Who’s the ____ Closer

Posted: April 3, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
Tags: , , , ,

The Best: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves. 4 straight seasons of 42 or more saves for Kimbrel puts him at the top of the list. While his streak of 42 or more saves may end this season, but not because of Kimbrel himself. The Braves don’t look like they’ll be a very good team this season; so that might end the streak. There is a chance that with the Braves rebuilding on the fly they might deal Kimbrel which would be a big plus for his fantasy owner. While Kimbrel’s value may be a little down this season from the last few he’s still the best closer in baseball and should be the first closer selected in any draft.

Underrated: Huston Street, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It’s tough to believe that you can be underrated after getting 41 saves, but you never hear Street’s name mentioned among the top closers in the game. Street is entering his 11th season and has 275 career saves. Street picked up 24 saves with the San Diego Padres and had an ERA of 1.09 before being traded to the Angels. With the Angels he added 17 saves and posted an ERA of 1.71. Street doesn’t strike out a lot of guys and that may be why experts look past him at times, but he’ll get your fantasy teams saves. How many of you remember that Street was the 2005 RoY while closing for the Oakland A’s.

Bounce Back: Koji Uehara, Boston Red Sox. Uehara’s save total did go up last season from 21 in 2013 to 26 in 2014, but his ERA also went up from 1.09 in 2013 to 2.52 in 2014; he also pitched less games in 2014 64 to 2013 when he pitched in 73 games. With the A.L. East wide open this season the Red Sox need Uehara to be a top closer and approach the 35 to 40 save range. Uehara had some health issues last season; so he’ll need to make sure those are in the rear view mirror as the 2015 season opens. If you think the Red Sox will contend in the A.L. East this season Uehara is a good pick for you. If your thinking the Red Sox won’t be a factor in the A.L. East race you may want to look for another closer.

Stay Away from: Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies. There is actually nothing that Papelbon has done to end up in this category, but it’s the team he’s on that’s the issue. It looks like the Phillies might lose 95 to 100 games in 2015; so how many save opportunities is Papelbon going to get. While Papelbon has lost some velocity on his fastball he has learned how to get major league hitters out with his other pitches and can still close games. If the Phillies decide to move on from Papelbon and he gets dealt to a contender his value as a closer will rise, but as long as he’s closing for Philadelphia look somewhere else for your fantasy saves.

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