Projecting saves leaders for every AL team

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The four best teams by 2018 record called the American League home, and that is normally a positive for producing saves. At the same time, four of the five worst teams were AL squads. Those four teams (Orioles, Royals, White Sox, Tigers) hardly piled on the saves, averaging 33.5 between them, when the league average was 42.

Let us just say little is likely to change for the bad teams in 2019, while the good teams boast established closers, save for the champs. As a result, it is likely easier to find saves in the NL this coming season. (Our closer chart is updated regularly to help you know which players are next in line to get saves.)

Regardless, we covered one man's projected saves for 2019 already for the NL, and now it is time for the AL. Avert your eyes on a few of these teams, and not just because of the writing.

Baltimore Orioles: Last season's Orioles did not win much, and it was reflected in the save totals. Brad Brach led the way with 11 of them, and Mychal Givens saved nine. Will the Orioles be any better this season? It is reasonable to ignore this entire pitching staff, but then again, if one man can save more than 20 games ...

My projection: If you are looking for every last save, it sure seems like Givens has the role and perhaps a bit of job security, too. I say Givens keeps the job and saves 24 games all on his own, while lefty Richard Bleier picks up a few as well. There seems little danger of the Orioles flipping their relievers to contenders in late July for prospects.