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Fantasy Baseball Closer Report for Week 25: Opportunity knocks for Chris Stratton

Stratton is filling in admirably for David Bednar as the saves-getter in Pittsburgh.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-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 week, Chris Stratton and Michael Fulmer are gaining shares of the closer role in Pittsburgh and Detroit, respectively.

Arrow Up:

Chris Stratton, Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar, the Pirates’ breakout reliever, went down this week with an oblique strain, leaving the closer’s role all to Chris Stratton. The former starter has capitalized on the opportunity and had a very productive week, with two saves in addition to the two he had last week.

Stratton has quietly had a good 2021 as a reliever, with a 3.68 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts in 73.1 innings. His bat-missing ability makes him a good bet to keep the role for the remainder of the campaign and be effective, as evidenced by his 1/11 BB/K ratio in his last six contests.

Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

Guess who’s back in the ninth-inning mix for Detroit? Yes, Michael Fulmer racked up a couple of saves this week, one on Wednesday (a two-inning, no runs, four strikeouts relief gem) and one on Saturday, allowing just a walk and nothing else.

Fulmer has been very good as of late, and has a solid 3.23 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 64 frames, with 68 to boot. Gregory Soto is not going to magically go away, but it appears both pitchers will share the closer job going forward.

Arrow Down:

Kyle Finnegan, Washington Nationals

After allowing six runs in his last two appearances (covering only 2.1 innings, to make things worse), it’s fair to say this hasn’t been Kyle Finnegan’s week. He has been good, not great, as the Nationals’ closer following their deadline fire sale, but be aware of his recent struggles and act accordingly.

For the season, the right-hander still has a good 3.39 ERA, but with a mediocre 1.46 WHIP. He has exactly one strikeout per inning, as he has fanned 61 hitters in 61 frames in the 2021 campaign.

Rowan Wick, Chicago Cubs

We list Rowan Wick in the “arrow down” section because he saw his ERA balloon all the way up to 4.15, from 2.16, in one outing. On Friday night, he couldn’t even complete an inning of work (0.2) and allowed four runs, on three hits and two walks. It was a truly ugly showing.

Fortunately, the fact that a pitcher is on the “arrow down” section doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t close anymore. Wick should be the man going forward, and there is no report of an injury to worry about. We hope it was just a blip.

Situations to monitor:

Cincinnati Reds

Michael Lorenzen notched the save on Friday, but Mychal Givens did it on Thursday. The two should continue to share the role going forward.

Oakland Athletics

Sergio Romo saved Friday’s game, but Andrew Chafin took care of Wednesday’s tilt in what looks like a committee.

San Francisco Giants

Jake McGee suffered an oblique strain, and he hit the injured list. Tyler Rogers should get most chances going forward, but he blew Friday’s game by allowing a three-run shot to Travis d’Arnaud.

Closer Chart:

  • New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (first option), Jonathan Loaisiga (injured), Clay Holmes
  • Baltimore Orioles: Committee: Cole Sulser and others
  • Tampa Bay Rays: Multi-reliever committee: Andrew Kittredge, JT Chargois, Matt Wisler, and others.
  • Toronto Blue Jays: Jordan Romano (first option), Joakim Soria
  • Boston Red Sox: Multi-reliever committee: Adam Ottavino, Garrett Whitlock, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Josh Taylor
  • Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendriks (secure), Craig Kimbrel
  • Minnesota Twins: Alex Colome (first option), Tyler Duffey
  • Cleveland: Emmanuel Clase (secure)
  • Detroit Tigers: Committee between Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto
  • Kansas City Royals: Scott Barlow (first option), Greg Holland
  • Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly (secure), Kendall Graveman
  • Oakland Athletics: Committee between Andrew Chafin and Sergio Romo
  • Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (secure)
  • Seattle Mariners: Committee: Diego Castillo (first option), Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider
  • Texas Rangers: Joe Barlow (first option), Spencer Patton
  • Atlanta Braves: Will Smith (secure), Richard Rodriguez
  • New York Mets: Edwin Diaz (secure)
  • Philadelphia Phillies: Ian Kennedy (first option)
  • Washington Nationals: Kyle Finnegan (first option), Tanner Rainey
  • Miami Marlins: Dylan Floro (secure), Anthony Bass, Anthony Bender
  • Cincinnati Reds: Committee between Mychal Givens (first option) and Michael Lorenzen
  • St. Louis Cardinals: Giovanny Gallegos (secure)
  • Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader (secure)
  • Chicago Cubs: Rowan Wick (first option), Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar (injured), Chris Stratton (first option)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: Kenley Jansen (secure)
  • San Diego Padres: Mark Melancon (secure), Daniel Hudson
  • Colorado Rockies: Carlos Estevez (first option)
  • San Francisco Giants: Committee between Jake McGee (injured) and Tyler Rogers
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: Tyler Clippard (first option)