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Monday, April 4, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: LUKE GREGERSON HOLD CLOSER GIG FOR HOUSTON

Mondays are always our Closing Time day where we take an in-depth look at the world of the ninth inning and the stoppers who work that frame.  We start off the 2016 fantasy baseball season with big developments in Houston so let's get right to it:

-In a big time shock, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced early Monday that veteran Luke Gregerson will be the team's closer to start the season and not hard-throwing youngster Ken Giles.  Considering how dominant Giles has been since his promotion to the majors and his hellacious fastball that few can match in terms of K rate, the assumption was he would be the guy all along.  That was especially true when Gregerson came down with an intercostal strain that cost him most of spring training.  However Giles struggled badly during the exhibition season which opened the door for Gregerson to hold onto the closer job he held through a successful 2015.  While Gregerson can't match Giles in K rate or overpowering fastball, he more than did a credible job last season in the ninth inning for a playoff Astros squad, locking down 31 saves in 36 chances with a 3.10 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  We thought this would be at least a slight possibility as we ranked Giles conservatively in our final RP rankings last week, putting him in the 12 spot while most publications had him in the top ten.  This is obviously terrible news for all Giles owners as he is now nothing but an overhyped setup man who will yield little fantasy baseball value.  However his presence alone means there will be a short leash for Gregerson which makes a fast start paramount for him.  Hold Giles for now in order to see how Gregerson does early on. 

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