MLB The Show 19: Best Closing Pitchers (CP)

Bullpens can be tough to put together but they are vital to winning come the playoffs. Who are the best closers MLB The Show 19 has to offer?


Closers may not see as much action as hitters or starting pitchers but they are still vital parts of a teams success. Having an elite closer can effectively remove the final inning from your opposition and put fear into them if they are behind in the 7th inning. Having a shaky closer is one of the scariest things in sport. No lead is safe, and it can undo all the good work of your ace, so finding a star player to fill that role is just as important as getting a good third baseman or outfielder.

How to choose the best closing pitchers in MLB The Show 19’s Franchise Mode

This article will look at the best closing pitchers MLB The Show 19 has to offer in Franchise Mode. These players have to be in the Major Leagues, either on a roster or as a free agent, at the start of Franchise Mode and sit in the closer role on lineup charts. Theoretically any pitcher could be a closer, but as a clutch, end-of-game, situational pitcher having a good clutch stat is vital and the ability to generate strikeouts is also very important. These are the best closers in MLB The Show 19 with an OVR of 75 or more.

*For a full list please see the table below

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (OVR 98)

Age: 31

Throws/Bats: R/S

Contract: 3 years/$48 million

Pitches: Cutter, 4-Seam Fastball, Slider

Best Stats: K/9 (98), H/9 (97), Break (97), Clutch (96), Arm Strength (88)

Kenley Jansen came into the Majors in 2010 but took over the Dodgers closer role in 2012 and has grown into one of the most dangerous arms in baseball. He has racked up 268 saves for the Dodgers, including 40+ saves in three separate seasons. He has become a strikeout master, with four years of 100+ K’s and some remarkable K/9 rates. In MLB The Show 19 Jansen’s break (97) and mastery in the clutch (96) makes him a deadly weapon at the end of games.

Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics (OVR 93)

Age: 30

Throws/Bats: R/R

Contract: 1 year/$6.4 million

Pitches: Sinker, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter

Best Stats: Break (99), Velocity (99), Clutch (95), H/9 (95), HR/9 (86), Control (84)

Blake Treinen is not a well-known name, but he is a deadly pitcher. He started his career with Washington, but moved to Oakland during the 2017 season and took up their closer role and quickly proved himself. In 2018, his first full season as a closer, Treinen picked up 38 saves and racked up 100 strikeouts in 80 innings as he posted an amazing 0.78 ERA and allowed just 2 home runs. In The Show 19 his elite combination of velocity (99) and break (99) makes him a tough prospect for even the best hitters, and with a four-pitch arsenal he can keep hitters guessing at the plate.

Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros (OVR 93)

Age: 24

Throws/Bats: R/R

Contract: 1 year/$6.5 million

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slurve, 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Cutter

Best Stats: Break (99), BB/9 (89), Clutch (85), Control (85), Velocity (85)

Roberto Osuna made his name with the Toronto Blue Jays. He made his debut in 2015 and quickly took over the closing role. In 2016 & ’17 he picked up 35+ saves and 80+ strikeouts before getting a mid-season trade to Houston in 2018. At 24 Osuna still has a few years of team control ahead of him and some room for growth as a player, which is a scary prospect. In The Show 19 his superb break (99) backs up a five-pitch repertoire which he has very good control (85) over.

Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh Pirates (OVR 93)

Age: 27

Throws/Bats: L/L

Contract: 3 years/$16.8 million

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Curveball, Slider

Best Stats: Velocity (94), Break (94), H/9 (87), K/9 (85), Clutch (81)

Felipe Vazquez got his Major League in 2015 with the Washington Nationals but was soon traded to Pittsburgh where he was moved into the closer role in 2017. He took to it well, and while his ERA jumped to 2.70 in 2018 he did pick up 37 saves in 70 innings work with solid strikeout numbers. One issue Vazquez had last season was will issuing too many walks, and in The Show 19 that is reflected in a less than ideal control stat (79). However, his strong velocity (94) and break (94) stats should mean you can punch out hitters and keep them off the basepaths.

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees (OVR 92)

Age: 31

Throws/Bats: L/L

Contract: 3 years/$51.6 million

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball

Best Stats: Velocity (99), Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (99), Arm Strength (99), Clutch (85)

The flame-throwing leftie got his Major League debut in 2010 with the Cincinnati Reds. He didn’t take over the closer job until 2012 but as soon as he did he was deadly, regularly striking out 100+ hitters a year and picking up 30+ saves. In 2016 he got a mid-season trade to the Chicago Cubs and helped them to a World Series win before signing a big free agent deal with the Yankees. In The Show 19 Chapman is a monster, he can hit 100+mph with his fastball and strike hitters out at will with that velocity (99) and break (99) combo. He can also field his position really well thanks to his arm strength (99).

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants (OVR 90)

Age: 29

Throws/Bats: L/R

Contract: 1 year/$4.2 million

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (93), H/9 (88), Clutch (79), HR/9 (78)

Will Smith started his Majors career with the Kansas City Royals as a starter in 2012. It was quickly apparent he didn’t have the arm to be in the rotation, and in 2013 he was moved into the bullpen where things went much smoother. In 2016 he was traded to the giants, and missed the 2017 season through injury. However, on his return in 2018 he started to see time as the teams closer and found some success there, pitching 53 innings, picking up 14 saves, and posting an ERA of 2.55 with a strong 12.1 K/9. In The Show 19 Smith’s strength is in his breaking pitches (99) and with both a slider and curveball in his arsenal you should be able to keep hitters off balance.

Brad Hand, Cleveland Indians (OVR 90)

Age: 29

Throws/Bats: L/L

Contract: 2 years/$13.6 million

Pitches: Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, 2-Seam Fastball

Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (97), H/9 (92), Clutch (82), Velocity (78)

Brad Hand was drafted in the second round by the Florida Marlins in 2008 and got his Majors debut with them in 2011 as part of the starting rotation. He moved in and out of the rotation for a few years, starting 43 games for the Marlins with disappointing results before moving to San Diego where he entered the bullpen in 2016. In 2017 he was made the teams closer and picked up 21 saves and 104 strikeouts. In 2018 he got a mid-season trade to Cleveland to be their closer and hopefully put them over the top in the playoffs. In The Show 19 Hand has superb strikeout ability with his break (99) stat but he lacks the control (66) of truly elite closers. Still, he is good in the clutch (82) and has a nice pitch repertoire to keep hitters on their toes.

Edwin Diaz, New York Mets (OVR 90)

Age: 25

Throws/Bats: R/R

Contract: 1 year/$607,000

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball

Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (96), Velocity (96), Clutch (88), Control (75)

Edwin Diaz was a third-round pick for the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and he got his debut with the team in 2016, almost immediately stepping into the closer role and picking up 18 saves as a rookie. He had an All-Star year in 2018, posting a 1.96 ERA and leading MLB in saves with 57 and finishing the year with a stunning 15.2 K/9. and in December he was traded to the Mets. In The Show 19 Diaz is a K/9 machine (99) with that deadly velocity (96) + break (99) combination. He doesn’t have ideal control (75) but that will come as he continues to develop.

Brandon Morrow, Chicago Cubs (OVR 90)

Age: 34

Throws/Bats: R/R

Contract: 1 year/$10.5 million

Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter, Slider, 2-Seam Fastball

Best Stats: Velocity (92), HR/9 (84), H/9 (84), BB/9 (77), Clutch (75), K/9 (75), Break (74)

Brandon Morrow was a first-round pick for the Seattle Mariners in 2006 and was quickly promoted to the Majors, getting his debut in 2007. Morrow registered 10 saves in 2008 during a brief spell as closer, but soon moved to Toronto where he went into the starting rotation. His best season came in 2012 where he posted a 2.96 ERA in 21 starts but for the most part his time in the rotation was disappointing. He moved to San Diego in 2015 where he we started just 5 games and injuries struck. In 2017 he went to the Dodgers and was a solid bullpen arm with a 2.06 ERA, which got him a move to Chicago in 2018 where he became the closer with a 1.47 ERA and 22 saves.

In The Show 19 the veteran righty doesn’t have amazing stuff but he can control opposing bats well, limiting home runs (84) and hits (84) against while peaking the radar gun with solid velocity (92). Morrow has reasonable break (74) on his cutter and slider, and is more reliable than he is explosive.

David Robertson, Philadelphia Phillies (OVR 89)

Age: 33

Throws/Bats: R/R

Contract: 2 years/$23 million

Pitches: Cutter, Knuckle Curve, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball

Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (96), H/9 (96), Clutch (80), Arm Strength (73)

David Robertson was a 17th round pick for the New York Yankees in 2006 but developed into a strong arm in their bullpen by 2011. In 2014 Robertson moved into the closer role, picking up 39 saves and earning him a nice pay day from the Chicago White Sox ahead of the 2015 season to be there closer. He was traded back to the Yankees in July 2017 for another stint as a setup man and after the 2018 season he signed a 2-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies.

In The Show 19 Robertson has excellent break (99) on his pitches, which includes a dangerous knuckle curve that can fool any hitter. His velocity (75) is nothing special but with good deception and pitch selection you can keep hitters off balance and off the basepaths.

All closing pitchers with 75 OVR of more

PlayerOVRAgeClubPitch HandStaminaVelocityControlBreak
Kenley Jansen9831Los Angeles DodgersR25747397
Blake Treinen9330Oakland AthleticsR26998499
Roberto Osuna9324Houston AstrosR25858599
Felipe Vazquez9327Pittsburgh PiratesL25947994
Aroldis Chapman9231New York YankeesL24996799
Will Smith9029San Francisco GiantsL23667599
Brad Hand9029Cleveland IndiansL26786699
Edwin Diaz9025New York MetsR25967599
Brandon Morrow9034Chicago CubsR24926474
David Robertson8933Philadelphia PhilliesR26756799
Sean Doolittle8832Washington NationalsL24697183
Kirby Yates8832San Diego PadresR24817799
Jose Alvarado8823Tampa Bay RaysL24996499
Jose Leclerc8725Texas RangersR25883599
Ken Giles8728Toronto Blue JaysR24998184
Wade Davis8733Colorado RockiesR24745299
Raisel Iglesias8629Cincinnati RedsR29967593
Corey Knebel8627Milwaukee BrewersR25915799
Pedro Strop8534Chicago CubsR24926474
Craig Kimbrel8530Free AgentR25896699
Blake Parker8433Minnesota TwinsR25706199
Cody Allen8230Los Angeles AngelsR25765689
Jordan Hicks8222St. Louis CardinalsR26994097
Mychal Givens8228Baltimore OriolesR26854784
Kelvin Herrera8129Chicago White SoxR24987689
Archie Bradley8126Arizona DiamondbacksR34906278
AJ Minter8125Atlanta BravesL24927072
Matt Barnes8028Boston Red SoxR25865799
Sergio Romo7836Miami MarlinsR24376378
Arodys Vizcaino7728Atlanta BravesR24995999
Shane Greene7630Detroit TigersR25836472
Hunter Strickland7530Seattle MarinersR24815465

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Toby Durant

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Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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