Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated July 19)
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: Givens is the best bet to finish games in Baltimore, but with just two save attempts in the past month (from June 17 through July 17), the volume of opportunities is too low to feel confident in the leader of this committee. ... Workman has recorded the first two Boston saves after the All-Star break and continues to impress with a sub-2.00 ERA for the season. Barnes recorded holds in both of those games, hinting that Workman may be the leader of this cloudy situation. There's talk that Nathan Eovaldi (elbow, IL) could be installed as closer when he's activated. ... Pagan currently sits atop the save hierarchy in Tampa Bay with Jose Alvarado (oblique) expected to be out until late August/early September, but Diego Castillo is back from a shoulder injury that cost him three weeks and is likely to challenge for ninth inning duties.
NOTES: Rogers has seemingly put distance between himself and the other Minnesota options, as he has allowed just two earned runs since the beginning of June. Rogers has not issued a walk in more than a month and should continue to get save opportunities for a Twins team that looks to continue their impressive season.
NOTES: Bob Melvin said that Treinen would work some low-leverage situations upon his activation from the IL on July 3 before being moved into the ninth inning, but his former All Star has struggled in a big way (four earned runs allowed in 4.1 innings since returning). Hendricks has picked up three saves and a win without allowing a single run over that stretch and is simply the better pitcher at this time. Keep an eye on this situation, but for now, Hendricks is the best bet to finish games. ... Martin hasn't allowed an earned run in July and appears to be entrenched in the set-up role.
NOTES: Jackson continues to hold onto the closer role in Atlanta despite some shaky outings of late. Minter has pitched better since struggling through May, but a rough outing from him on July 18 against the Nationals likely cost him any chance in the short-term to assume a ninth inning split. ... Diaz has looked marginally better since the All-Star break after struggling to round out the first half and remains the closer. That said, Lugo continues to pitch well (zero earned runs in July) and should be considered a threat if Diaz continues to allow base runners.
NOTES: After a rough June during which he had an 8.64 ERA and nine walks in as many appearances, Iglesias has been fine in July. Lorenzen is still a candidate to steal the occasional save chance, but Iglesias appears the Reds' go-to guy in the ninth. ... Jordan Hicks underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 26, with the Cardinals naming Martinez their replacement closer. Martinez has struggled of late, but he has adjusted nicely to the bullpen role and should still be considered the primary closer in St. Louis.
NOTES: With another rough outing on July 16 for Davis (three earned runs allowed while getting just one out against the Giants), the ninth inning in Colorado is very much a fluid situation. Oberg also gave up a run in that game, but he is trending in the right direction and could well assume the closer role any day. ... Smith is the man in San Francisco for now, but trade speculation looms. Should he be moved, both Watson and Sam Dyson would see their values rise.