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Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Targets: Kevin Ginkel & Kyle Finnegan

Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Targets: Kevin Ginkel & Kyle Finnegan

We took a week off with the rest of MLB, preparing me for the stretch run! It’s been two weeks since our last publication, but there have been plenty of bullpen developments since then.

There’s likely more on the horizon because the trade deadline is less than two weeks away. It’s nearly impossible to know what will happen, but we know there will be some significant changes at the deadline.

We’ll discuss that more next week, but let’s dive into some of the developments over the All-Star break!

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor!

Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s wild that a team this good has had so many changes throughout the year. It feels like this team has a new closer every month, with Andrew Chafin starting the year as the closer. Miguel Castro took over after him, but Sean McGough was the most recent promotion to that role. He’s struggled mightily over the last two weeks, which allowed Kevin Ginkel to pick up the two most recent saves. He’s our best bet to get the next save.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have been tough to figure out, but it feels like Adbert Alzolay is starting to gain a grip on this job. “AA” has six saves since May 30, tallying a 2.61 ERA and 1.00 WHIP on the year. Mark Leiter has been the second-best option in this pen, compiling 13 holds behind a 3.49 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 34 percent K rate. He’s a worthy pickup in holds formats.

Chicago White Sox

Liam Hendriks has had trouble staying on the field, but it’s allowed Kendall Graveman to take over as the closer. He’s up to eight saves, despite allowing a run in four of his last nine appearances. The rest of this pen is horrible and has developed into one of the worst teams in baseball. Graveman is worth rostering, but don’t be surprised to see Hendriks steal this job when he’s healthy with very little on the line for this club.

Colorado Rockies (AVOID)

The Rockies’ closer situation is a nightmare to figure out every year. Pierce Johnson had all the saves early on, but Justin Lawrence has taken over recently. He has a 2.57 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, recording four saves over the last four weeks. We also saw Daniel Bard pick up a save, which makes this situation even more challenging to understand. Try to avoid them unless you’re desperate.

Detroit Tigers

Alex Lange has some nasty stuff and leads this team with 15 saves. Jason Foley has also been good as a setup man, tallying a 2.23 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Both of these pitchers could be on the move at the deadline but don’t forget that the Tigers are only 5.5 games back in their division.

Oakland Athletics (AVOID)

This is the worst team in baseball, but Trevor May has taken over this closing gig. He’s one of the highest-paid players on this roster, picking up seven saves since June 7. It does come with a price, though, totaling a 5.11 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. He’s unlikely to get many more save chances for the worst team in the league, making May tough to trust with those pitiful peripherals.

Washington Nationals

Kyle Finnegan started the season with 12 early saves, and he’s recaptured the closer’s job because of a Hunter Harvey injury. Finnegan has earned it, though, posting a 1.65 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 rate since May 13. His resurgence makes it tough to determine whether Harvey will regain the closer’s gig, but either of these pitchers could be on the move at the deadline.

Closer Situations Not to Worry About

These are the teams with clear-cut bullpens.

Atlanta Braves

It was sad to see Nick Anderson go on the IL because he was a dominant late-inning pitcher for this team. The good news is this club has plenty of talented relievers, with Kirby Yates and A.J. Minter taking over the seventh and eighth innings. Both relievers can be rostered in holds formats, with Rasiel Iglesias locking up all of the saves.

Baltimore Orioles

This pen is unbelievable. Felix Bautista is the king, collecting 25 saves and a league-best 51 percent K rate. That’s absurd, but the pitchers behind him aren’t too shabby, either. Yennier Cano is second in MLB with 21 holds, generating a 1.61 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He needs to be rostered in all holds leagues.

Boston Red Sox

Kenley Jansen is one of the greatest closers of all time, and he’s up to 20 saves this year. Chris Martin has been among the best adds in holds leagues, providing 14 behind a 1.52 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. If some contender wants to make a splash by acquiring Jansen, Martin would be one of the best pickups out there.

Cincinnati Reds

Alexis Diaz is up to 27 saves, thanks to his absurd 37 percent K rate. He’s simply one of the best relievers in baseball and will remain in Cincinnati since this team is surging. Lucas Sims leads the team in holds, but we don’t want to roster anyone else from this bullpen. Don’t be surprised to see them add someone at the deadline.

Cleveland Guardians

Emmanuel Clase is up to 25 saves and has the most in the league since the start of last season. It’s been a nightmare getting to him, though, with this pen possessing one of the worst WHIPs in MLB. Don’t worry about rostering anyone else in this bullpen.

Houston Astros

Ryan Pressly had one of his worst career outings in his most recent appearance, but he was on a ridiculous run before that. He actually went a month without allowing a hit before the rare dud and is leading this team with 21 saves. Hector Neris has been one of the best setup men in front of him, collecting a 1.55 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 19 holds. Don’t forget about Bryan Abreu, though, tallying 16 holds and a 36 percent K rate. All of these relievers need to be rostered universally.

Los Angeles Dodgers

We were worried about Daniel Hudson stealing saves, but he’s back on the IL. This is strictly Evan Phillips‘ job, providing a 2.41 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Caleb Ferguson and Brusdar Graterol are attractive in holds formats because they should get plenty of chances for this dominant Dodgers team.

Los Angeles Angels

Carlos Estevez has shocked fantasy managers with 21 saves, developing into one of the best waiver wire adds of the year. Matt Moore has been a sneaky pickup in holds leagues, accruing a 2.00 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 12 holds through just 27 innings. He’d be closer to 20 holds if it weren’t for an IL stint, but this is a club that’ll likely make a move at the deadline to sure up the backend.

Kansas City Royals

The Aroldis Chapman trade secured the ninth inning for Scott Barlow, leading the team with 11 saves. With that said, he has a 7.50 ERA and 1.92 WHIP since June 10. A team might acquire him at the deadline, but he likely wouldn’t close for any contender. If that happens, we guess Carlos Hernandez gets most of the saves.

Miami Marlins

A.J. Puk is unlucky to have a 4.70 ERA, leading the Marlins with 15 saves. He has a 2.74 xERA and is easily the best reliever in this pen. Tanner Scott has been a sneaky add in holds leagues, generating a 2.74 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 38 percent K rate. He has 18 holds with those excellent averages and needs to be rostered in most formats.

Milwaukee Brewers

Devin Williams is one of the best closers in baseball. He’s up to 25 saves, but he’s been one of the only reliable options in this pen. That said, Joel Payamps has climbed up the reliever totem pole for this team, providing a 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 rate. He needs to be picked up in holds formats, but nobody else in this pen is worth a sniff.

Minnesota Twins

This is another bullpen with a dominant closer and not much else to support him. Jhoan Duran has a 2.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 32 percent K rate. Griffin Jax leads the team with 13 holds, amassing a 2.56 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He’s worth a look but is better off on waiver wires.

New York Mets

David Robertson has a 2.13 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while recording 14 saves. New York is close to falling out of the race, though, and he could be on the move. Adam Ottavino and Brooks Raley have been valuable in this pen, too, with Otto obtaining six saves and 11 holds, while Raley is one of the league leaders with 18 holds. This is a pen we need to monitor over the next two weeks.

New York Yankees

Clay Holmes has been unstoppable for two months, maintaining a 0.98 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 11.4 K/9 rate since May 3. He only has seven saves because this NY team has been struggling mightily. This team is rarely sellers at the deadline, but they’re worth keeping an eye on with the deadline right around the corner.

Philadelphia Phillies

Craig Kimbrel has been the best closer in baseball since he recaptured this job. CK has a 0.45 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 12.6 K/9 rate and nine saves since June 1. He’s one of the best waiver wire adds of the year. They need him to keep dominating because Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado can’t stay off the IL.

Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar is one of the best relievers in baseball, and he could be on the move with Pittsburgh freefalling down the standings. He has a 1.22 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, making him one of the most coveted relievers in the league. Colin Holderman will take over if he gets moved, collecting a team-high 13 holds.

San Diego Padres

Josh Hader has 22 saves, thanks to his 1.03 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Steven Wilson has been the only other reliable option in this pen, picking up 17 holds behind a 2.84 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. This is also one of those disappointing teams that could make a move at the deadline. They’re worth monitoring.

San Francisco Giants

Camilo Doval is leading the league with 30 saves. He has this San Francisco team scorching, but the Rogers (Tyler Rogers and Taylor Rogers) twins have also been effective in the late innings. Tyler Rogers is one of the league leaders with 21 holds, but both of these pitchers have WHIPs below 1.10.

Seattle Mariners

Paul Sewald and Andres Munoz have this looking like one of the best pens in baseball. Sewald leads the club with 19 saves, while Munoz has nine holds across just 18 innings. This might be a great time to buy Munoz in holds leagues because he should be one of the best relievers in that format over the closing three months.

St. Louis Cardinals

Jordan Hicks has secured the ninth inning due to the Ryan Helsley arm injury. He has eight saves over the last month, posting a 2.19 ERA in that span. It’s unclear when Helsley will be ready to return, and another few good weeks could secure this job for the remainder of the season. The Cardinals have been one of the worst teams in the league, though, and could make some serious moves over the next two weeks.

Tampa Bay Rays

Peter Fairbanks and Jason Adam are among the best duos in the league. Fairbanks is up to 10 saves across 19 innings, while Adam has 11 saves and nine holds. These pitchers need to be rostered universally, despite Tampa’s recent struggles.

Texas Rangers

This pen is getting interesting. Will Smith and Chapman are expected to split saves from here on out, but both of them need to be rostered everywhere. Smith is up to 17 saves, thanks to his 0.81 WHIP. Chapman has two saves since joining the Rangers, registering a ridiculous 44 percent K rate. If Chapman is somehow sitting on your waiver wire, pick him up!

Toronto Blue Jays

This is our favorite pen in baseball. Jordan Romano is one of the league leaders with 26 saves, while Erik Swanson leads the league with 22 holds. Having established roles like that makes our job easy!

My Saves/Holds Rankings

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

FantasyPros My Playbook

Relievers on the Rise

Kyle Finnegan (WAS)

With Harvey going down, this is Finnegan’s job once again. He has 14 saves already since he was the closer through the opening months, but a terrible stretch gave Harvey the job. Finnegan has been fantastic since then, though, generating a 1.65 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 rate since May 13.

Nick Pivett (BOS)

It’s rare to recommend non-closers in this section, but Pivetta has been a fascinating development. This former starter has been the reliving opener over recent weeks amid the best stretch of his career. Over his last 21.2 innings, Pivetta has a 2.08 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 15.8 K/9 rate.

Kevin Ginkel (ARI)

The Diamondbacks pen has been in flux all season, and it feels like this is the 10th closer we’ve written up. Ginkel picked up two saves in a row earlier in the week and has a 2.21 ERA and 0.95 WHIP on the year. With two saves in a row, he has to get the next one!

Potential Closers on the IL

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

Liam Hendriks (arm) – 15-Day IL. Hendriks is close to kickstarting a rehab assignment and could be back after the break.

Ryan Helsley (elbow) – 15-Day IL. Helsley just resumed throwing this week but won’t return until after the break. It’s unclear if he’ll reclaim the role from Jordan Hicks.

Hunter Harvey (elbow) – 15-Day IL. Harvey is expected to be out for at least 10 days with some arm fatigue.

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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