Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart

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08-04-20 Update: It’s been just over a week since our last major update. But, we have seen plenty of action across MLB’s bullpens in that time!

Be sure to check out all the new info below and adjust your lineups/rosters accordingly!


As witnessed year-in and year-out, Relief Pitcher exemplifies the term “volatility” more than any other position in baseball. Injuries, repeated blown saves/ineffective outings, and deadline trades are just a few reasons for player movement at the position. This year we are going to have to deal with even more with expanded rosters and COVID-19 IL.

The Closer role is an even more-fluid position due to the influx of “Closer Committees” present throughout the league. Numerous MLB teams have adopted this philosophy, allowing for more flexibility in deploying their best pitchers during the later innings.

Last season we altered the Job Security Legend in an effort to stay true to our site’s namesake. This year, we are keeping a similar format, but we have updated the BAC Levels slightly. Here is the breakdown of updated levels of confidence from high to low:

  • Sober: Who got the keys to the Jeep? This guy does, and he is the clear Designated Driver of his team’s ninth-inning duties.
  • Buzzed: This player has a clear case of the hiccups, but he’s still the best choice for late-night excitement.
  • Hammered: Sloppy and stumbling are continually used to describe this player’s performance. His seat at the center field bar is ripe for the taking.
  • Drunk Tank: Our new Closer Committee classification (noted with an *) for teams with two-plus relievers trying to seal the deal.

Pick-up a Sixer, and come drink-in all the frothy goodness of our 2020 Closer Chart. Stay tuned weekly for any, and all, relief pitching changes throughout the fantasy season.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Fantasy Baseball content for the latest news and notes to help you win your league. Stay frosty!

Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart


TEAMSBAC LEVELLEAD CLOSERSETUP MANNEXT MAN UPIL/COVID LISTTEAM NEWS
AL EAST
BALBuzzedCole SulserMychal GivensMiguel CastroHunter Harvey (IL)With Harvey starting the season on the IL with elbow soreness, Cole Sulser has taken the reigns as Baltimore's go-to-guy in the 9th.
BOSBuzzedBrandon WorkmanMatt BarnesHeath HembreeBrandon Workman owns both of Boston's Saves on the short season. But, at only 3-7, the Save opportunities just haven't been there for the Red Sox yet.
NYYBuzzedZack BrittonAdam OttavinoChad Green
David Hale
Aroldis Chapman (CL)
Tommy Kahnle (IL)
Tommy Kahnle appears to be headed for Tommy John surgery after being put on the IL on 7/31 with a UCL issue. Look for Chad Green and David Hale to fill-in for Kahnle
TB *Drunk TankOliver DrakeNick AndersonJose AlvaradoOliver Drake is the "current" lead-man for TB, but the Rays have five-straight losses after opening the season 4-1.
TOR *Drunk TankAnthony BassRafael DolisJordan RomanoKen Giles (IL)Giles has been diagnosed with a mild strain of the flexor mass in his right forearm, and will stay on the IL for the time being. He could still return for 2020, but won't be able to throw until mid-August at best.
AL CENTRAL
CHWSoberAlex ColomeAaron BummerEvan MarshallBoth Bummer and Marshall have been fantastic to start the season, but Colome should continue to close games for Chicago.
CLEBuzzedBrad HandJames KarinchakNick WittgrenBrad Hand earned Saves in his first two outings, but got rocked on 7/29, taking the Loss. Karinchak was used in the 9th on 7/30, and notched his first career Save. If Hand struggles, Karinchak could be the beneficiary in Cleveland.
DETSoberJoe JimenezBuck FarmerGregory SotoSoto has earned a place in this hierarchy with an 8:1 K/BB ratio and two Holds across 5.2 IP in 2020.
KC *Drunk TankIan KennedyGreg HollandTrevor RosenthalKansas City's Manager, Mike Matheny, brought his old pal, Trevor Rosenthal, in to get the Save on 7/30, a trend that garners watching since 2019 KC Closer, Ian Kennedy, has yet to earn a Save this year.
MINSoberTaylor Rogers Sergio RomoCody StashakTyler Clippard was used as the Opener for MIN on 8/2, so we're shifting him out of this hierarchy for now.
AL WEST
HOUBuzzedRyan PresslyBlake TaylorAndre Scrubb
Fernando Rodney (Minors)
Roberto Osuna (IL)
Chris Devenski (IL)
Both Osuna (arm) and Devenski (elbow soreness) hit the IL over the weekend, so look for Ryan Pressly to take over as the Closer. But, it must be noted that Houston has officially signed Fernando Rodney to a Minor League deal, so he could be someone to watch, as well!
LAAHammeredHansel RoblesTy ButtreyFelix PenaHansel Robles has been obliterated so far in 2020, surrendering nine runs in only four appearances. A change could be coming if Robles doesn't turn it around soon.
OAKSoberLiam HendriksJake DiekmanJoakim SoriaJake Diekman has been solid as Oakland's lead Setup Man, but Soria could continue to get favored for Saves when Hendriks needs rest.
SEA *Drunk TankTaylor WilliamsDan AltavillaAnthony MisiewiczYoshihisa Hirano (CL)Taylor Williams moves into the lead spot of this Closing Committee after notching his second Save on 7/31.
TEX *Drunk TankEdinson VolquezJonathan HernandezJesse ChavezJose Leclerc (IL)
Rafael Montero (IL)
Jose Leclerc was put on the 45-day IL on 7/30 with a shoulder injury. Edinson Volquez jumps into the lead-role of Texas's Closer Commitee for now.
NL EAST
ATLSoberMark MelanconShane GreeneChris MartinWill Smith (CL)Chris Martin enters the Braves hierarchy after picking up a Save on 7/31.
MIASoberBrandon KintzlerBrad BoxbergerRichard BleierEven with COVID-19 running rampant through Miami's roster, it's seemed to stay away from the bullpen arms. But, Miami did trade for Richard Bleier to help keep bodies on the field, so we're adding him to the back-end of this hierarchy.
NYMHammeredEdwin DiazSeth LugoDellin BetancesEdwin Diaz already blew his first Save of the season, so if he continues to falter, his hold on the Closer role will disappear.
PHLBuzzedHector NerisAdam MorganJose AlvarezSeranthony Dominguez (IL)Dominguez will miss the rest of 2020 and probably most, if not all, of 2021, after his Tommy John surgery. Hector Neris now has a longer leash as Philly's Closer.
WAS *Drunk TankDaniel HudsonSean DoolittleTanner RaineyWill Harris (IL)Will Harris hit the IL on 7/31 with a strained groin, but in bigger news, Daniel Hudson appears to have a tighter grasp on the Closer role for Washington. Sean Doolittle is still working on his mechanics, and Hudson continues to get the call.
NL CENTRAL
CHCBuzzedCraig KimbrelRowan WickJeremy JeffressKimbrel has looked bad so far in 2020, but Rowan Wick continues to impress first year skipper, David Ross. Keep an eye on things, especially if Kimbrel continues to pitch poorly.
CINSoberRaisel IglesiasPedro StropAmir GarrettThings remain status quo in Cincy, with Iglesias atop their hierarchy.
MILSoberJosh HaderCorey KnebelDavid PhelpsAfter David Phelps pitched not one, but two, clean extra innings with runners starting at 2B, he moves into Milwaukee's bullpen hierarchy.
PIT *Drunk TankNick BurdiRichard RodriguezMichael FelizKeona Kela (CL)
Kyle Crick (IL)
Kela remains out due to COVID-19, and will need to show he can throw off a mound numerous times prior to activation. Meanwhile, PIT placed Kyle Crick on the IL with a right shoulder/lat muscle strain. Nick Burdi gets the nod atop this Closing Committee.
STLBuzzedKwang Hyun KimAndrew MillerGiovanny GallegosKim has officially shed the Closer Committee asterisk and will remain in the Closer role for the time being.
NL WEST
ARISoberArchie BradleyKevin GinkelHector RondonAfter a rough first outing in 2020, Archie Bradley has settled in with two-straight Saves.
COL *Drunk TankJairo DiazCarlos EstevezDaniel BardWade Davis (IL)
Scott Oberg (IL)
Scott Oberg started the season on the IL, and is now joined by the Closer everyone thought Oberg would overtake in 2020, Wade Davis (shoulder strain). Colorado will implement a Closer Committee until Davis or Oberg returns.
LADSoberKenley JansenBlake TreinenPedro BaezWith both Jansen and Treinen unavailable on 7/30, Pedro Baez earned the Save. This hierarchy remains unchanged, though.
SDHammeredKirby YatesDrew PomeranzEmilio PaganKirby Yates has been terrible to start 2020, and feels he needs to make some mechanical adjustments to get back on-track. If he doesn't figure things out soon, he could cede Saves to Drew Pomeranz.
SF *Drunk TankTrevor GottTony WatsonTyler RogersTrevor Gott now has two Saves and one Hold in his 3.0 IP in 2020. He could shed the Committee asterisk if he continues to pitch well for SF.

About A.J. Applegarth

A.J. has been in the fantasy sports game for so long, that the first fantasy team he ever managed used football box scores from newspapers to calculate points. Since those days, A.J. has taken home numerous fantasy football and baseball championship titles. He has also taken his talents to a few fantasy basketball leagues and countless DFS games in more recent years. A.J. would openly admit that “luck” has been a factor in his two-plus decade-long success in fantasy sports, but he will also be the first one to tell you, “You can’t teach luck!” Catch A.J.’s witty banter and "Beer of the Week" picks on The Fantasy Six Pack Hour Podcast, and follow him on the Twitter-space @AppleGarthAlgar.

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