Relief Pitchers

Below are the 2018 fantasy rankings for relief pitchers. We have provided both the closer as well as his backup.  Traditionally, 25% to 50% of closers will loose their job during the course of the season due to injuries or ineffectiveness.

The list was lasted updated on March 11, 2018.

Rank Closer Description Backup
1 Kenley Jansen (LAD) Four-of-the-past-five years he’s amassed triple-digit strikeouts. The worst ERA he has posted in his career was way back in 2011 and it was 2.85. The best in the bus, bar none. Josh Fields

Scott Alexander

2 Craig Kimbrel (BOS) After four consecutive years of a declining ERA, he changed that trend in a big way in 2017. 126 strikeouts in 69 IP is flat out ridiculous. Carson Smith

Matt Barnes

3 Aroldis Chapman (NYY) The 2017 regular season was not a good one for Chapman, but he bounced back nicely down the stretch and through the playoffs. There is no doubt who owns the ninth inning for the Yankees. Dellin Betances

David Robertson

4 Corey Knebel (MIL) 126 strikeouts in 76 IP. Wow….simply wow. ` Josh Hader

Jacob Barnes

5 Roberto Osuna (TOR) It wasn’t all smooth sailing in 2017 for Osuna, but come years end he set career bests for both strikeouts and saves. He’s heading into his fourth season as the Jays closer at the age of 23. Not many closers can put that on their resume. Ryan Tepera
6 Felipe Rivero (PIT) In 2017 he moved into the closer role for the Pirates, and posted an amazing 1.67 ERA and .89 WHIP. What’s not to like? George Kontos

Michael Feliz

7 Edwin Diaz (SEA) The 34 saves and off-the-chart K rates have solidified his grip on the closer role for many years to come. Juan Nicasio

David Phelps

8 Raisel Iglesias (CIN) In 2017, Iglesias made 63 appearances and pitched in excess of one inning 18 separate times. Old school at its best. Michael Lorenzen

David Hernandez

9 Cody Allen (CLE) The one-two punch of Allen and Miller is second to none. Andrew Miller
10 Wade Davis (COL) The Rox found their man, inking Davis to a three-year $52 million deal. Toss in Jake McGee and Brian Shaw, and the bullpen will definitely be strength this season. Jake McGee

Brian Shaw

11 Brad Hand (SD) The big concern heading into the off-season was where he would be calling home for 2018. A three-year $19.75million contract extension with the Padres answers that question. Kirby Yates

Phil Maton

12 Archie Bradley (ARZ) Knock off all the chatter about Bradley moving into the rotation, and let him dominate the ninth in the closer role. Brad Boxberger

Yoshihisa Hirano

13 Sean Doolittle (WAS) Doolittle did a lot, shoring up the Nats bullpen upon his arrival last season. It’s all about his ability to stay healthy. Ryan Madson

Brandon Kintzler

14 Alex Colome (TB) The trade rumours have been swirling for a while and with Colome heading into his final two-years of arbitration eligibility, the cost is likely to pass the Rays payroll threshold. Daniel Hudson

Sergio Romo

Andrew Kittredge

15 Ken Giles (HOU) When he’s on his game, the stuff is filthy and he’s one of the best closers on the planet. When he’s not, as evident in last year’s World Series, it isn’t pretty. Chris Devenski

Brad Peacock

Joe Smith

16 Hector Neris (PHI) Neris I can see, he’s got the gig and based on his 2017 efforts, should hold onto it. Pat Neshek

Tommy Hunter


17 Blake Treinen (OAK) Getting out of Washington was the best thing that could have happened for Treinen. Yusmeiro Petit

Ryan Buchter

18 Brandon Morrow (CHC) A stellar campaign as the setup man for Kenley Jensen was a key factor in his signing with the Cubbies and a gig as closer. The stuff is great. Can he stay healthy? Steve Cishek

Carl Edwards Jr.


19 Jeurys Familia (NYM) New Mets Manager Mickey Callaway was discussing a closer-by-committee scenario in January? I’m betting by the end of Spring Training, the committee will be a committee-of-one, Jeurys Familia. A.J. Ramos

Anthony Swarzak

20 Mark Melancon (SF) He underwent surgery in September to release pressure on the pronator muscle of his right forearm and was expected to be 100 per cent this spring. As of the end of the first week in March, he still isn’t. Proceed with extreme caution. Sam Dyson

Tony Watson

Slugger Strickland

21 Arodys Vizcaino (ATL) He took over for Jim Johnson at the end of July and never looked back, converting 12-of-13 save opportunities down the stretch. Jose Ramirez

A.J. Minter

22 Alex Claudio (TEX) The soft-tossing southpaw does something that the rest of the Texas bullpen doesn’t. He can consistently find the strike zone. Keone Kela

Tim Lincecum

Jose Leclerc

23 Kelvin Herrera (KC) His job security is more based on the lack of quality depth in the Royals pen than his skill set. Brandon Maurer
24 Shane Greene (DET) The Tigers are looking at a retool on the fly. Greene is solid, but will he be in Detroit  after the trade deadline? Alex Wilson

Joe Jimenez

25 Brad Brach (BAL) “Back in Brach” is the tune being sung in Baltimore, as Zach Britton spends the first half of the season rehabbing his ruptured right Achilles tendon. Mychal Givens will move up in the pecking order as well. Those stellar ratios are worthy of your attention. Zach Britton

Mychal Givens

26 Blake Parker (LAA) Despite finishing the 2017 campaign as the Angels closer, it appears that it is an open competition this spring. I’m giving Parker and that amazing 86 strikeouts in 67 1/3 IP the early edge, but don’t rule out Cam Bedrosian from working his way into the mix for saves. Cam Bedrosian

Keynan Middleton

27 Fernando Rodney (MIN) One of these years time will finally catch up with the soon-to-be 41-year-old. A handcuff with Addison Reed is a good plan. Addison Reed
28 Luke Gregerson (STL) He’s got the job heading into Spring Training, but in nine years and many opportunities hasn’t held the job for a full season. Will 2018 be the year that changes? Tyler Lyons

Alex Reyes

29 Brad Ziegler (MIA) He’s 38-years-old on a team that is going nowhere, with very talented setup types waiting in the wings. Bid accordingly. Kyle Barraclough

Drew Steckenrider

30 Joakim Soria (CWS) He’s coming off of back-to-back mediocre years as a Royal, but appears to have the inside track on the closer gig in Chicago. Nate Jones

Juan Minaya





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