Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitchers Who Can Pick Up Saves If You Lost Craig Kimbrel for Playoffs
By Dan Israeli
The Chicago Cubs were dealt a crucial blow on Thursday, when closer Craig Kimbrel was placed on the IL due to right elbow inflammation. It marks the closer's second IL stint this season, who has disappointed with a 5.68 ERA in his first year with the Cubs.
The injury comes at a bad time for Kimbrel's fantasy owners, as the fantasy playoffs are in full swing. For those playing in head-to-head category leagues, it will be vital to find a saves option on the waiver wire in order to compete in the category.
With that in mind, here are three fantasy baseball waiver wire pitchers to grab off the waiver wire to potentially help you advance in your fantasy playoffs.
3. Nick Wittgren, Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have an elite closer in Brad Hand, but his post-break numbers would suggest otherwise. Since then, Hand owns an ugly 6.00 ERA and 1.83 WHIP and has blown four saves. He has not been ousted from the closer role officially, but his role is more tenuous than it has been so far this season. Meanwhile, Nick Wittgren picked up a two-out save for Cleveland on Sept. 4, and could be looking at more opportunities going forward, if Hand's struggles continue. Wittgren, who is owned in just three percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues, has posted sparking ratios so far this year, with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, along with 52 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings.
2. Matt Magill, Seattle Mariners
If you seek a more clearly defined ninth-inning man, albeit with worse numbers, Matt Magill of the Seattle Mariners fits the bill. Magill has four saves for the Mariners since taking over as the team's closer in August, and is clearly Seattle's preferred option for saves at the moment. While he owns an unremarkable 4.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, Magill is an asset in the strikeout department with 57 Ks over 45 innings. The Mariners don't win a whole lot of games, but when there is a save chance, Magill is likely the guy getting the ball. He is owned in 27 percent of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.
1. Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs
Arguably the best replacement for Kimbrel owners may very well be the guy most likely to supplant him as the Cubs' closer. Steve Cishek is the leading candidate to take over in that department, as he has already compiled seven saves on the season and figures to be Chicago's most reliable option in the ninth. Cishek owns a 3.12 ERA and 1.12 WHIP on the season, with 54 strikeouts in 58 innings. Cishek is the preferred fantasy pickup (21 percent owned) for those desperate for saves during their fantasy baseball playoffs.
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