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Fantasy Baseball Closer Report: Power Ranger

Despite blowing a save on Saturday, Ranger Suarez should remain the guy to own in the Phillies bullpen.

MLB: Game One-Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Each weekend, we discuss the saves situations for all 30 teams in the league, with a special emphasis on who is trending up and who is slipping.

This weekend, we take a look at Ranger Suarez’s prospects of keeping the closer role despite surrendering a lead on Saturday, plus Paul Sewald’s arrival as an option to get a few saves here and there.

Arrow Up

Ranger Suarez, Philadelphia Phillies

You might have your doubts about Ranger Suarez as a member of the ‘arrow up’ list given that he blew last night’s lead for the Phillies by giving up a two-run home run to Jesus Aguilar...

But let’s analyze the situation. The Phillies bullpen is utterly unreliable, and virtually every other alternative has been tried in some sort of high-leverage role: Archie Bradley, Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado…and none of them has pitched as well as our good ol’ Ranger.

Before last night, Suarez had a five-game scoreless streak that ran to seven innings, in which he struck out 12 hitters. Even with the two runs allowed on Saturday, his season ERA is 1.22, and he earned a save on Friday (and another one last Sunday). He should have at least a couple more games of leash, and you should stick with him.

Gregory Soto, Detroit Tigers

Jose Cisnero had been seeing some ninth-inning work before the break, but he was used earlier on Saturday, entering in the fifth frame of a seven-inning game to put out a fire: men on the corners and one out. After allowing an inherited run to score, he induced an inning-ending double play.

Detroit won that game 5-4 on a walk-off, so there was no save. But in the other set of the doubleheader, Gregory Soto got the last laugh and earned the precious ‘SV’ stat for his fantasy owners with a clean inning.

AJ Hinch seems to trust Cisnero, who has a 3.03 ERA for the season, more; and that means he will likely be used in a ‘fireman’ role. Both men will get saves, though.

Paul Sewald, Seattle Mariners

Kendall Graveman is still the closer in Seattle, and deservedly so. However, he got into some trouble in Friday, nearly blowing a four-run lead before giving way to Sewald, who ended the threat and notched the save.

Sewald is a nice handcuff to own, and it’s nice to know Seattle trusts him in high-leverage situations. In fact, Between injuries and episodes like the one on Friday, Graveman only has one save in July and Sewald has three.

The 31-year-old right-hander is having a fantastic year, with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 26 innings. He has a whopping 44 strikeouts and his dominance suggests he could potentially see more saves in the future.

Arrow Down

Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland Indians

After having a pretty good season up until July 5, Emmanuel Clase allowed earned runs in three consecutive games. Over that rough stretch, five rivals crossed home plate in just 1.1 innings of work, and the worst came on Friday, when he blew a save against the Oakland A’s on a walk-off homer by Jed Lowrie.

Clase, who had been seeing the majority of save chances in Cleveland, was used as a setup man on Saturday, and threw his first clean in inning since July 4. James Karinchak conceded a run but earned the save last night, so while the two men should continue to split chances going forward, the split could swing in Karinchak’s favor.

Situations to monitor

Arizona Diamondbacks

Joakim Soria blew a save by allowing three runs in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He was getting zeroes for a while, though, and should remain the man in the desert until he is traded.

New York Mets

Edwin Diaz entered with a 7-5 lead and was one out away from getting the save, but conceded a walk-off grand slam and the Mets lost 9-5. It was tough, but the ball had a .030 xBA. There will be some ugly lows but he should remain the guy in New York.

Closer chart: