The Kansas City Royals, even with a 10-game lead in the AL Central, are making roster changes. With the closer one of the most important heading into the playoffs, the Royals felt like they needed to make a change in order to solidify that position. Manager Ned Yost made an announcement Tuesday that Wade Davis is the team’s closer for the rest of the season and Greg Holland is out.
If you are in need of saves, Davis is still available in plenty of leagues. So, pick him up while you still have the chance.
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The closer role is one that most fantasy owners try to establish early in drafts. Taking one of the top 10 closers will help your ERA and WHIP stats throughout the season. This is what happened with Holland, as he was the third closer drafted with an ADP of 56.1 (sixth round). His teammate, Davis, was not drafted until Round 22 as the 30th reliever taken.
But, there was a reason to draft Holland that early. Between 2013 and 2014, Holland recorded 93 saves with a 1.32 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 193 strikeouts and just 38 walks in 129.1 innings.
The first half of this season was just as good. From April 8 to July 12, Holland pitched 26.2 innings and recorded 19 saves (two blown saves) with 31 strikeouts, 2.70 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. There were some signs that Holland was about to crash. He walked 15 batters and 31.7 fly ball percentage.
Things got worse for Holland in the second half. While he recorded 13 saves, he has a 5.50 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in 21 innings. With the division and possible home-field advantage to secure, a change needed to be made.
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Enter Wade Davis. Since joining the Royals in 2013, Davis has 16 saves with a 3.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 293:100 K:BB ratio. While he is worse in the second half, he is pitching better than Holland. Since the break, Davis has a 1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and four saves.
Wade Davis has not allowed an earned run since Aug. 16, which lowered his season ERA to 0.88. This kind of production late in the season will not only open the eyes of management, but fantasy owners, too.
With the difference in performances, Holland has been dropped in 6.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues while Wade Davis has been added in 4.4 percent. Davis is still available in about 37 percent of leagues.
The Royals offense is currently firing on all cylinders. The team has scored the fourth-most runs and has the fifth-best batting average in the month of September. With this kind of run support, Wade Davis should be able to rack up a few saves in the remaining days of the regular season.