A funny thing happened on my way to work today, I sat there in my favorite sitting place and did some research.  I looked at the availability of information provided by the other experts in the world of fantasy baseball, and then correlated that to what I do best.  That, my friends, is bullpens.  We as a collective fantasy universe play in leagues with the illusive yet sultry stat category known as the Hold.  In fact, in some further research that I have done, an estimated 30% of all fantasy players play in a league with some sort of Hold associated with the final outcome in the standings.  I mean, 30% is basically like winning the popular vote.  [Jay’s Note: I love you Smokey.] But I am standing here aghast at the amount of research poured into this fantasy industry by experts all around the world, yet here I sit.  Giving you the most diverse, in-depth, informative (yet funny), and groundbreaking stat analysis that not even world-wide leaders give… for free might I add.  I love me some bullpens, and if you don’t play in a league that adds diversity to the game to include them, then maybe you should down shift a bit and give it some thought and do a league that includes it.  Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself.  Because this way I gain, at least one reader from each person that does it.  Go search the inter-webs for holds type information, you get a column sorted catastrophe written by some intern who doesn’t know the difference between good and well.  So stay here my friends, I am the goods through and through. I dropped the Holds chart weeks ago and now you get just straight cheddar and some rankings.

Before I start with the rankings, there are other stats associated with the factoring of valuable reliever in the terms of being a Hold’s ace. Teams with closer conundrums are harder to rank and guys usually steal stats from one another.  These guys figure into other categories as well and K’s, ERA, and Whip are still counting stats associated with most leagues.  So if you skipped just to the list then you dumb and should go back up.

  1.  Dellin Betances – More K’s in last two years than anyone.  (257 to be exact.)  Checks every box for a rosterable player in every league regardless of Hold out-out, which should be in the mid 30’s…. and he is pissed off.  Even more reason to own him.
  2. Andrew Miller – In NSVH leagues, he is the goods as he could go 20/20, but offer more value then Melvin Upton.  Indians are stacked at the end game and barring injury and bad form, will be in top-5 in saves, save chances, and holds.
  3. Will Harris – I am always intrigued by players that shift roles, do well at both and then go back to their everyday job and do work.  Harris is that guy.
  4. Kevin Siegrist – The Cards are always in the top-10 in bullpen goodness, and are deep like always, and that’s not even counting on Rosey for anything with his role TBD.  The last left there and in prime spot to maximize on his usually high leverage situation dominance again.
  5. Tyler Thornburg – Boston is going to win games, period.  The bullpen lost some pieces, but gained better ones and with more developing.  Thorny does Charleston proud.
  6. Matt Bush – Maybe I am aggressive, but I love me some Bush and Rangers bullpen this year.  Every team in the AL West, minus the Angels, is stacked up.  Diversity amongst hold candidates is saved for teams that don’t have reliable options.   If he can stay healthy, he could put up a mini-Dellin year.
  7. Kyle Barraclough – Sounds like a danish, K’s like a sexy marmoset.
  8. Felipe Rivero – Love him, in most leagues may be my first drafted Holds only reliever, after all the hyped big K guys go off the board.
  9. Brad Brach – Takes the first chair in a great bullpen usage managers arsenal. O’s know how to use their relievers to be effective.
  10. Jason Grilli –  I don’t love the Blue Jays bullpen much, but Grilli should be a constant there.
  11. Addison Reed – Will be the closer for a month, but lead the MLB in holds last year and could still get you 25-plus.  The saves make him look great the holds show that he is in the category.
  12. Nate Jones – A trade will ruin his holds value, hence the teen rank.  Without D-Rob, he is a top-15 closer, so there is value either way and a speculative guy for all to cherish.
  13. Hunter Strickland – Was up and down last year, but with less faces to give chances to in front of Melancon he looks to be the guy right now.
  14. Nick Vincent – Was great down the stretch last year, has more guns behind and in front with Cishek being the horse to jump.
  15. Sergio Romo – Veteran preference wins out right now over Dayton, but skip to him now and it will totally make sense.
  16. Daniel Hudson – Watson may or may not be the closer.  Screw elementary, Hudson is the goods and my theory of doubling up on really good hold reliant team would look good if I drafted Rivero and Huddy.
  17. David Phelps – Dual eligibility makes him a more admirable option as a “stash and hide in SP” slot guy.  Highly recommend because he may still get some starts.
  18. Darren O’Day – I think he takes the second seat behind Brach this year.  Does not mean he is a sexy second holds guy for your roster though.
  19. Brad Hand – Love the dual eligibility in some leagues.  Love that he’s getting undervalued.  Hate that he made Spicoli eat that pizza as punishment.
  20. Tyler Clippard – It’s Clippard to Dellin to Chapman.  This is going to either make or break the Bombers season 50-60 times this year.  Was really good at end of last year.
  21. Boone Logan – Another Indians player in the top-25.  Had third straight season of 20-plus holds last year for an also-rand Rockies team.
  22. Joakim Soria – Someone has to set-up Herrera, even if he has been in decline since I think the Reagan administration.
  23. Hector Rondon – I worry about the amount of save chances the Cubs get,  former closer knows what to do in pressure situations.  Take a hit and then pass it to the left.
  24. Justin Wilson – If Wilson was spelled vanilla, it’s what he would be.  But for quantity of holds, he will be middle of the road, and by that, I mean top-20 in overall stats.
  25. Grant Dayton – Is getting a ton of love in leagues because a ton of people root for the Dodgers?  With Romo as the vet presence and getting more draft love, I feel comfy at where he is.  Results at end of year may have him be a top-12 guy in holds.
  26. Joe Blanton – Think he falls into the “I am safe and not closing” type reliever for a 90-win team in the Nations capitol?  He is going to be behind Kelley and Glover for sure, with Solis mixed in as well.  I might be too low here, but I wanna see him do it again.
  27. Matt BarnesSawx win games.  Mookie Betts, bloody socks and Casey Affleck.  I am trying to stay current.
  28. Carter Capps – Here because he has the goods to be just flat put useful.  Will be a popular retread name on draft day as a potential closer.  Regardless, he is going to get his.
  29. Arodys Vizcaino – The Braves bullpen could go in four different directions and it would be awful for anyone involved.  The A’s situation of the NL.
  30. Brad Boxberger – After the Colome comes the Box.
  31. Joaquin Benoit – Philles have 2-3 interesting names and I think Neris and Gomez steal value from each other if that’s what you were looking for.  Benoit seems set with Neshek to be the Vet part of the equation.
  32. Jeremy Jeffress – I see him as the bridge between Barnette and Kela, not the closer in waiting that most see.  Previous experience be damned.
  33. Derek Law – The loss of Romo and Lopez opens up tons at the back-end for the Gigantes.
  34. Bryan Shaw – The Indians may have the best bullpen in baseball.  Not kidding.
  35. Brett Cecil – The second lefty to get value in the Cardinals’ nest.  If he gets 20 Holds at 35 on the list, it will be a good year for holds.
  36. Corey Knebel – Could be a 10/15 guy easy.  For those not paying attention and skipping straight to Corey Knebel, that’s saves/holds.
  37. Ryan Dull – Far from dull, the A’s have a lot of injury-laden relievers who all steal from Peter to pay Paul.  Personally I am avoiding almost everyone there.
  38. Ryan Buchter – S.D. has had a good-for-fantasy holds bullpen since Roo’s were cool to wear on your feet.
  39. Keone Kela – Kid has moxie and a live arm.  I just wonder how much there is to go around after Bush and Jeffress get their’s.
  40. Koji Uehara – Is he now the Cubs lefty specialist, but from the right side?
  41. Steve Cishek – I would rather own Vincent, but because he has previous closer experience, the skipper may keep him closer to the 8th then 6th allowing him to be a good accumulator.
  42. Xavier Cedeno – May be the best set-up only guy in Tampa.
  43. Mauricio CabreraBraves are a weird team, he is one of the four directions I mentioned.  The cult leader and a PTBNL are the others.
  44. Jake McGee – Holland and Otta steal from each other, and I think Jake is set in that setup role firmly.  Could get a good value in the same way that Boone Logan did last year
  45. Jonathan BroxtonCards are deep and good at bullpening.
  46. Drew Storen – At the end of it all, I think Raisel and Lorenzen get more opps at saves and Storen eases into a 7-8th inning role… then gets traded.
  47. Shae Simmons – From A through F, the Mariners may have the deepest most useful set of relievers in all of Baseball.
  48. Mychal Givens – Gets no love because of Brach and O’Day.  Buck will find a way.
  49. Dan Altavilla – Don’t let me down, high town.
  50. Pedro Strop – Team may win 100 and not have 45 save chances.