In a light week in terms of closer movement, there aren't slam dunk must add this week. There are still interesting potential closers to keep an eye on, however. These are this week's streamer picks.
Cisnero’s fantasy viability likely won’t last very long. In fact, Michael Fulmer may be back in the fold as soon as Sunday, in which case Cisnero isn’t very useful. If Fulmer sees any setbacks, Cisnero has the Tigers’ last two saves and was asked to pitch the top of the 10th inning in his last appearance. Saves for the Tigers are far and few between, but if Cisnero is their leading candidate for saves he’s worth a stream for this week.
Despite solid peripherals, Braves’ closer Will Smith has continued to run into trouble in 2021 after a poor 2020. He’s given up a run in three of his last five appearances and has a 4.74 ERA for the season. Chris Martin, his setup man and presumed replacement for the ninth-inning, gave up three runs (two earned) in a walk-off loss Thursday and carries a strikeout rate below 16% so far this season. Thus, Tyler Matzek is the Braves reliever I’d be speculating on for the coming week. Matzek has mostly served as the seventh-inning setup man when Atlanta has a lead. Despite his own struggles, he’s likely better than Smith or Martin at the moment and is the next man up if the Braves want to move away from Smith in the short term. Among the options in Atlanta, Matzek would be my choice for short-term saves speculation.
Menez has pitched exactly two innings in each of his relief appearances since being called up at the end of May, and he has been dominant in them. After two fairly uninspiring stints in the major leagues in 2019 and 2020, Menez has upped the usage of his slider to over 63% of the time. With that change, he’s seen a spike in whiffs and strikeouts. If the Giants prefer Menez in his two-inning role, he likely won’t be much of a factor in holds and saves. Given the turmoil in the backend of the Giants' bullpen, he could push his way into their late-inning plans. He can be added to help with ratios and as a speculative setup man.
The Royals haven’t had any save opportunities since last Friday, but they did have Scott Barlow pitch the eighth and Greg Holland pitched the ninth in a five-run victory on Thursday. Barlow would still be my preferred option from the Kansas City option, but Holland is also worth monitoring for deeper leagues.
Cristian Javier picked up a four-inning save on Wednesday. There likely aren’t many more saves in his future, but he likely will spend a decent portion of this season in the bullpen. He could be a useful pickup if he were dropped in your league.
Lucas Sims was used in the sixth inning on Thursday with Tejay Antone ominously unavailable. The Reds’ bullpen is severely lacking in depth given their injuries and losing Antone would likely push Sims into more of a fireman role like the one he assumed on Thursday. Even then, no one else in the Reds’ bullpen is worth rostering as things stand. Sims should be a hold for now.