Closing Time 9/6: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

If you are reading this, hopefully you are in the beginning stages of your playoff run, or at least in the running for taking down a roto league crown. Also,...

If you are reading this, hopefully you are in the beginning stages of your playoff run, or at least in the running for taking down a roto league crown. Also, hopefully your RP situation is solid enough where you don’t have too many worries. But in case you do, hopefully there’s some potential on the waiver wire still, despite being little to no change in most teams closing situation lately. Being that we are in the last month of the season, not a whole lot of changes will be made to this list, with most of them being in those bottom two wildcard tiers.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Tony Watson

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Addison ReedMatt Barnes

3. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)—Anthony Swarzak, Jacob Barnes

  • Kenley Jansen was quiet this week as the Dodgers scuffled, but still picked up a saveCraig Kimbrel is on pace for his highest inning total since 2011 but hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet. Corey Knebel continues to prove he is among the league’s top closers, picking up 3 saves and 5 K’s in 3 scoreless outings.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

4. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)—Joe MusgroveChris Devenski   

5. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)—Juan Nicasio, Daniel Hudson 

6. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)—Brandon KintzlerRyan Madson

7. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick VincentDavid Phelps

8. Dellin Betances  (New York Yankees)—David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman

9. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter 

10. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr.Pedro Strop 

11. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan TeperaDanny Barnes 

12. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen 

13. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith

14. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)—Kirby YatesPhil Maton  

15. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)—Archie Bradley, David Hernandez

  • Not a lot of movement here, but I think Ken Giles deserved a small boost after his dominate week while Felipe Rivero struggled. Giles has been awesome all season long, with his only real problem being lack of usage/save chances. He’s really put it all together this year and his much improved fastball command has made him one of the leagues best closers.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

16. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)—Jim Johnson, Jose Ramirez

17. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Luis GarciaJesen Therrien 

18. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)—Brad Brach, Mychal Givens 

19. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)—Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter 

20. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)—Paul Sewald, Jeurys Familia 

21. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Adam Ottavino, Jake McGee 

22. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)—Cam Bedrosian, Yusmeiro Petit 

23. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)—Jose Leclerc, Jason Grilli 

24. Blake Treinen  (Oakland Athletics)—Santiago CasillaRyan Dull 

25. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor RogersTrevor Hildenberger 


  • Kelvin Herrera, despite being effective over the last month or so, needs to be downgraded a little as he deals with a lingering forearm issue. He is supposedly alright to pitch for now, but as the Royals continue to fade away from the wild card race, the team may shut him down sooner rather than later.
  • The bottom 10 closers really are a crapshoot on a week to week basis, but there are certainly options with more upside than others. Maybe Greg Holland has figured things out and can regain closing again and being effective while doing so. I’m not so sold yet. Perhaps Blake Parker has a stranglehold on the Angels job, which could definitely be profitable for owners, but I don’t believe Mike Scioscia believes Parker is his guy just yet, especially after blowing a save Monday night. Alex Claudio and Matt Belisle offer little upside but for the most part have been consistent. Blake Treinen still has tantalizing upside but has been maddeningly inconsistent.

TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)


26. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)—Tyler Lyons, Matt Bowman

27. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Joe Jimenez     

28. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)—Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa 

29. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Mark Melancon, Hunter Strickland

30. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox)—Jake Petricka, Gregory Infante

  • The situation in St. Louis is still a little dicey, making Seung Hwan Oh more of a dart throw with little strikeout upside on a weekly basis. Shane Greene is stuck on a Tigers team that will field one of the most lackluster squads the rest of the season. He hasn’t exactly been blowing away the competition himself anyway. Brad Ziegler finally blew a save this past week, and while his job should be secure for now, Kyle Barraclough still looms. Sam Dyson came back to reality also, allowing 5 earned while only recording one out on Friday against the Cardinals. Juan Minaya probably doesn’t even make a lot of MLB rosters, but the White Sox don’t have a clear-cut backup option to turn to so he will probably keep the job for a while.

Disabled List

Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

Koda Glover (Washington Nationals)

Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

3 responses to “Closing Time 9/6: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday”

  1. Rich says:

    I really doubt Pedro Baez is still 2nd in line to Kenley.

    • Rick Graham says:

      After last night, you may be right. Watson is probably next in line now. Morrow or Fields might get a shot but they havn’t been great lately either.

  2. Bostero says:

    Supposedly Chapman is getting the closer role as early as tomorrow. Drop Treinen for Chapman?

    Thanks Rick.

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