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Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 6 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Saves + Holds League Rankings & Targets: Week 6 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

I’ve never followed bullpens as closely as I do this year, and this article has been a major help.

Playing in multiple leagues always has me on the look for potential closers, and it really has me zoned in on these bullpens. We’ve seen some pitchers come out of nowhere to step into prominent roles, and some bullpens are still up in the air.

With that in mind, let’s look at those questionable pens!

Week 6 Saves + Holds League Guide

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor!

Arizona Diamondbacks

Andrew Chafin earned this job with some stellar pitching early on, but he’s been scuffling recently. The lefty has allowed four runs over his last two appearances, while Miguel Castro has a 3.38 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Don’t be surprised to see Castro get the next save chance.

Chicago Cubs (AVOID)

This situation has been a nightmare. Michael Fulmer and Brad Boxberger have been trading off saves, but neither has been effective. Knowing who’s up next is impossible, but Adbert Alzolay is the best option behind his 2.41 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.

Chicago White Sox (AVOID, for now)

Liam Hendriks is on a rehab assignment and is inching close to a return. This team needs him because this has been one of the worst bullpens around.

Colorado Rockies (AVOID)

Daniel Bard has been back for weeks now, but he’s yet to get a save chance. I’m not convinced he’ll step back into the closer’s role because he missed time due to anxiety, and nothing would send him back to the IL quicker than a save situation in Coors Field. Pierce Johnson leads the club with five saves but is a gross addition with his 4.73 ERA and 1.73 WHIP.

Kansas City Royals

Scott Barlow was the closer last year, and he’s secured the role after a rocky start. He’s picked up three saves over his last six appearances, allowing no runs in that span. Aroldis Chapman is an elite holds pitcher with a 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 55 percent K rate.

Miami Marlins

AJ Puk is up to six saves and has a grip on this role. With that said, Dylan Floro has a 1.72 ERA and 0.89 WHIP behind him. If Puk slides at all, don’t be surprised to see Floro get some opportunities in the ninth inning.

New York Yankees

Clay Holmes looked like the closer at the beginning of the year, but things have not gone well for him. The righty has a 1.38 WHIP, with Michael King picking up two saves last week. That said, Holmes got a vote of confidence from his manager and picked up the team’s most recent save.

Oakland Athletics (AVOID)

This is a scary situation. Dany Jimenez, Jeurys Familia and Trevor May were the first choices, but all three pitchers aren’t on the active roster. Zach Jackson picked up the most recent save and is the safest bet for the next opportunity. Don’t pick up any Oakland relievers, though, because this team might not even reach 60 wins.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jose Alvarado was one of the best relievers through the opening month, but he just landed on the IL with an elbow issue (uh-oh!). That means it’ll be a committee between Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto and Seranthony Dominguez. All are worth rostering in holds leagues, but Dominguez and Kimbrel are the best bets for saves.

Washington Nationals (AVOID)

Kyle Finnegan is up to seven saves but has a 6.75 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. He’ll be lucky to get to 25 saves for this terrible team, and I’d advise staying away. If you’re desperate for saves, he’s worth rostering, but be aware that your peripherals will take a hit.

Closer Situations Not to Worry About

These are the teams with clear-cut bullpens.

Atlanta Braves

Rasiel Iglesias just returned from the IL and picked up a save in his second appearance. He’ll get the bulk of saves in the future. A.j Minter is still worth rostering in holds leagues because he should get plenty for the best team in the NL.

Baltimore Orioles

Felix Bautista has this job locked up. Yennier Cano has been one of the most fascinating bullpen developments out there, and he’s taken over the eighth inning. He’s a must-roster player in all formats, and we’ll talk about him later!

Boston Red Sox

Kenley Jansen is the closer; he’ll remain that unless this team blows things up. John Schreiber and Chris Martin are in line for most holds behind him, but we don’t really trust either.

Cincinnati Reds

Alexis Diaz has this closer’s gig, and we don’t want anyone behind him. Lucas Sims hasn’t allowed a run across 8.1 innings and could be in line for holds if this team can get some.

Cleveland Guardians

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

Detroit Tigers

Alex Lange was not getting any chances through the first few weeks, but he’s got a 1.13 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and six saves so far this year. He’s the only pitcher in this pen worth owning, but he’s also a trade candidate since this club won’t be in the run once the trade deadline approaches.

Houston Astros

Ryan Pressly is the closer for one of the best teams in the AL. Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero should be in line for many holds. Abreu is the pitcher we love, posting a 1.56 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 15.5 K/9 rate. If anything happens to Pressly, this would be one of the best pickups of the year.

Los Angeles Angels

Carlos Estevez has been one of our best additions of the season. Jose Quijada‘s move to the IL is what really secured him the job, with Esevez compiling a 1.02 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and eight saves. Matt Moore is the lefty specialist and is a sneaky option for holds, recording eight on the year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Evan Phillips has picked up nine straight scoreless appearances, totaling four saves in his last four appearances. That has moved LA out of the questionable section because Phillips is one of the best options in fantasy. Caleb Ferguson and Brusdar Graterol are also exciting options for holds.

Milwaukee Brewers

Devin Williams is the best reliever in the sport. Peter Strzelecki has been impressive in front of him, leading the league with nine holds.

Minnesota Twins

Jhoan Duran is one of the best relievers, and he already has seven saves. He stole this job from Jorge Lopez, who has a 1.20 ERA and 0.80 WHIP through 15 innings.

New York Mets

David Robertson is up to six saves, while Adam Ottavino has four. Both are worth rostering in every league because they should be in line for many holds and saves. Brooks Raley also has eight holds and is the lefty specialist behind his 1.06 WHIP.

Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar is excellent, and he’s been massive for this overachieving team. If you sniped him late in drafts, congratulations! Colin Holderman is tied as the league leader in holds, which is truly ironic.

San Diego Padres

Josh Hader looks good to start the year, posting a 1.13 ERA and 0.69 WHIP. Luis Garcia has struggled behind him but still has seven holds and some of the best stuff in this pen.

San Francisco Giants

Camilio Doval is the closer, picking up eight saves already. Tyler Rogers is the next option, picking up six holds behind his 2.45 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

Seattle Mariners

It’s funny that everyone was so high on Andres Munoz because Paul Sewald was the closer last year and is clearly it again this year. He’s up to nine saves already, and the Munoz injury sounds scary.

St. Louis Cardinals

Ryan Helsley has blown three saves but has four saves and three holds. He also has some of the nastiest stuff in baseball. Yet Giovanny Gallegos is equally as effective behind him. Both need to be rostered in all formats until we have more clarity.

Tampa Bay Rays

Pete Fairbanks landed on the IL last week, allowing Jason Adam to pick up four saves over the last week. Both are elite and must-own options in all fantasy formats. We bet this becomes a committee between the two for the remainder of the season.

Texas Rangers

Will Smith has been handed this job by Bruce Bochy. He’s grabbed four saves across his last six appearances and appears to have a long leash after blowing a save early in the week. Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez are the seventh and eighth-inning pitchers.

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 eight holds already. He’s a must-roster in holds leagues and would be a Top-10 closer if Romano ever falters or gets injured!

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. Andres Munoz (IL) SEA
7. Jhoan Duran MIN
8. Ryan Pressly HOU
9. Evan Phillips LAD
10. Pete Fairbanks (IL) TB
11. Rasiel Iglesias ATL
12. Paul Sewald SEA
13. Alexis Diaz CIN
14. Kenley Jansen BOS
15. David Bednar PIT
16. Ryan Helsley STL
17. Jason Adam TB
18. Camilio Doval SF
19. David Robertson NYM
20. Will Smith TEX
21. A.J. Puk MIA
22. Yennier Cano BAL
23. Scott Barlow KC
24. Jorge Lopez MIN
25. Giovanni Gallegos STL
26. Michael King NYY
27. Alex Lange DET
28. Bryan Abreu HOU
29. Adam Ottavino NYM
30. Erik Swanson TOR

FantasyPros My Playbook

Relievers on the Rise

Yennier Cano (BAL)

Cano has developed into the eighth-inning pitcher in Baltimore and would be closing for any other team with how he’s been pitching. The righty has thrown 18.2 scoreless innings this year, posting a 10.5 K/9 and 0.16 WHIP. He won’t get many saves with Bautista in Baltimore, but those statistics are worth rostering in any format.

Liam Hendriks (CWS)

Hendriks has missed the first 40 games because of Hodgkins Lymphoma, but it sounds like the closer will be back soon. This has been one of the best closers in baseball for five years now and should resume closing duties with how bad this bullpen has been.

Zach Jackson (OAK)

With Jimenez and May on the IL and Familia getting demoted, Z-Jax looks like the ninth-inning pitcher. That doesn’t mean much in Oakland but saves for the A’s count the same as any other team. He picked up the most recent save and has a solid 2.25 ERA.

Potential Closers on the IL

Liam Hendriks (Hodgins Lymphoma) – 15-Day IL. Return unknown, but there’s optimism he could return next week.

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

Dany Jimenez (shoulder) – 60-Day IL. Out for three months

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

Pete Fairbanks (arm) – 15-Day IL. It’s unclear when Fairbanks will be ready to return, but it wasn’t expected to be serious when he landed on the IL.

Jose Alvarado (elbow) – 15-Day IL. Alvarado was one of the best relievers through the opening six weeks but will miss some time with this elbow issue.

MLB DFS Lineup Optimizer

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

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