Count me among those who think we should put the save out to pasture. If you’re interested in holds, you clearly play in a superior league. There’s such a minimal difference between a save and a hold, that they should be treated equally for fantasy purposes in my book. Pat yourself on the fantasy back for being an elevated fake sports mind. We’re looking for reliable roles in high leverage situations. Plus strikeout rates and friendly ratios help, too. Below is a table that includes those opportunities. A few of the more notable middle relievers below, as well.

  • Jace Fry, CWS: There’s a lot to like with Fry, and not just because we get to dust off our favorite Max Fried puns. A 17.74(!) K/9 the last 30 days, for one. Also, a 1.54 ERA in that same span. You want advanced metrics? Does a 30-day FIP of -0.1 move your needle? That dash in front of the number equates a negative value if you were unsure. He might already be gone if your league is paying attention.
  • Taylor Rogers, MIN: Rogers, who’s a firsty-firsty, girly-manly plural, is pushing Trevor Hildenberg for late-inning work in Minnesota. It’s unlikely that he steals the job outright since he’s a lefty. It’s an excellent opportunity for your S+H leagues, though.
  • Trevor May, MIN: It’s possible all of this Twins bullpen goodness was a product of their two-week hot streak that got upended by Oakland recently. Plenty of those same weak division foes dot their schedule rest of the way, however. May has returned from arm surgery with great velocity, especially on his slider. A healthy 12.46 K/9 the last 30  is evidence of that.
  • Jose Alvarado, TAM: One-third of the Rays high leverage trio. He’s the lefty of the group. You’ll get good strikeout totals in the deal, too.
  • Jesse Biddle, ATL: Another left-handed reliever for you. Biddle pairs a mid 90’s fastball with a nasty curve. He’s a bit more interesting in a dynasty setting, but a useful arm in deep leagues.
  • Tommy Hunter, PHI: In a bullpen that has confounded fantasy owners all season, he’s is the next to enter the, “Is he a Kapler guy?” conversation. Hunter earned a hold and a save on consecutive days this week. His season stats are fairly ordinary, but the last 30 split looks better. Not my preferred target, but you may need to consider him in a deeper league.
Name Team SV HLD BS SO K/9
Taylor Rogers Twins 2 7 0 16 10.54
Steve Cishek Cubs 0 7 1 16 11.37
Dakota Hudson Cardinals 0 7 0 5 3.55
Brad Brach Braves 0 6 1 14 10.8
Jose Alvarado Rays 2 6 1 18 12.15
Alex Colome Mariners 0 6 1 11 8.74
Jordan Hicks Cardinals 3 6 1 11 8.74
Justin Miller Nationals 1 6 0 9 6.75
Adam Ottavino Rockies 1 6 3 17 12.08
Brad Hand Indians 4 5 0 16 12.34
Carl Edwards Jr. Cubs 0 5 0 7 5.56
Ryan Pressly Astros 0 5 1 14 12.19
Yoshihisa Hirano Diamondbacks 0 5 0 4 4.15
Cory Gearrin Rangers 0 5 0 11 8.74
Jesse Biddle Braves 1 5 1 17 11.77
Craig Stammen Padres 0 5 1 13 8.56
Ryan Tepera Blue Jays 0 5 1 9 5.93
Chaz Roe Rays 0 5 0 9 12.79
Tony Watson Giants 0 5 0 9 8.38
Joe Jimenez Tigers 0 5 0 9 10.13
Edgar Santana Pirates 0 4 1 8 5.27
Dan Winkler Braves 1 4 0 14 10.8
Jace Fry White Sox 3 4 0 23 17.74
Seung Hwan Oh Rockies 1 4 2 11 9.58
Trevor May Twins 0 4 0 18 12.46

 

  1. Harley Earl says:
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    I’ve been in a holds league for nine years. By far it requires more knowledge and understanding of bullpen roles than saves-only leagues. I pretty much require any league I play in to have holds as a category because it is clearly for more advanced players.

    • Harley Earl says:
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      @Harley Earl: Also, to show you the depth my league has, every one of these players you mention is already rostered in my league. If you want to win in my league, you have to find guys before they even become holds pitchers, like Jose Castillo (SD), Diego Castillo (TB) and Ryan Burr (CWS). As a dynasty league, we have to evaluate guys for the future too.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Harley Earl: Agreed. Not sure if you saw what Ryan Madson had to say about saves recently. He suggested we start tracking scoreless appearances, or SCAPs. I’m very into that idea.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        @Roto-Wan: Hadn’t heard that. But that’s a good idea, and it sounds like a great fantasy category. I like it!

  2. Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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    14-team 5×5 (S+H) league and I’m rolling along in 3rd with Osuna and Igleisias and Chapman on the DL.

    I could maybe use another name from this list for my bench…just in case.
    Dominguez, Reed, Parker, Hildenberger, Perala, Holland, Anderson, Soria, Hunter, Roe, Ziegler, Barnes, Cishek, Winkler, BobbyG, Jimenez, and Yates are all available.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Kruk_Ain’t_An_Athlete: Is your goal to go SHAGNOF or do you want to protect your ratio’s more?

      • Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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        @Roto-Wan: I probably lean more toward SHAGNOF.

        • Roto-Wan

          Roto-Wan says:
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          @Kruk_Ain’t_An_Athlete: That’s a ton of names for a holds league. I’d go after one of Dominguez, Roe, or Hildenberg.

        • Roto-Wan

          Roto-Wan says:
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          @Kruk_Ain’t_An_Athlete: That’s a ton of names for a holds league. I’d go after one of Dominguez, Roe, or Hildenberg.

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