27 saves.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins sit 23rd in bullpen ERA (4.27) after 116 games with 19 wins, 19 losses, and 21 saves. Brandon Kintzler has been successful in 12 of his 13 save tries while pitching at a high level over his last 24 innings (1.50 ERA with 13 Ks). Taylor Rogers lost his rhythm in his last three games (four runs and seven baserunners over two innings). His recent fade is due to eight walks allowed in his last 13.2 innings. Trevor May was placed on the DL with a back issue. Ryan Pressly allowed two runs over his last 13 innings with 10 Ks to move to the top dog in the 8th inning.

AL West

Houston Astros

The Astros have struggled to win games of late leading to Ken Giles only earning one save over the last couple of weeks since taking over the closing role. Over his last 23 games, Ken has a 1.21 ERA with 41 Ks. Luke Gregerson allowed a HR in one inning of work after being activated from the DL. The struggles of Will Harris (8.22 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over his last 7.2 innings) will move Gregerson back to the 8th inning. Pat Neshek saw his five-inning shutout streak end in his last outing on August 16th when he allowed two runs and two baserunners in one inning. Houston dipped to 4th in bullpen ERA (3.29) after 117 games with 19 wins, 14 losses, and 30 saves.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels fell to 20th in bullpen ERA (3.96) after 116 games with 17 wins, 18 losses, and 19 saves. Fernando Salas picked up his first save since taking over the closing job. Salas hasn’t allowed a run in his last five innings with four Ks. There is still no update on Cam Bedrosian’s finger issue. Huston Street has started to throw over the last week as he tries to work his way back from his knee problem. Deolis Guerra struggled in two of his last four games (two runs and four baserunners in 3.2 innings).

Oakland A’s

Ryan Madsen weathered some midseason struggles to hold off all comers for the closing job in Oakland. Ryan improved his shutout streak to 6.2 innings with six Ks while picking up a win and three saves. Madsen is 25-for-31 in save tries with a bump in value over his last 11 games (2.92 ERA with 11 Ks in 12.1 innings). Ryan Dull allowed a run and eight baserunners in three of his last six games over 5.1 innings to pitch his way out of save contention. Liam Hendriks continues to gain momentum over his last 14 games (1.56 ERA with 18 Ks in 17.1 innings). Oakland ranks 19th in bullpen ERA (3.92) after 119 games with 20 wins, 16 losses, and 34 saves.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are 10th in bullpen ERA (3.56) after 117 games with 18 wins, 19 losses, and 37 saves. Edwin Diaz continues to be one of the better bullpen arms off the waiver wire in 2016. Over his last 16 innings, Diaz allowed one run with 28 Ks and only two walks. His growth in his command is the key to his upside. Edwin has been successful in all seven of his save opportunities in August. Drew Storen threw the ball well over his last six innings (one run with three Ks). Arquimedes Caminero saw his seven-inning shutout streak end in his last out on August 16th when he allowed two runs and three baserunners. Tom Wilhelmsen improved his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings with six Ks.

Texas Rangers

Sam Dyson has been far from a lock over his last ten games of which he allowed a run four times. Sam is 27-for-31 save tries with 3.16 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over his last 25.2 innings. His job is at risk. Jeremy Jeffress hasn’t been sharp over his last nine games (four runs and 14 baserunners over nine innings). Jeremy issued four walks in his last three innings of work. Matt Bush has a 3.58 ERA with 22 Ks over his last 27.2 innings with two disaster games (two runs in two-thirds of an inning and four runs in one-third of an inning). The Rangers are 27th in bullpen ERA (4.69) after 120 games with 30 wins, 19 losses, and 43 saves.

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