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Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 7 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 7 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

We’ve had a few quiet weeks from a bullpen perspective, but the last week has been wild. We’ve had numerous closer changes and have seen several pitchers go down.

It’s always unfortunate to see injuries, but it opens up the door for closing opportunities. We’ve also seen numerous relievers step into more prominent roles.

It’s a great week to head to your waiver wire and take some risks on some of these relievers!

Week 7 Saves + Holds League Guide

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor!

Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s hard to understand what’s going on in Arizona. Andrew Chafin appeared to lock up this job with six saves, but he’s been pitching all over the place recently. Miguel Castro has the two-most recent saves and has looked like the best pitcher in this pen behind his 2.89 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He’s our bet to take this job, but who knows!

Chicago Cubs (AVOID)

Eww. The Cubs are starting to fall apart, and we want no part of this closer situation. Brad Boxberger just went on the IL, while Michael Fulmer collapsed as the closer early on. Mark Leiter Jr. picked up the most recent save and is the best option, posting a 1.06 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 13.2 K/9 rate. He’s worth speculating on in pretty much every league.

Chicago White Sox (AVOID, for now)

Liam Hendriks is expected to return in the coming days and should take over closing duties with how bad this pen has been. If you’re desperate, Kendall Graveman has a 2.53 ERA and 0.66 WHIP over the last 30 days, picking up a save last week.

Colorado Rockies (AVOID)

It does not look like Daniel Bard will reclaim the closer role. He’s yet to get a save chance, with Pierce Johnson picking up all seven saves. He’s yet to blow one, but a 5.51 ERA and 1.90 WHIP is a recipe for disaster. We’d advise staying away, but PJ is the closer for now.

Kansas City Royals

Scott Barlow has picked up five saves over the last three weeks and has locked up this job. Aroldis Chapman is next in line and is worth rostering behind his 14.1 K/9 rate.

Miami Marlins

AJ Puk was the closer but just landed on the IL. Dylan Floro appears next in line, generating a 2.95 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate.

New York Yankees

This situation is getting murky. Clay Holmes looked like the closer early on, and then we thought it was Michael King. Aaron Boone threw a wrench in that, sending out Wandy Peralta to pick up three saves in his three most recent outings. We have to assume he’s next up to get a save, but it’s a challenging situation to get a read on.

Oakland Athletics (AVOID)

If you’re riding an Oakland reliever, you have other problems you need to worry about. This is the worst team in baseball, and they’ve already lost three closers to injuries. We’re guessing Zach Jackson is the closer for now, but this team might have only 10 save chances by the All-Star break.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jose Alvarado was one of the best relievers through the opening month, but he just landed on the IL. He did resume throwing this week and should resume closer duties in the next couple of weeks. Craig Kimbrel‘s 6.60 ERA is disgusting, but he picked up the most recent save and looks like the fill-in until Alvarado is ready.

Washington Nationals (AVOID)

Kyle Finnegan is up to eight saves but has a 6.28 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. This is one of the worst teams, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them pivot elsewhere if the struggles continue. Unless you’re desperate, we will avoid everyone in this bullpen at all costs. Hunter Harvey is next in line, but he allowed three runs on Tuesday in a rare save chance.

Closer Situations Not to Worry About

These are the teams with clear-cut bullpens.

Atlanta Braves

Rasiel Iglesias is the closer, but he’s already blown two saves while seeing diminished velocity. A.J. Minter has been slumping too, and we must assume Iglesias has a long leash. With that said, monitor this situation! Jesse Chavez is tied for the league lead with nine holds and could be a sneaky option in those formats.

Baltimore Orioles

Felix Bautista has this job locked up. Yennier Cano has been one of the most fascinating bullpen developments in the league, and he’s taken over the eighth inning. He’s a must-roster player in all formats, amassing a 0.00 ERA, 0.20 WHIP and 10.1 K/9 rate across 19.2 innings. If something happens to Bautista, Cano would be a top-10 closer. Don’t forget about Bryan Baker, who’s also tied for the league lead with nine holds.

Boston Red Sox

Kenley Jansen has this job secured, but he blew two saves this week. He is notorious for going on ugly stretches, but he always manages to keep his job in the ninth inning. There are plenty of capable options behind him, with Chris Martin, John Schreiber and Josh Winckowski all pitching well this season.

Cincinnati Reds

Alexis Diaz is one of the best closers for one of the worst teams. Lucas Sims is the only other pitcher worth mentioning, maintaining a 0.82 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.

Cleveland Guardians

Emmanuel Clase leads baseball with 14 saves and looks like the frontrunner for the closer crown. James Karinchak and Trevor Stephan have struggled with their WHIPs, but both should be in line for a ton of holds ahead of a stud like Clase. In fact, JK is tied for the league lead with nine holds and has had one of the best K rates over recent years.

Detroit Tigers

Alex Lange is the ace of this pen, picking up seven saves thanks to a 1.06 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. One has to wonder how long he’ll last in Detroit, but he’s an elite option until then. Jason Foley leads the team with six holds, accumulating a 1.56 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.

Houston Astros

Ryan Pressly has a 0.87 WHIP and seven saves. He’s one of the best closers in baseball, and he’s got a heck of a core around him. Bryan Abreu is up to seven holds, thanks to his 1.33 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 15.0 K/9 rate. He’s a top-25 option in holds leagues and could be a top-10 closer if anything happens to Pressly.

Los Angeles Angels

Carlos Estevez is spread throughout my rosters, and he’s been fantastic in this role. He’s got a 1.42 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, leading to nine saves. Matt Moore is an interesting option in holds leagues as the lefty specialist, picking up eight holds behind his 1.29 ERA and 0.76 WHIP.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Evan Phillips blew a save in his most recent outing, but he threw 10 straight scoreless innings before that. He also recorded five saves in this span and locked up this job. Caleb Ferguson is up to seven saves as a southpaw specialist, while Brusdar Graterol has some of the nastiest stuff in the seventh and eighth innings.

Milwaukee Brewers

Devin Williams is the best reliever in the game. Peter Strzelecki has been impressive in front of him, tied as the league leader with nine holds.

Minnesota Twins

Jhoan Duran might be the most impressive reliever from an eye test. This dude throws 103 MPH and has movement on every pitch. He’s captured this job thanks to a 1.62 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 rate. Jorge Lopez isn’t too shabby in the eighth inning, compiling a 1.37 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He’s a must-own player in all holds leagues.

New York Mets

This is a frustrating bullpen, but both closers are worth rostering. David Robertson leads the team with seven saves, while Adam Ottavino has four. Brooks Raley is also one of the league leaders with eight holds, making it one of the most fascinating bullpens in baseball.

Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar is awesome, and he’s been tremendous for this overachieving team. If you sniped him late in drafts, congratulations! They are starting to collapse, though, and Bednar could be on the move come the trade deadline. Colin Holderman is tied as the league leader in holds, which is truly amazing because of that ironic name.

San Diego Padres

Josh Hader is back! He’s second in MLB with 11 saves, accruing a 1.06 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. That’s the stud we saw before that 2022 slump. It also looks like Luis Garcia is the best holds pitcher, picking up seven already. He’s done that despite struggling, and we expect him to get better as the season progresses.

San Francisco Giants

Camilo Doval is the closer, picking up 11 saves already. Tyler Rogers is the next option, picking up seven saves behind his 2.70 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.

Seattle Mariners

Andres Munoz was popular in drafts, but Paul Sewald continues to ball out. Sewald has nine saves already, while Munoz remains on the IL. Munoz will be an elite holds option when he returns, but he won’t steal this closers gig with the way Sewald has been slinging.

St. Louis Cardinals

This bullpen is getting close to getting moved into the sketchy section. Ryan Helsley has four saves but has also blown three saves. That’s scary because Giovanny Gallegos is right behind him, picking up three saves and two holds. Both pitchers have been elite closers in the past, and it’s worth rostering both until we have a better read on what to expect. Gallegos is the more available one, so buying him cheap might be the best way to go!

Tampa Bay Rays

Pete Fairbanks was just reinstated from the IL. That throws this bullpen into the blender because Jason Adam picked up five saves across seven appearances in his absence. Tampa has always been fickle with their pen, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Adam steal this job. Both pitchers need to be rostered until we see a few more chances.

Texas Rangers

Will Smith has locked up this job. He’s up to eight saves, and there’s no competition behind him. Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez are next, but both have struggled this season.

Toronto Blue Jays

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

My Saves/Holds Rankings

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

FantasyPros My Playbook

Relievers on the Rise

Mark Leiter Jr. (CHC)

We hate this Cubs situation, but Leiter Jr. looks to be next in line with Boxberger going down. He has a 1.06 ERA and 0.88 WHIP while picking up the most recent save. This team won’t have many save chances with their murderer’s row of a schedule this week, so now is the time to try to get him.

Wandy Peralta (NYY)

It’s hard to believe that Peralta is the closer, but it’s hard to argue with three straight saves. We need to keep an eye on it, but he’s worth a speculative add in all leagues because owning the Yankees closer could be a massive addition to our fantasy roster.

Dylan Floro (MIA)

With Puk going down, Floro could be next in line for all the saves. He’s been the second-best reliever in this pen and picked up a save on Sunday.

Potential Closers on the IL

Liam Hendriks (Hodgins Lymphoma) – 15-Day IL. Could be back this week

Edwin Diaz (knee) – 60-Day IL. Out for the season

Andres Munoz (deltoid) – 15-Day IL. Resumed throwing but suffered a setback. Return is unknown.

Jose Alvarado (elbow) – 15-Day IL. Alvarado just resumed throwing and could return in a week.

AJ Puk (elbow) – 15-Day IL. Puk just landed on the IL and will be out for a few weeks.

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

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