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Sport Fantasy Baseball 2021: Closer job security rankings, tiers heading into Opening Day

02:15  01 april  2021
02:15  01 april  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

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  What's Not In My Wallet: Players Pianow is fading in 2021 fantasy baseball drafts The National League is unlikely to have the DH this year, and the NL has more dead spots of offense, anyway. Walk and strikeout rates stabilize quickly in a fresh year, which means new relief heroes won’t be hard to find. A few weeks into the season, do a healthy audit of the K/BB rates of all relievers and note how many of the names you’re unfamiliar with. Try to stash a couple of them; they could easily wind up being fantasy staples for you. Nick Anderson, RP, Rays (ADP: 141) It’s basically the same case as Williams, and don’t forget Anderson was on fumes at the end of the playoffs.

Daily baseball statistical analysis and commentary. No other team is as extreme as Tampa Bay, but there are a few assumed closers heading into 2021 who could get the Anderson treatment and their ranking will reflect Holland’s closing days seemed behind him after disastrous 2018-19 seasons Next Up: Rowan Wick (RH). Wick opened the season as the Cubs closer before Kimbrel got it back

2021 Fantasy Baseball Closers . League. All al nl. The trend continued into the postseason for the right-hander as he went on to record a 10.13 ERA. For a player heading into his age-31 season with a grand total of 30 MLB innings under his belt, he (1/25) Manager Alex Cora will take back over the reigns in 2021 and, as it stands, will start his tenure with Matt Barnes as his opening day closer .

My strategy for how to approach closers in 2021 Fantasy Baseball drafts was more a strategy for how to avoid closers in 2021 Fantasy Baseball drafts. Coming off a shortened season in an era where saves are spread among more players than ever, it just didn't make sense to invest much in the position this season -- not when you needed to draft more starting pitchers than usual and still had to figure out a way to balance your hitting needs. Sacrifices had to be made, and for me, that was usually ignoring closers almost entirely.

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And, as we head into the season, you can see why. I broke down every team's save situation into tiers based on one simple standard: Do we know who their closer is? By my count, there are 13 teams whose closer is definitely known, and another seven or so with a pretty obvious presumptive closer -- not even close to enough for every team in a 12-team league to have two. And, those 19 include plenty of guys with potentially tenuous holds on their jobs anyway -- I would say there are only around 12 teams where I think the closer is both secure in their job and actually a good pitcher.

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Wednesday on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, we dove into ranking closers solely based on job security . It's a fun exercise, especially when competing in Roto leagues. While Edwin Diaz has a ton of upside and Nick Anderson might give you ridiculous ratios, both present huge downside in the saves category. We setup six tiers of job security when ranking these closers . It became a little convoluted on the podcast so I thought it was a good idea to list those out for you here. For the most part, we came to a consensus on the job security on most, if not all, of the closers in baseball .

Owners should be deep into their 2021 Fantasy baseball draft prep by now, trying to identify the 2021 Fantasy baseball busts, sleepers, and breakouts that will define this season of Major League Baseball . And that same group is sharing its 2021 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day .

If you did invest in the position and have two of those guys, you're in a good spot, but for most Fantasy managers at this point, there are real questions about where your saves are going to come from. The good news is, plenty of saves will become available on the wire before long -- hence my lack of concern about locking them in during the draft -- and we'll be here all season long to help you track them down. We'll have daily waiver-wire column focusing on the best players to target from that day's action, and we'll be regularly looking at changes in bullpens around the league every week, too.

We'll get answers to many of the question marks within the first few days of the season, though surely some others will pop up when teams surprise us with their ninth-inning usage, too. And, it's always worth remembering that, while managers can talk a big game about not naming a closer or going with a committee during spring training, when the games actually start to count, nearly all managers will default to the guy they trust most. We just don't know who that is in many cases yet.

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For a player heading into his age-31 season with a grand total of 30 MLB innings under his belt, he certainly doesn't look like a prime candidate, but Hyde trusted him at one point last year and could in theory do so again this season. (1/25) Manager Alex Cora will take back over the reigns in 2021 and, as it stands, will start his tenure with Matt Barnes as his opening day closer . Barnes was very shaky in 2020, converting on nine of his 13 save opportunities. The right-hander recorded a 4.30 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and a 4.84 FIP during his 2020 campaign, mainly struggling with consistency and command

The 2021 fantasy baseball is close as spring training is underway, and that means it's fantasy baseball rankings seasn as well. These will be updated throughout the preseason, to keep up with the latest signings, trades and player news. Fantasy baseball rankings , projections, strategy and cheat sheets.

Here's what the closer landscape looks like entering Week 1 of the Fantasy season.

The "For-Sure Closers" Tier

  • Liam Hendricks, White Sox
  • Josh Hader, Brewers
  • Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
  • Edwin Diaz, Mets
  • Raisel Iglesias, Angels
  • Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
  • Trevor Rosenthal, Athletics
  • Brad Hand, Nationals
  • Ryan Pressly, Astros
  • Craig Kimbrel, Cubs
  • Matt Barnes, Red Sox
  • Daniel Bard, Rockies
  • Hector Neris, Phillies

Here's the list of guys who have been named closer -- or didn't even need to be named closer at all. The most interesting names here are probably Kimbrel, Diaz, and Jansen, who are likely viewed by many Fantasy players as having an especially high risk of losing their jobs. I think that's true for Kimbrel especially, while the Mets have shown they will move Diaz out of that job if he struggles -- though I happen to think he'll be dominant, so it isn't much of a concern. For Jansen, however, it seems like wishful thinking on the part of some Fantasy analysts or players that he's at risk of losing his job. While the Dodgers have been flexible with his usage in the postseason the last few years, Julio Urias is the only pitcher on the team besides Jansen to record more than three saves in a season over the last three -- and three of his four were multi-inning outings.

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The drafts are over, and now it’s time to see if the team you assembled has what it takes to carry you to fantasy glory. It’s time to see if that under-the-radar player you selected two rounds above his average draft position will pay off the way you hoped, or if that normally steady veteran begins to show his age or continues to defy everything you know to be true about aging players (hello, Nelson Cruz). Despite pitching 7 ¹/₃ scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts, no walks and a .125 opponent average over his final eight appearances of 2020, he enters 2021 as an overlooked closer .

View fantasy baseball notes for the 2021 season. In other words, from a fantasy perspective, Acuna is an absolute monster. As such, he'll head into 2021 close to the way he came into the 2020 season: a dominant, high-strikeout, low-walk starter who will throw plenty of innings and who is more

This tier is ranked by how I value them, but it's worth noting that Hector Neris, Matt Barnes, and Daniel Bard are definitely not among my top-13 closers entering the season, despite the job security. Around half of all closers end up losing their jobs every season, and those three seem like the most likely to falter. That being said, Bard has something going for him that the other two don't: The Rockies don't have an obvious alternative to replace him. Whereas, Adam Ottavino might be a better pitcher than Barnes, while Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado are probably both better than Neris. Which means their respective margins for error are much slimmer.

The "Presumptive Closers" Tier

  • Jordan Romano, Blue Jays
  • Will Smith, Braves
  • Rafael Montero, Mariners
  • Greg Holland, Royals
  • Anthony Bass, Marlins
  • Richard Rodriguez, Pirates
  • Jake McGee, Giants

Here are the guys we feel pretty comfortable assuming they have the job heading into the season, even if we haven't really received much confirmation. Romano was named the closer in Ken Giles' absence in 2020 (before an injury of his own), while Smith's experience makes him the logical choice for the Braves -- especially given the presence of multiple other lefties in the bullpen. On the whole, this isn't a particularly exciting tier, especially once you get beyond Romano and Smith, and the bottom five names could all either end up being used in a committee or lose the job very quickly. If you need saves and any of them are on the wire, go ahead and add them, but don't expect much.

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The "Potentially Elite If He Emerges With The Job" Tier

  • James Karinchak/Nick Wittgren/Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland
  • Jordan Hicks/Giovanny Gallegos, Cardinals
  • Amir Garrett/Lucas Sims, Reds
  • Emilio Pagan/Mark Melancon/Drew Pomeranz, Padres
  • Alex Colome/Tayler Rogers, Twins
  • Diego Castillo/Peter Fairbanks, Rays

This tier is, on the whole, much more exciting than the previous one, and I would rather have literally any player named here ahead of all but Smith and Romano from the previous tier if they were named the closer. Of course, that's the problem: They all have so much competition, and we really don't have any sense of who will be the primary option in most of these bullpens.

Of course, given the fact that I've named just 13 for-sure closers and just seven other "presumptive" closers, you should be able to tell that this season more than nearly any other in the past makes the non-closer relievers even more valuable. Even if Karinchak or Pomeranz aren't closing for their respective teams, they could provide elite ratios and tons of strikeouts, and in a season where many starters may have limited innings, they could be even more valuable.

I took a flier on nearly all of these bullpens in drafts because of that, and if any of these pitchers are named the closer, they would immediately jump into the discussion for the top tier.

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The "He Wasn't Named The Closer, But …" Tier

  • Joakim Soria, Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks haven't named a closer, and The Athletic reported earlier this week that they are expected to go with a committee, so Soria isn't the presumptive closer here. And, I don't think any of the potential closers here -- including Stefan Chrichton, Kevin Ginkel, or J.B. Bukauskas, along with Soria -- are likely to be elite if they do get the job, so they don't fit in the previous tier. So, I'll just create a one-player tier for Soria, who seems likely to be the closer, even if it may take a little while for anyone to acknowledge it. He could be solid enough to hold on to the job and be worth starting regularly if that happens, but it's not clear yet.

The "Well, Someone's Gotta Get Saves Here, Right?" Tier

  • Ian Kennedy/Matt Bush, Rangers
  • Tanner Scott/Cesar Valdez, Orioles
  • Gregory Soto, Bryan Garcia, Tigers

Yuck. Bad teams, unproven pitchers, with no clearly defined roles. I can't tell you nobody here is worth taking a flier on just in case they are named the closer, but I wouldn't drop anyone from the "Potentially Elite" tier for any of them. At least not until we get confirmation one of them is named the closer. And even then, these seem like situations where the title could be passed back and forth several times before anyone earns the job for good -- if that ever happens. I'm not saying there is a total lack of upside here, but it's just hard to get excited about any of these guys right now.

2021 Miami Marlins roster tracker .
Check on whose currently active for the Marlins and the main candidates to be called up next.Pitchers (13): Sandy Alcantara, Anthony Bass, Richard Bleier, Paul Campbell, Adam Cimber, John Curtiss, Ross Detwiler, Dylan Floro, Yimi García, Pablo López, Nick Neidert, Zach Pop, Trevor Rogers

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