This week is all about securing a closer for the end of the season. There are a host of names that could fulfill this role depending on availability in your league. Some of the guys I’m looking at this week are Mychal Givens (FAAB: 3%), Nate Jones (FAAB: 3%), Tommy Hunter (FAAB: 2%), and Ty Buttrey (FAAB: 2%). All of these pitches are providing saves in their current bullpen situations. I’ve listed the players based on talent and opportunity.
Givens and Jones are easily the most skilled of the bunch. Both were vying for the closer role even before other names were traded away from their respective teams. Givens was an add when he secured 8 wins in two-straight seasons as a dominant long reliever for the Orioles, and Jones is always a name people will grab as a high-level 8th inning arm.
Hunter and Buttrey are new to the equation. I’ve speculated on Hunter multiple times throughout the year when the Phillies bullpen was in flux. He is providing a ton of value the past two seasons without being relevant in the fantasy community whatsoever. Now that Seranthony Dominguez seems to be out, Hunter should be the guy for the rest of 2018. Buttrey is in the same situation with Angels closer Blake Parker being relegated to the 8th inning role. He is a very unknown name that is now saving games and could go overlooked in FAAB this weekend.
Keller is pitching like we should know his name. Since August began, he owns a 20% K% with a 2.45 ERA and 4 wins. All of these stats are extremely useful in H2H playoffs or your final Roto league push. His next two starts come against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers, which could easily garner 2 more wins to go along with the increased strikeouts and a decent WHIP. He generates groundballs, a decent amount of swing-and-misses, and is on a hot streak that is necessary to ride out for the rest of the season. With these two favorable starts coming up, I may throw a little bit more on the bid this week to make sure I don’t need to guess on harder matchups.
As far as hot streaks go, there aren’t many that carry more supa hot fiya than Choi. He is providing 1 HR nearly every other game since the calendar has changed to September. The best part about this profile is that it seems slightly sustainable. The strikeouts aren’t atrocious, the walks are there, the BABIP isn’t ridiculous, and his power has always been the tool we waited to see. Choi could finally be maximising his potential with a team that does wonders in turning these post-hype bats into fantasy relevant names. Logan Morrison, Joey Wendle, C.J. Cron, and Brad Miller come to mind when thinking of the Rays past rejuvenation projects. Choi could be the next one on that list.
I’m going to end this article with a couple more closers to round out your journey to win saves for the rest of the season. Yoshihisa Hirano should take most of the save opportunities for the playoff-chasing Diamondbacks. Brad Boxberger finally relinquished the position to the dreaded “closer by committee.” However, Hirano is receiving most of the situations since that change has been announced, and he is the next on a long list of international pitchers that have turned themselves into solid major leaguers. He is dominating this year and would have been an add a long time ago if Boxberger did not seem so secure in the role. Now that things have changed take advantage and spend about 3-4% of your FAAB on Yoshi.
The next name is Jesse Chavez who is now pitching over in Chicago for the Cubs. The former AL West journeyman has made his way to the NL and finds himself taking a few save opportunities. This is intriguing based on the Cubs looking to win everything on the road to try and secure the best playoff positioning possible. He is an exciting name when he finds himself in the bullpen and was an add in Los Angeles when he was pitching as a long-reliever. This seems to be the furthest from solidified as far as the bullpen situations I’ve listed. However, Chavez may be the only one of these names still available in your league, and in that case, I would scoop him up anywhere from 1-3% FAAB.