Fantasy baseball closer picks: In Guardians we trust

Cade Smith's 13.1 K/9 rate is quite valuable in fantasy. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

When in doubt, trust the Cleveland Guardians' bullpen. This is hardly the first season to note this, as the Guardians as an organization boast a strong reputation for extracting the most from their pitchers, whether you know the player names or not. Fantasy baseball managers sure know about RHP Emmanuel Clase, who has rebounded nicely from an uneven 2023 season to top the list of valuable relief pitchers, but he is hardly alone.

The 36-18 Guardians lead all of baseball in relief pitcher fWAR at 3.6, far ahead of second-place Boston at 2.7. They are also tops in relief games, saves, ERA, FIP and xFIP, and second in K/9. Clase gets all the notice and fantasy accolades for his 0.33 ERA and 17 saves and he has not permitted an earned run in six weeks. However, don't forget to check out RHPs Cade Smith, Hunter Gaddis, Nick Sandlin and Tim Herrin. Each fellow averages at least 3.4 ESPN fantasy points per game, which surpasses myriad highly rostered closers.