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Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 3 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 3 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

We haven’t had too many closer developments this week, but the bullpens are always changing. We’ve seen some eighth-inning guys step up over the last two weeks, and many of those arms will be featured in this article. There’s a lot to discuss, though, so let’s kick things off with the questionable bullpens.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Charts

Week 3 Saves + Holds League Guide

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor!

Arizona Diamondbacks (AVOID)

This bullpen sucks. Sean Mcgough had the job for two days, but Andrew Chafin looks like the guy now. He threw six scoreless innings to start the year but got blown up in his most recent save opportunity. He’s the only guy worth picking up on this team.

Chicago Cubs (AVOID)

This is another situation we want to stay away from. Michael Fulmer has one save but blew another one on Saturday. That allowed Brad Boxberger to pick one up on Sunday in dominant fashion. Fulmer also allowed four runs on Wednesday and he’s losing the grip on this job.

Chicago White Sox (AVOID, for now)

Liam Hendriks is one of the best closers in baseball, but his cancer diagnosis has everybody wondering who’s up next. Kendall Graveman and Reynaldo Lopez have been great at times in the past and are speculative pick-ups for saves and holds until Hendriks is ready to return. They’ve been terrible this year, and it’s better just to stay away until Hendricks is ready to go. Lopez does look like the guy for now, though.

Detroit Tigers (AVOID)

Alex Lange is the only good reliever in this pen, but only has one save. He’s also pitched in the sixth inning, so who knows what the Motor City Kitties are doing?

Kansas City Royals

This one is getting sketchy! Scott Barlow blew two games this last week, and Aroldis Chapman has been unhittable. Chapman has thrown seven scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters. Don’t be surprised to see him take the job if this continues!

Los Angeles Angels

This is a tough one. Carlos Estevez was rumored to be the guy, and he got a save last week to “secure” the job. Jose Quijada also picked up three saves when Estevez was unavailable, so these two look like a potential committee. We also saw Estevez struggle in a save on Monday, and it makes this even more complicated. Both guys are worthy adds in all formats.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Evan Phillips has gotten the first two saves for this team. He’s going to skyrocket up my rankings if this continues. One more save from Phillips, and we’re moving the Dodgers from this section! Don’t forget about Daniel Hudson returning because he was the rumored closer in spring training. We also saw Brusdar Graterol enter the ninth with a four-run lead, so, don’t forget about him!

Miami Marlins

AJ Puk is the best reliever in Miami, and we saw him pick up three saves over the last week. One more week of stability and this team will move sections! Nobody else in this bullpen should be picked up, but JT Chargois and Dylan Floro are both sporting 0.00 ERAs.

Oakland Athletics (AVOID)

Dany Jimenez has been pitching the ninth inning, but he was just placed in the IL. Trevor May is probably next in line, but who cares?

Philadelphia Phillies

Craig Kimbrel got the first save of the season. He was our bet all along, but most of these pieces are worth rostering because this feels like a full-blown committee. Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, and Gregory Soto should be in for a ton of holds as well. Alvarado actually got two saves in two days earlier in the week, and he has to be the closer frontrunner for now.

Tampa Bay Rays

This team is amazing for holds leagues but not so great for standard save leagues. Jason Adam and Peter Fairbanks are both elite relievers, but we expect Fairbanks to get the majority of the saves. Both players should be universally owned.

Texas Rangers

Jose Leclerc looked like the lock for closing duties, but Will Smith picked up the first save for Texas. LeClerc got the most recent one, though, and hasn’t allowed a run. We expect him to grab this job, but both guys are great additions in SVs/HLDs leagues.

Washington Nationals (AVOID)

If you want to pick up one of the worst closers for one of the worst teams, have fun with Kyle Finnegan’s 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.

Closer Situations Not to Worry About

These are the teams with clear-cut bullpen plans heading into the 2023 season.

Atlanta Braves

Rasiel Iglesias had this job locked up, but he’s on the IL. That means Aj Minter and Joe Jimenez are excellent fill-ins until he returns. Minter has four saves so far and is looking like one of the best early-season waiver wire adds since there’s not much progress in Iglesias’ injury status. Jesse Chavez is the league leader with seven holds, but it’s hard to imagine the journeyman holding that title for long.

Baltimore Orioles

Felix Bautista has this job locked up, and we’re not exactly sure what will happen behind him yet. Cionel Perez is an interesting hold candidate as their lefty specialist.

Boston Red Sox

Kenley Jansen was signed to be the closer, with Chris Martin and Josh Schreiber next in line. Both of those guys are excellent options in holds leagues.

Cincinnati Reds

Alexis Diaz has taken over this job, and we don’t trust anyone behind him. Diaz has struggled early on, but the rest of this pen is pitiful.

Cleveland Guardians

Emmanuel Clase might be the best closer in baseball. James Karinchak and Trevor Stephans should get holds in front of him, and both guys have elite strikeout stuff.

Colorado Rockies

Daniel Bard landed on the IL for anxiety, allowing Pierce Johnson to pick up the first three saves. Bard made his return to action on Wednesday and should reclaim this job soon. With that said, the Rockies won’t have many saves going forward.

Houston Astros

Ryan Pressly is the closer for one of the best bullpens in baseball. Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero are great relievers, too, and could be in line for a ton of holds.

Milwaukee Brewers

Devin Williams is the top reliever in my rankings, behind his elite rates and secure role. Matt Bush is an intriguing eighth-inning guy who could be in line for a ton of holds.

Minnesota Twins

Jhoan Duran is one of the best relievers in baseball, and he’s got four saves already! We thought Jorge Lopez would be splitting chances with Duran, but Lopez has just one save so far. Both guys are awesome options in holds leagues.

New York Mets

David Robertson is the closer, with Edwin Diaz out for the year. Brooks Raley leads MLB with six holds through the opening week and looks ahead of Adam Ottavino on the totem pole. We did see Otto pick up a save though, so monitor this situation!

New York Yankees

Clay Holmes broke out last season with 20 saves and a 1.02 WHIP. He had three saves through the opening 10 days but has struggled in his two most recent outings. We don’t expect anyone to take this job because no one else seems capable in this pen.

Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar is one of the best relievers in baseball but will only get limited saves for one of the worst teams in MLB. He’s an elite option in SVs/HLDs leagues. Collin Holderman is one of the league leaders in holds (HA!), and his name is doing him some justice!

San Diego Padres

Josh Hader looks good to start the year and has this job locked down. Luis Garcia has five holds and some nasty stuff, making him a great pickup in holds leagues.

San Francisco Giants

Camilio Doval is the presumed closer with 27 saves last year, but Taylor Rogers is plenty capable behind him. Rogers is a sneaky option in holds formats.

Seattle Mariners

Andres Munoz is an incredible talent, but he’s on the IL now. That should secure all the saves for Paul Sewald, with Diego Castillo swallowing up most of the holds.

St. Louis Cardinals

Ryan Helsley has some of the nastiest stuff and should remain the Cards closer. With that said, Giovanny Gallegos has been successful in that role in the past and is an elite option in holds leagues. Helsley struggled in his debut but look for him to get the next chance anyway.

Toronto Blue Jays

Jordan Romano is one of the best relievers and has a stranglehold on this closer gig. Eric Swanson is one of the best eighth-inning pitchers in baseball and has six holds already. He’s a must-add in holds leagues!

My Saves/Holds Rankings

Rank Player Team
1. Devin Williams MIL
2. Andres Munoz (IL) SEA
3. Emmanuel Clase CLE
4. Josh Hader SD
5. Jordan Romano TOR
6. Felix Bautista BAL
7. Jhoan Duran MIN
8. Ryan Pressly HOU
9. Evan Phillips LAD
10. Pete Fairbanks TB
11. Rasiel Iglesias (IL) ATL
12. Ryan Helsley STL
13. Alexis Diaz CIN
14. Kenley Jansen BOS
15. Clay Holmes NYY
16. Paul Sewald SEA
17. David Bednar PIT
18. Camilo Doval SF
19. David Robertson NYM
20. Giovanny Gallegos TB
21. Jose LeClerc TEX
22. AJ Minter ATL
23. Scott Barlow KC
24. Jorge Lopez MIN
25. Jason Adam TB
26. Seranthony Dominguez PHI
27. Alex Lange DET
28. Rafael Montero HOU
29. AJ Puk MIA
30. Erik Swanson TOR


On the Border (Holds Candidates)

Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, Jose Alvarado, Trevor Stephan, Daniel Hudson, Erik Swanson, Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Kyle Finnegan, Adam Ottavino, Liam Hendriks, Joe Jimenez, Robert Suarez, Gregory Soto, Matt Bush, Dylan Floro, AJ Puk, Jimmy Herget, Ryan Tepera, Bryan Abreu, Scott McGough, Michael Fulmer, and James Karinchak

FantasyPros My Playbook

Relievers on the Rise

Aroldis Chapman (KC)

We had Chapman in here last week, and we’re keeping him in this section with Barlow struggling. If Chapman keeps striking out every batter he faces, KC can’t keep him away from the closer’s gig.

Eric Swanson (TOR)

Swanson was elite in Seattle last year, and he’s carried that form north of the border. He’s got a 2.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while pitching almost every other game. He’s one of the best eighth-inning options in holds leagues.

James Karinchak (CLE)

Karinchak is a wild man, but this dude has game. He’s one of the league leaders in holds this year and has a 1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 17.6 K/9 rate since struggling in the opener.

Jose Alvarado (PHI)

Alvarado has the two most recent saves for Philly. He’s also allowed just one run across 7.1 innings, striking out 18 batters. That’s one of the best K rates we’ve ever seen, and he’d be an elite closer if he captures this job.

Potential Closers on the IL

Rasiel Iglesias (shoulder) – 15-Day IL. recently resumed throwing.

Liam Hendriks (Non-Hodgkins lymphoma) – 15-Day IL. Return unknown, but there’s optimism he could be back within a month or so.

Edwin Diaz (knee) – Out for the season

Dany Jimenez (shoulder) – 60-Day IL

Andres Munoz – 15-Day IL – Munoz will be out at least two weeks due to a deltoid strain.

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive.

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