As is the case in most years, this season’s American League features several dominant closers for fantasy purposes, along with a few problematic situations that could favor a number of different pitchers. That said, it’s tough to remember a recent situation like the current Cleveland Indians. The defending American League pennant winners employ an excellent right-handed stopper with three consecutive seasons of saves and strikeouts and more, but also a lefty hurler eminently capable of closing out games with even more strikeouts and better figures in ERA and WHIP. It seems like fantasy owners can’t decide which way to go.
Indeed, it’s unlikely one will find right-hander Cody Allen, the primary closer the past few seasons (and during the team’s October playoff run) chosen among the top-10 relief options in any mixed format, whereas lefty Andrew Miller is far more likely to end up with such a designation, even sans the saves. They’re both really, really good, but Cleveland manager Terry Francona is likely to stick with Allen in the ninth inning, with Miller setting up. Of course, if that’s the case, then why is Miller held in higher esteem in fantasy leagues?