The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their relievers discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.On this week's pod, Zinkie and Leach break down
The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their relievers discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.
On this week's pod, Zinkie and Leach break down the fantasy closers landscape with draft season in full swing. We'll pick up the discussion with Leach identifying the Tier 1 closers for 2017.
Leach: It is pretty clear. You have just two guys pretty much in Tier 1, and the market this offseason showed that. Kenley Jansen and Albertin Chapman. Both are going to rack up the innings, saves and strikeouts. They are in a class by themselves.
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Zinkie: I prefer Jansen, just because I think the Dodgers are going to win more close games. Jansen has had some really high save totals and Chapman not as much. The Dodgers win more, and those pitcher friendly parks in the NL have a lot of 4-2 wins in there. I just don't see Chapman getting 46 to 47 saves, but Jansen has done that before.
Leach: The Yankees aren't going to protect Chapman, but they have an alternative on days they want to. If the manager is on that line, "If I give my horse a break," you are going to do that more often when that option is Dellin Betances. You have no equivalent to that.
Zinkie: Chapman was worked so hard last year. It is enough, and if we are splitting hairs here in Tier 1, that was a big story.
Leach: Tier 2 is about as strong as it's been in a really long time. You are going to have guys that get plenty of saves and strikeouts. Some will wind up blowing up, but it is really strong. Zach Britton, Seunghwan Oh, Mark Melancon, Roberto Osuna, Edwin Diaz, Ken Giles, Jeurys Familia, Craig Kimbrel, Wade Davis. Diaz and Giles are the two I really want to talk about who it wouldn't surprise me if we are talking about then next year in Tier 1. Those strikeout numbers are ridiculous. Watching the ball come out of Diaz's hand. Giles had that rough first half, but then became that guy. I understand the safety of Britton, but I really might take Diaz.
Zinkie: I love Diaz. One of the things I'm doing this year is letting people take Jansen, Chapman and Britton. I'm really high on Oh. It is my National League team winning bias again. The Cardinals will win a lot of games with a lot of saves and strikeouts. He is basically a veteran and so is Diaz. Between both, I think you could get 200 strikeouts and more than 80 saves. Instead of living in the past with Kimbrel and Davis, I think I'd rather live in the present with Diaz and Giles who don't have long track record but could get you the numbers.
Leach: I think you make a really key point on relievers more than any other position. You occasionally find that special reliever who stays elite, but two years ago, we couldn't fathom Kimbrel being out of that top tier, and now he is. It happens quickly. They get used hard and then fade quickly. If you are really looking at those fine margins, you'd rather get the guy on the rise instead of the guy on the decline. That will come sooner than you think.
Zinkie: Kimbrel's best seasons were with Atlanta. I'm worried about him in the AL East. Statistically he's going to face better hitters than when he was with Atlanta. If his skills weren't what they once were, this added competition isn't going to help.