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Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets (Week 2)

Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets (Week 2)

This is the most critical time of the season for evaluating relievers. There are more changes in the opening two weeks than ever before because this is when teams need to figure out their pens. The good news is that we have a good read on how most of these bullpens will play out but there are still many questions yet to be answered. That’s why we’re here, so let’s get into it.

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Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Sewald getting injured was unexpected but Arizona has a solid fill-in. They already announced Kevin Ginkel will get most of the saves in his absence. He generated a 2.48 ERA and 0.98 WHIP last season. We’ve yet to see him pick up a save but striking out the side with a four-run lead in his most recent outing shows he’s the guy.

Baltimore Orioles

Craig Kimbrel is the presumed closer but he’s yet to pick up a save and blew his only chance. There are plenty of capable options in this pen with Yennier Cano posting some of the best numbers in baseball last year. Look for Kimbrel to get the next chance but keep an eye on it.

Colorado Rockies

As someone who lives in Colorado, it’s embarrassing to say I watch this team. The Rockies are a joke and we might only see them get 30 saves all season. We’ve yet to see a save but Tyler Kinley and Justin Lawrence have three combined scoreless appearances. One of those guys will get the first save but we don’t want any part of this pen for what could be the worst team in baseball.

Chicago White Sox

We just said Colorado might be the worst team. However, Chicago is right there. This team has just one win and Michael Kopech picked up a save on Tuesday. He did allow a run in that game but he’s the presumed closer with John Brebbia and Jordan Leasure also in the mix. This is another team we want to fade.

Detroit Tigers

We assumed Alex Lange had this job but he is looking like one of the worst draft picks. Lange pitched in the sixth inning the other day and has struggled. That’s allowed Jason Foley to take over this gig, picking up two saves this year. He’s also reaching triple-digits on the gun, looking like one of the best waiver wire adds of the opening week.

Kansas City Royals

Will Smith was signed to a lucrative deal in the offseason and picked up a save on Tuesday. The only issue is that Smith allowed four runs in his Royals debut and blew a save on Wednesday. He should get the next chance after a conversion on Tuesday but James McArthur and John Schreiber are lurking.

Miami Marlins

Everyone drafted Tanner Scott in the middle rounds of drafts but he was a popular bust pick in the fantasy industry. The lefty has shown why in his first three appearances, walking six batters en route to a 2.33 WHIP. He’s also picked up two losses in his first three games and could lose this job before ever getting a chance. With that said, we have no clue who would get it, with everyone else in this pen also struggling.

Milwaukee Brewers

This might be the last time we have Milwaukee in this section. We bet on Joel Payamps to be the presumed closer in Devin Williams‘ absence but Abner Uribe has been remarkable in that role. He already has three saves in three appearances and looks to have stolen this gig from Payamps and Trevor Megill.

Minnesota Twins

There’s still no clarity on this situation with Jhoan Duran out for the next three months. We had our chips on Griffin Jax running away with this role, picking up Minnesota’s first save of the season. Brock Stewart is also in the mix. They have both posted a 0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through two appearances. These two could be a committee, but Jax is the best bet for now.

Oakland A’s

We already talked about how we want to fade the Rockies and White Sox. The A’s might have the fewest saves at the end of the year. This team is only projected to win about 50 games and we have no clue who will be the closer. Mason Miller and Dany Jimenez are the best bets but Miller was horrid in his debut.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jose Alvarado was the presumed closer but a four-run meltdown in his debut had fantasy managers wondering. The good news is Alvarez picked up a save the next day and should have his hands on this gig with Kimbrel in Baltimore. Jeff Hoffman is the only other guy who might get a chance.

Texas Rangers

Jose Leclerc was the closer in the playoffs last year but has been far from steady in his time with Texas. He’s allowed a run in all three appearances, surrendering six runs across three innings. We have to assume he’ll get the first chance but that start to the season is a nightmare. David Robertson is plenty capable behind him, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings this year. He might be a sneaky add if you don’t believe in Leclerc.

Toronto Blue Jays

This might be the last week we have Toronto in here. Jordan Romano is undoubtedly the closer, inching closer to a return. Erik Swanson is also on the injured list (IL). We haven’t seen the Blue Jays get a save chance yet. Yimi Garcia is the best bet to get the first crack, but this is only a one-week fill-in.

Washington Nationals

Kyle Finnegan kickstarted the season with a successful save but then melted down in his next opportunity. That’s an ominous sign because many people have Hunter Harvey pegged as the closer in the making. We expect Finnegan to get the next chance but keep an eye on these two.

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My Saves/Holds Rankings

Rank Player Team
1. Josh Hader HOU
2. Edwin Diaz NYM
3. Emmanuel Clase CLE
4. Evan Phillips LAD
5. Camilo Doval SF
6. Andres Munoz SEA
7. Raisel Iglesias ATL
8. Pete Fairbanks TB
9. Jordan Romano (IL) TOR
10. Ryan Helsley STL
11. Paul Sewald (IL) ARI
12. Jhoan Duran (IL) MIN
13. David Bednar PIT
14. Craig Kimbrel BAL
15. Ryan Pressly HOU
16. Clay Holmes NYY
17. Alexis Diaz CIN
18. Tanner Scott MIA
19. Jose Alvarado PHI
20. Bryan Abreu HOU
21. Erik Swanson (IL) TOR
22. Robert Suarez SD
23. Kenley Jansen BOS
24. Jose Leclerc TEX
25. Carlos Estevez LAA
26. Jason Foley DET
27. Abner Uribe MIL
28. Will Smith KC
29. Kyle Finnegan WAS
30. Jason Adam TB

Relievers on the Rise

Abner Uribe (MIL)

Abner Uribe has been swiped in many leagues but get him if he’s still available. He’s got three saves through three appearances and shouldn’t cede saves to Devin Williams anytime soon because he’s out for the next three months.

Jason Foley (DET)

Jason Foley has looked like one of the best relievers in baseball, picking up two saves for the Tigers. With Alex Lange struggling, Foley could run away with this gig and be one of the waiver wire adds of the year if he holds this job.

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Potential Closers on the IL

Felix Bautista (BAL): The O’s closer is out for the year after Tommy John surgery.

Jhoan Duran (MIN): Duran is out with a moderate oblique strain and has no timetable to return.

Jordan Romano (TOR): Romano has resumed throwing and could return in the next two weeks.

Devin Williams (MIL): Williams will be out for 2-3 months because of back issues.

Paul Sewald (ARI): Sewald suffered a Grade 2 oblique strain and will miss at least a month.

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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