Thursday, January 7, 2016

Aroldis Chapman vs. Craig Kimbrel – The Ultimate Fantasy Showdown

The American League East Division boasts some of the best relief pitching and closers in all of Major League Baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays have an up-and-coming closer in Roberto Osuna while the Yankees bumped the reigning Mariano Rivera Award winner to the 8th inning after acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds. Meanwhile the Boston Red Sox added a new 9th inning guy themselves this offseason trading four top prospects to the San Diego Padres for Craig Kimbrel completing the AL East closer trifecta. While Osuna is good, and no disrespect is intended towards him, he’s not on the same playing field as Kimbrel and Chapman. While I cannot predict how it will play out on the field for these two and their respective teams I can take a guess at how it will work out for them in the fantasy world.

I told you fantasy baseball talk was coming to the blog and I meant it. Chapman and Kimbrel are both top closers in baseball and in fantasy but which is better? If we’re looking at strictly the career numbers on the back of a baseball card you have to think that Kimbrel is better, he’s been the best closer in the league since he came bursting onto the scene, but that doesn’t necessarily make him the better fantasy option in my opinion. Keep reading.

The Boston Red Sox starting rotation and bullpen were big suspects in 2015 and the team, led by Dave Dombrowski and company, did what they could to patch up those holes with the Kimbrel acquisition and the free agent signing of David Price. While I think the team will be better in 2016 I can’t see them simply winning the division after finishing in last place in the division last season because of just two guys. The bullpen is still weak behind Kimbrel, although I personally like Koji Uehara, as is the starting rotation. Wade Miley is gone from Boston, at worst a 200 innings eater, and in his place is “Cy Young Award winner from 2015” Joe Kelly. Rick Porcello, in my opinion, is overpaid and Clay Buchholz, again in my opinion, is overrated because of the uniform he wears. Both are nice pieces, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t the top of the rotation guys that Boston is paying them, expecting them to be and needing them to be. You can have the greatest closer on the planet but if he only gets 30-35 opportunities to close out a game a season it kind of nerfs his ability to be a dominant closer, fantasy baseball and statistically speaking. I’m also not convinced that the offense can be loads better than it was in 2015 for Boston leaving the Red Sox to love many 3-2 or 4-3 ball games.

Meanwhile in New York the team was built around a strong bullpen and locking down saves. The offense is good enough, despite what they showed in the last month of the season and in the playoff game against Houston, to match almost any offense in the league despite the score. The Yankees offense will win an 11-10 game and then win a 1-0 game the next night. The starting rotation is built to give you 5-6 strong innings, seven on a good day, before handing it over to a shutdown bullpen. When the Yankees had a lead after 7 IP and after 8 IP the game was basically over every single time. This will equate to a ton of saves for Chapman and a ton of opportunities. Lots of K’s, lots of saves and lots of fantasy points for whoever owns him.

If you have the opportunity to grab Chapman I think you almost have to, even if it means grabbing him in the 5th-7th rounds. It’s a risk, especially with the suspension looming, but it’s a risk worth taking. Kimbrel is a good consolation prize but in this battle he is just that, a consolation. Maybe it’s the Yankees fan in me talking or maybe I’m making a ton of sense. You decide and let me know how he does for your fantasy team. 


  1. SPADE....Who asked for your two cents. Mind your own business.

    You want to see the real moron ? Look in the mirror.

    Leave Ken Reed out of your dumb ideas. He's better than you will ever be.
    As for the mailing of poop... put yourself in a Fed-Ex box. It will
    accomplish the same thing.

    As for your hero...first he wanted to fight a ninety year old man, Ken.
    Now he wants me. I'm still shaking.
    You must be from the Garden State also. That's New Jersey in case you
    don't understand.

    1. You're on an open internet forum. Everything is everyone's business, especially if this is affecting his experience on the site... which has always been my biggest issue with the school yard tussle we have constantly going on here. And I didn't single out one person either just for the record.

      Also, FYI, I'm sure his poop reference was a joke. It's his humor, it differs yours and that should be okay. You're reacting to his humor how Hans reacts to yours, what's the difference?

    2. I just want to put this out there to clean the air, rather than snowballing into anything.

      Patrick, although it didn't seem like a compliment, I wholeheartedly meant it as one. "your writing style is unique" isn't a bad thing. I enjoy reading what you have to say. That's it. And the mail comment was a joke, I promise. That's probably a federal crime.

      Daniel, congrats on 4 years. I admire your ability to stick to it, and I can't wrap my mind around how you put out so much content every day. And credit for commenting about domestic violence, I've been there too.

    3. Truly appreciate it Spade. I can create content because I love to, simple as that.

    4. HANSEL ...the denyer.

      I dance on the stage here, and all you do is throw bottles at me.

      After that you want me to go to New Jersey, so you can try to beat me up ? And, when I mention Creedmoor Psych Ctr. you go nuts.

      I am not as smart as you, so lets say I'm confused.

      It sounds like a lot of folks here like you. Even the ones
      you want to beat up. So what's your problem ?

      A thicker skin at your age, has already sailed.
      Perhaps wearing a satin scarf will get your feet firmly planted
      on the ground.

      No need to talk to me, or throw bottles.

    5. Just an FYI we like you too Patrick just not the school yard tussles.

  2. SPADE....I whole heartily apologize. Sorry.
    I retract any, and all remarks directed at you.
    Incoming fire, and the heat of the moment....spurred my response.

    Enjoy your words, and please continue to join in.

  3. Patrick your a gutless punk. No need to say more. Your cronies are scared of you. I welcome the day we meet

  4. HANSEL... the square pants.
    No one here is scared of me, and you are on my long list.

    Why don't you sneak into your grandmother's armoire, and sleep it
    off, wearing one of her tattered sarongs ?

  5. Shut the hell up both of you, Patrick I love you like a brother. Hans, you may never agree with me or I you but, I respect your opinions.
    And don't ever think I am afraid of anything or anybody alive...Bruce Lee is dead, right?
    I don't think it would be a good idea to fight me, I don't fight! I might brake a nail.

  6. Sorry, Daniel...
    This is starting to piss me off...instead of baseball we end up baby sitting two overgrown kids. I mean this constant..."He started it" is crap, my wifes two dogs have better control then these two guys.
    nuf said!

    1. You have a better chance of getting through to them, or at least one of them, then I do apparently. Have at it. I've thrown my hands up at it all.

    2. I have as well, here's hoping they can resolve the issue by themselves!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)