Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated August 20)
The chart below breaks down all 30 major-league teams' bullpens in terms of relievers' proximity to the closer role, not their overall fantasy value. Teams are broken down by division.
"CLOSER" is either that team's officially designated closer, or the pitcher most likely to get the team's next save chance. "NEXT IN LINE" is the pitcher next-most likely to take over if something happens to the closer, or the one who might get any save chances on the closer's nights off. "NOTES" beneath each division's chart provide detail on teams' closer situations that might have an unusual wrinkle, like an injury to the typical closer requiring a short term fill-in, or a committee situation.
NOTES: Mychal Givens appears to have stepped up as the Orioles' go-to closer. ... After a slow start to his Blue Jays career, Ken Giles has converted three consecutive save chances while allowing one run combined (through Aug. 19). He appears locked into the closer role.
NOTES: The White Sox are using a closer-by-committee, with Luis Avilan, Xavier Cedeno, Jace Fry, Jeanmar Gomez, Juan Minaya and Thyago Vieira all candidates for save chances on any given day. ... The Indians continue to mix and match save chances between Cody Allen and Brad Hand. ... Trevor Hildenberger, now seemingly the Twins' go-to option in the ninth inning (albeit without an official proclamation of that status), is 3-for-3 in save chances with a 4.15 ERA since Fernando Rodney's trade (through Aug. 19).
NOTES: Roberto Osuna has completed his suspension and was activated by the Astros on Aug. 5, though it's unclear how quickly he'll be pushed into the closer role. He has been setting up for Hector Rondon thus far.
NOTES: Kyle Barraclough was removed from the Marlins' closer role Aug. 7, then placed on the DL Aug. 10 with lower back stiffness. The team will use a closer-by-committee picture including Drew Steckenrider, Adam Conley and Javy Guerra in Barraclough's absence. ... Sean Doolittle (DL: toe), Kelvin Herrera (DL: shoulder) and Ryan Madson (DL: back) are all now sidelined for the Nationals, so Koda Glover is now the team's go-to pitcher in the ninth inning. Doolittle, however, is working on some mechanical adjustments that would allow him to soon return from the DL and pitch through his stress reaction in his left foot. Herrera could return to action on Aug. 21 or 22.
NOTES: The Brewers have been using a partnership approach to their closer position since demoting Corey Knebel, with Josh Hader recording three saves and Jeremy Jeffress one in their past seven wins (through Aug. 19). Knebel has pitched ineffectively in middle relief, so Hader and Jeffress should continue to handle the ninth-inning chores for the foreseeable future.
NOTES: Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) could return sooner than his initially projected 4-6 week timetable. In the meantime, the team is using a committee approach to the ninth inning, with Scott Alexander, J.T. Chargois, Caleb Ferguson and Kenta Maeda all candidates for save chances. ... The Giants activated Hunter Strickland from the DL on Aug. 18, but the former closer will probably need to earn his way back into the role with quality relief in the middle innings, as Will Smith has pitched too well in Strickland's absence to be immediately replaced.