Reviewing the Closer Position for All 30 MLB Teams

Arizona Diamondbacks 2017

Since there are no actual games until Friday, we will take
a brief look at each team’s situation at closer. Some are obvious,
some not. The All-Star break
is a good time to take a look at your team in general and determine
what categories, other than saves, you may need help in. Enjoy the
next couple of days of freedom.

Arizona Diamondbacks: There is no denying that
the ratios for Fernando Rodney are ugly. No one
likes to see a 5.58 ERA and 1.34 WHIP but Fantasy owners do like to
see 22 saves out of 27 chances. Is Rodney pretty? No, but he gets
the job done more often than not, and more importantly, there is no
one currently on the team who is ready to close. Rodney is safe.

Atlanta Braves: Jim Johnson
looks to be running out of fuel, as he has blown two of his last
three save chances to see his ERA rise to 4.23. It’s likely that
the Braves will trade Johnson to a contender before the deadline on
7/31, and that contender won’t use him as a closer but more likely
as a setup man. If you want to extract some value from Johnson in a
deal, that time is now; but the time has probably passed already.
With Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list,
Mauricio Cabrera could be in line for a few saves
in August and September.

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Big MLB Favorites Cash Entering the All-Star Break

There’s been a consistent trend in MLB over the years where big favorites take care of business in the final game before the All-Star break. There are a few different theories on why this could be, such as good teams being more motivated to enter the break on a high note, and/or star pitchers getting the last start for solid teams. For example, historically Cole Hamels has the best record when entering the All-Star break at 5-0 for + 3.04 units.

When looking back at all the data I wanted to distinguish two things– “bigger” favorites (-135 or higher) and teams that weren’t too publicly bet (<70% of tickets). To little surprise, these teams have compiled a 40-10 record for +15.5 units while turning a profit in 9 of the 12 seasons. Here’s a look at the betting graph via our Bet Labs software.

Of course a 50-game sample size isn’t enough to make a firm statement about– but these big favorites have consistently come through for bettors entering the All-Star break for over 10+ years, and it doesn’t matter what sort of criteria you look at– whether the teams are playing divisional opponents (21-5) or non-divisional (19-5), or if the team is playing home (33-9) or away (7-1).

Looking at Sunday’s slate of games, there’s a few teams putting their stud SP out there like the Rangers (Darvish), Dodgers (Kershaw) and Indians (Kluber). You can check out the lines and betting %’s for these games to see if they fit the criteria with a Premium or Pro membership.

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