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Fantasy Baseball Week 3: National League Closer Report

Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs takes an in-depth look at the bullpen for every team in the National League! This week, we're offering a FREE peek but you'll need to join the #ScoutArmy for weekly access!

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NL East

Atlanta Braves

Jim Johnson did an excellent job over the last four games (no runs over four innings with four Ks) resulting in a win and three saves. Overall, he’s allowed one run over seven innings with eight strikeouts while converting 3 of 4 save chances. Arodys Vizcaino tossed six shutout innings with five Ks to start the year, but he was rough up in his last outing on April 17th (two runs, four baserunners, and a home run over two-thirds of an inning). The Braves hope to have Mauricio Cabrera back in a couple of weeks after upping his workout to an extended spring training game this weekend. Atlanta is about league average in bullpen ERA (3.89) after 13 games with three wins, two losses, and three saves.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins moved to 6th in bullpen ERA (2.61) after 14 games with four wins, three losses, and two saves. A.J. Ramos has a win, loss, and two saves over six innings with a 1.50 ERA and seven Ks. Brad Ziegler remains next in line for saves after allowing one run and five hits over eight innings with six strikeouts. Kyle Barraclough extended his scoreless streak to six innings with two walks and nine Ks to keep Fantasy owners’ interest peaked for a future closing role.

Philadelphia Phillies

Joaquin Benoit blew a save chance on April 16th when he allowed three runs, three baserunners, and a home run over two-thirds of an inning. He did convert his first opportunity the day before. On the year, Benoit allowed three runs and seven baserunners over 6.2 innings. Hector Neris is the best arm in this bullpen when he gets more experience. He pitched seven shutout innings with two hits and nine strikeouts to start the year. Jeanmar Gomez has no chance at the 9th inning after allowing five runs and seven baserunners over his last 3.1 innings. The Phillies are 22nd in bullpen ERA (5.01) after 13 games with two wins, four losses, and two saves.

New York Mets

After two weeks of games, New York sits 15th in bullpen ERA (3.79) with three wins, five losses, and three saves. Jeurys Familia will return this week shortly after he’s activated from the suspended list. Addison Reed struggled on April 16th when he allowed two runs and three baserunners over two-thirds of an inning to take a loss. He converted all three saves while posting a 3.12 ERA to start the year over 8.2 innings. Fernando Salas saw his 7.2 inning shutout streak end on April 15th when he allowed a pair of HRs (three runs) to Miami.

Washington Nationals

Once the season started, Fantasy owners knew Shawn Kelley wasn’t going to close for Washington. They knew the coaching staff liked Koda Glover while Blake Treinen had his first opportunity in the 9th. After 13 games, Blake’s window to close is over. He allowed a run or more in four of his last six games with 16 baserunners reaching base over 5.1 innings (six via walk). Glover has a fair resume after seven appearances (3.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with four Ks over 5.2 innings). Kelley bailed out Treinen on April 18th to pick up his first save. Over his last three innings, Shawn hasn’t allowed a run with four Ks leading to two wins as well. The Nationals need this to shake out. Glover is the arm to hold while Kelley may get a day-to-day trial to prove his value. Washington fell to 28th in bullpen ERA (6.16) with two wins, three losses, and four saves.

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NL Central

Cincinnati Reds

I know one thing for sure. The Reds bullpen is much better than 2017, which bolds well for their future if they can find talent in the starting pitching department. They rank 5th in the majors in bullpen ERA (2.48) after 14 games with four wins, loss, and five saves. Raisel Iglesias has been successful in all three save chances in 2017. He struggled a bit in his last game (home run allowed in two innings with two Ks), but he picked up a win. Michael Lorenzen pitched at a high level in five of his six games with his failure being a disaster outing on April 14th (four runs and four baserunners in one inning). Tony Cingrani remains on solid footing in 2017 after allowing one run over 4.2 innings with five Ks.

Chicago Cubs

After six games, Wade Davis looks like the elite Wade Davis in Kansas City. He’s thrown 7.1 shutout innings with seven strikeouts while picking up two wins and three saves. Hector Rondon had some news of a knee issue, but it appears to be minor. Over 6.1 innings in 2017, he’s allowed one run with nine Ks. Koji Uehara started the year with 5.2 shutout innings with six Ks, but Pirates beat him for two runs and four baserunners without recording an out on April 16th. The Cubs are 16th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3,83) after 14 games with two wins, four losses, and three saves.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers relievers already have five losses after 15 games, but they rank 9th in the majors in bullpen ERA (2.93) with a win and five saves. Neftali Feliz has been impressive over his last five games (no runs and one hit over 4.1 innings with five Ks and four save conversions, but the Cubs drilled him for four runs and four baserunners over one inning leading to his first blown save in six chances. Corey Knebel saw his 7.2-inning scoreless streak end on April 19th when he allowed a run and three baserunners over two-thirds of an inning against the Cubs. Jacob Barnes has yet to allow a run over 9.1 innings with 11 Ks.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Tony Watson allowed his first run of the year on April 15th when he allowed a home run to the Cubs, but he did secure his fourth save in as many chances. Watson needs to clean up his walks (four over six innings). Daniel Hudson allowed a run or more in three straight games to push his ERA to 5.40 before tossing a pair of perfect innings with two Ks. Juan Nicasio pitched his way out of save contention with issues in two of his last three games (two runs and seven baserunners over 2.2 innings). The Pirates are 21st in the majors in bullpen ERA (4.67) after 13 games with two wins, three losses, and four saves.

St. Louis Cardinals

The bullpen continues to be a shortfall for the Cardinals after 14 games in 2016, They rank 29th in ERA (6.69) with a win, loss, and two saves (another save on Wednesday). Seung-Hwan Oh converted his last two save chances, but his arm continues to show job loss risk. This season Oh allowed six runs and 13 baserunners over 6.2 innings with one blown save. His average fastball has shown more life in his last three games (94.0, 93.4, and 92.3) after coming out flat in his first two outings (91.5 and 90.6). Trevor Rosenthal picked up a save on Wednesday when Seung-Hwan was unavailable due to pitching back-to-back games. Trevor struck out the side in a perfect inning with his fastball coming in at 98 mph on the year. Rosenthal has two seasons with 40+ saves so he must be on your radar, but his price point is rising. I picked him up last week on four high-stakes teams. Command continues to be an issue with Kevin Siegrist (nine walks over his last 4.1 innings).

© Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

Fernando Rodney is 5-for-5 in save chances with a win, but he’s allowed six runs and 12 baserunners over 12.1 innings. On the positive side, he didn’t allow a run over his last two innings with three strikeouts. J.J. Hoover is pushing his way up the Diamondbacks’ bullpen ranking. He improved his scoreless streak to 5.1 innings with no walks and six Ks. Archie Bradley now has four straight strong outings (no runs over nine innings with three walks and 11 strikeouts). His skill set still points to the starting rotation. Arizona is 20th in bullpen ERA (4.50) with three wins, no losses, and five saves.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have been splendid in the late innings in 2017. They rank 9th in bullpen ERA (2.77) after 14 games with five wins, no losses, and nine saves. Greg Holland struggled for the first time in his last outing (two runs and three baserunners over one inning) on April 18th, but he did convert his eighth save. Adam Ottavino still lurks in the background waiting for his chance to earn saves. He’s allowed one run over 6.1 innings with nine Ks. Mike Dunn (no runs and one hit over seven innings with 10 Ks) has outdueled Jake McGee (three runs and six baserunners over 3.2 innings with eight Ks) at this point of the season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen has three saves over five games pitched with a 3.86 ERA and six Ks. Sergio Romo struggled in two of his last three games (two runs and five baserunners over 2.1 innings). Pedro Baez hasn’t allowed a run or hit over four innings with six Ks since returning from the DL. The Dodgers are 3rd in the majors in bullpen ERA (1.38) after 15 games with a win, two losses, and three saves.’

San Diego Padres

The Padres slip to 26th in bullpen ERA (5.87) with two wins, two losses, and two saves. Brandon Mauer pitched poorly in two of his last three games (three runs and six baserunners over 2.2 innings) leading to a loss. Maurer converted his only save chance on the year. Carter Capps allowed four runs and four hits over 1.2 innings at AAA with two Ks so he may need more time to get ready for the majors. Brad Hand still hasn’t allowed a run over 5.2 innings with five Ks.

San Francisco Giants

Mark Melancon hasn’t allowed a run over his last four innings with five Ks resulting in three saves. His only failure came in his first appearance when he allowed two runs and four baserunners over two-thirds of an inning. Hunter Strickland extended his shutout streak to 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts. Cory Gearrin has a 0.00 ERA over four innings with four Ks. The Giants are 11th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.29) after 14 games with a win, two losses, and three saves.


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