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Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets (Week 8)

Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets (Week 8)

These bullpens are starting to shape up! Teams try to settle the back end of their bullpen from day one, but that rarely works out for a full season. That’s why we’re publishing this article every week, but we’re ecstatic that some of these pens are finally settling down. Who says settling is bad?

In any case, let’s get started and look at some of the developments for this week.

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Saves + Holds Rankings & Waiver Wire Targets (Week 8)

Closer Situations to Watch

These are bullpens we need to monitor.

Baltimore Orioles

This is not a team we expected to see in here this season, but Felix Bautista‘s absence has thrown this bullpen into the blender. Craig Kimbrel was brought in to fill the role, but he allowed six runs across 2.1 innings between April 26 and May 8. That forced Baltimore to change closers, with Yennier Cano getting the two most recent saves. With that said, he did blow the most recent chance, and Baltimore has said they want Kimbrel to regain this closer’s gig. Cano and Kimbrel are both must-roster players right now.

Chicago White Sox

We’re finally getting some clarity on this situation. It takes wins to get saves, and we’ve seen some from Chicago recently. That’s led to Michael Kopech picking up three saves in his last four appearances. He leads the team with five saves and should get most of the chances as we advance. We’re far from the trade deadline, but he seems like a worthy candidate since Chicago is playing for the future, so keep an eye out for that as we get closer.

Colorado Rockies

We haven’t gotten a good read on this closer situation all season, but things are starting to become more transparent. With Justin Lawrence and Tyler Kinley struggling, Jalen Beeks has picked up four saves in his last five appearances. He actually picked up three saves in a four-day span last week and should continue to get opportunities behind his 2.21 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. With that said, a losing streak is likely right around the corner for the worst team in the NL, so only pick up Beeks if you’re desperate.

Detroit Tigers

It appeared that Alex Lange was moving into the ninth inning, but a four-run stinker and a loss last week have changed the hierarchy once again. That led to Detroit giving Jason Foley the most recent save chance, but he’s really been the guy all season. He’s up to 10 saves now and has a scoreless appearance in all but two games this season. If he gets the next few chances, we can remove the Motor City Kitties from this section.

Los Angeles Angels

It still looks like Carlos Estevez is the guy, but we have to keep a team here if they’re not getting save chances. Of the few chances they have gotten, Estevez blew many of the recent ones, recording just three saves since April 6. He’s also blown three saves in that month-long span, totaling an 8.31 ERA. There’s no one else to lean on, but it’s a situation worth monitoring.

Los Angeles Dodgers

It sounds like Evan Phillips will return from a hamstring strain next week, but his absence has left this situation extremely murky. Since Phillips went down, three different guys have picked up saves, and it’s clearly a committee until he returns. Daniel Hudson is the best bet if you’re desperate for saves over the next week, but he’ll be droppable by the time our next article is published.

Milwaukee Brewers

This should be the last week Milwaukee will be in here. Joel Payamps and Abner Uribe have blown their chances to be the closer, with Trevor Megill recording five saves in his last six appearances. Megill has also allowed just one run all season and should continue to get all of the chances until Devin Williams returns in a month or so.

Philadelphia Phillies

It’s unbelievable how many teams are starting to get clarity in their pens. Four players have recorded at least two saves for the Phillies, but Jose Alvarado is running away with this job. He leads the team with eight saves, and seven of those came in less than a month. He also has a 1.74 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in that span, and he’s established himself as the go-to closer for a team that looked like a committee just a few weeks ago.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa is one of the most intelligent organizations in baseball, and they will do whatever it takes to close games. Pete Fairbanks has been the go-to guy over the last two years, but he can’t go more than a few months without landing on the IL. He just came off the IL last week, with Jason Adam recording three saves since April 29. Adam is one of the safest bets for saves + holds, recording 11 holds and 12 saves last season. We have to assume Fairbanks will resume his role as the closer, but we wouldn’t be shocked if Adam runs away with this gig, either. Both guys need to be rostered universally!

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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. Ryan Helsley STL
7. Raisel Iglesias ATL
8. Clay Holmes NYY
9. Jordan Romano TOR
10. Andres Munoz SEA
11. Jhoan Duran MIN
12. Mason Miller OAK
13. David Bednar PIT
14. Paul Sewald ARI
15. Kirby Yates TEX
16. Robert Suarez SD
17. Alexis Diaz CIN
18. Pete Fairbanks TB
19. Craig Kimbrel BAL
20. Jose Alvarado PHI
21. Jason Foley DET
22. Hector Neris CHC
23. Kenley Jansen BOS
24. Ryan Pressly HOU
25. Kyle Finnegan WAS
26. Jason Adam TB
27. Tanner Scott MIA
28. Trevor Megill MIL
29. Carlos Estevez LAA
30. Alex Lange DET

Relievers on the Rise

Jalen Beeks (COL)

Picking up a Rockies closer is a recipe for disaster, but Beeks is running away with this gig. He picked up four saves in his last five appearances, all of which came in the last two weeks. He isn’t your stereotypical closer, with his lack of strikeout stuff, but saves are saves!

Michael Kopech (CWS)

It’s gross that we have the two worst teams in baseball here, but that’s just how the waiver wire plays out. After some uncertainty, Kopech has put his stamp on this job. He’s picked up three saves in his last four appearances, allowing just one run over his previous eight outings. These are two gross pickups, but both guys should get the bulk of their team’s saves moving forward.

Potential Holds Specialists

JoJo Romero, Hunter Harvey, Erik Swanson, Ryan Pressly, David Robertson, Scott Barlow, Matt Moore, Bryan Abreu, and Aroldis Chapman.

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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.

Devin Williams (MIL): Williams is still expected to miss another month because of his back issue.

Evan Phillips (LAD): Phillips suffered a hammy strain last week but could be back by the time our next article is published. He threw earlier in the week and could skip a rehab assignment.

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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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