Detroit Tigers: Fantasy Baseball Closers from AL Central


If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years managing fantasy sports rosters is if one is going to win, then one needs to avoiding committing the same mistake twice.

Two weeks ago, we recommended all owners to add Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria to the fantasy roster. At the time, Tigers closer Joe Nathan had been diagnosed with a minor elbow strain, and Soria was going to be filling in for two weeks.

For those owners who didn’t take our advice, we hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. Nathan’s injury is much more serious now as he needs season-ending Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile, Soria is on a tear, making five straight scoreless appearances and recording four saves with one victory over that span.

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If owners still can, waste no more time and go claim Soria off the waiver wire this very moment, but chances are he is already gone. Soria is owned in 100 percent of ESPN leagues.

But no need to fear fantasy owners as long as the mistake is not repeated.

The Tigers AL Central division rival Kansas City Royals also have an injury to their closer, Greg Holland, which opens the door to one of the best setup men in the majors, Wade Davis.

After Davis went 9-2 with a 1.00 ERA, 0.847 WHIP, 13.6 K/9, and 4.74 K/BB last season as the Royals’ eighth-inning man, he was already fantasy relevant, but until Holland returns, Davis will earn saves too.

He did just that on Thursday, pitching a scoreless ninth inning to record his third save of 2015. He has allowed just one hit and one walk without a run in seven innings of relief this season.

Just like Soria was, Davis is only expected to remain the closer as long as Holland is out, which should only be a few weeks. But as owners learned with Soria, it is always wise to be proactive and claim a player despite the fact his role may change in a few weeks.

Worse case scenario, owners accumulate great stats with Davis for the next couple weeks. And if Holland’s injury worsens, then Davis’ value continues to rise.

The difference between these two situations, however, is Holland’s injury doesn’t deal with his throwing arm like Nathan’s did. Holland has a Grade 1 pectoral strain and told the Royals he could begin pitching this weekend.

Regardless, Davis’ other stats are so good, he is probably worth a roster spot even when Holland returns, but owners can cross that bridge when it comes.

If you missed on Soria, don’t make the same mistake twice and go claim Davis.

Next: Fantasy Baseball: Players to Add from the AL Central