The biggest question I get regarding the Hold stat is: “How long should I hold onto a stud holds reliever if he isn’t getting the precious stat?”  Well, the stat is fluctuation between the sublime and the superfluous.  It is usually as explainable as binary calculus.  Take, for example, the story of the San Francisco Giants bullpen.  They have all the right pieces there to be a successful bullpen.  A stud closer and an excellent mix of RH and LH set-up men.  Now look closer at the stats.  Hunter Strickland is by all intents and purposes the 8th inning guy.  He has 12 appearances, 11 of which have come in the 8th inning or later in ball games.  He checks every other box for stats, low ERA, K/9 right about where you want it, but the inevitable stat faux pas is he has zero holds.  On a team that only has 9 holds collectively, what is going wrong?  He isn’t doing anything wrong, he isn’t vexed by a succubus or anything bad.  hell I bet he helps old ladies cross the street and then steals their groceries.   The simple answer is that the hold stat is an ever flowing team driven ideal.  Doesn’t mean I hate it, one bit.  i love the secondary save.  It just comes out of the blue sometimes and people who sometime deserve to be the beneficiary aren’t that’s all.  Hunter will finish the year with his share, but right now in holds leagues he is almost unownable.  So look elsewhere for good match-ups, good form in pitching, and the ever important stat with relievers is when did they pitch last.  That is the best determinant in acquiring a waiver wire darling.  If he pitched yesterday, odds are he won’t today.  Be smart as picking reliever for holds is a dumb game, don’t over-think it.  Here are some other deets, in the game of set-up…

  • Colorado’s pen continues to pace the eague with 24 Holds.  This, even with Mike Dunn on the DL for a bit.  If Dunn is sitting out in waiver land, grab him up as he should be back soon.
  • I know it’s setup guys, but Cody Allen is perfect 8-8 this year in saves and amazingly has one BS in his last 44 save appearances.  OKAY, I lied, it was a giant setup question.  Andrew Miller has 1 in his last 41 appearances, Boone Logan has one in 36, Bryan Shaw has 1 in his last 57!  Remember what I just typed up above Cleveland is a good place to look for some goods.
  • Doolittle to the DL makes Ryan Dull a viable option in most leagues because of the flux with saves and he has 5 Holds on the year pacing the sort-of-athletics.
  • Trevor Rosenthal is almost all the way back. Probably your last warning for investment.
  • Corey Knebel leads all relievers who aren’t a closer with 12 appearances with the lead.  Easily the number one stat for determining the Hold stat, hence why he has 8.
  • Sleepy reliever of the week is Yusmeiro Petit, totally should have named this the re-re-re-tread reliever O’the week.
Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Adam Ottavino 10/1 11 5/1
Corey Knebel 8/1 12 6/3
Joaquin Benoit 7/1 10 1/0
Matthew Bowman 7/0 8 9/2
Heath Hembree 7/0 7 11/5
Felipe Rivero 7/0 7 2/1
Daniel Hudson 7/0 7 2/2
Brad Brach 6/1 12 0/0
Luke Gregerson 6/1 11 1/1
Carlos Torres 6/2 11 2/0
Justin Wilson 6/0 10 6/1
Jose Alvarez 6/0 10 12/0
Jorge De La Rosa 6/0 8 7/0
Taylor Rogers 6/1 8 6/2
Andrew Miller 6/0 7 6/3
Mike Dunn 6/0 7 5/2
Bryan Shaw 5/0 7 3/1
Dellin Betances 5/1 7 7/2
Danny Farquhar 5/0 7 8/1
  1. Clive says:
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    Thanks for the write up!

    Have a non-Hold league question on the value of guys like Miller/Betances..

    It’s a K/9 but also QS league, and its H2H.. so maybe get 2-3 innings from them each week. Someone recently dropped Miller. Should I grab him or just stream SP with that spot? Thanks!

    • Sdub88 says:
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      I am in a similar non-Hold league like Clive and have similar questions. Recently dropped Brach since Britton came back. Thinking about grabbing a multi-inning reliever like Archie Bradley to maybe help with ERA, WHIP and K/9, but not sure how to value a guy like that. Looking forward to the responses.

      • Stumanji says:
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        @Sdub88: I’m in two non holds leagues and I think Devenski (Hou) is very worth owning because he often pitches multiple innings with ridiculous ratios. One league is h2h with Total K’s, the other is roto with K/9; if you get 4-5 innings/week out of him with 7-8 K’s or 16 K/9, that’s basically a top 25 starter minus the ability to get QS (but could vulture some W and SV).

        In h2h-especially swallower leagues-I don’t love owning non closers b/c like you said they sometimes will only give you 2-3 innings/week. That makes it hard for their numbers to move your overall ratios for the h2h matchup. If there are solid streaming options always shuffling onto the WW, I’d rather stream that roster spot smartly and just live with the results. When a streamer gets a QS with a handful of K’s without killing your ERA & WHIP, it’s way more valuable to your overall matchup IMO.

        Disclaimer: The above is just my opinion and may not be supported by empirical evidence.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Stumanji: Devenski may be in the top 3-4 most ownable non closing relievers in baseball. Owning non relievers in weekly change leagues isn’t always needed, but in daily move leagues they are essential.

      • Smokey

        Smokey says:
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        @Sdub88: I love Brach, but the allure of a multi gut like Archie is tempting, but he pitches for a worse team IMO and that may be his only fallback. Owning either isn’t a bad thing, just that Brach is the proven commodity of a few seasons and his manager is a bullpen master

        • sdub88 says:
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          @Smokey:

          Thanks for the replies, very good insight. Of course Brach got a save last night two days after I dropped him, lol. What do you think of Albers and the situation in Washington?

          Bedrosian has also been dropped in my league but not even sure he’ll be the closer when he returns.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clive: To me a pitcher like Miller in invaluable he offers a quadruple threat of; higk K rate in low innings, a save cuff, a win vultue on occasion and his ERA/whip are the calming method for a season long bad ERA pitcher you also may be rostering. I would be all over Miller

  2. rick says:
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    really think their going to put rosenthal in over final-boss?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @rick: no, but as an ownable resource for K’s and such he is going to be useful

  3. Wacha Wacha says:
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    Drop m bush or w Harris for any of the following in s+h league ? Brach, rivero, Benoit , knebel, rosenthal

    • Stumanji says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: Might be a lateral move but I’d want Rosie and maybe Brach over Harris. Hard pass on shares in Benoit.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: Harris to any of those guys listed is fine. Never drop saves

  4. Ralph says:
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    Who is the closer of the Nats? Glover getting it?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Ralph: It has to be, though it is becoming a closer circus now, that Ryan Webb got the save. Glover should be back soon and get the role

  5. Brett says:
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    12 team holds category and saves category. Have Bush, Giles, Neris, Benoit, Bradley and Kelley. Cut Kelley for Will Harris?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brett: yes.

  6. ryan says:
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    Smokey, please help me sort this out. Saves and holds are separate categories in my h2h redraft league. Most guys in the league drafted closers heavy, but I did not, figuring I would draft set-up guys late and concede saves, mostly. My goal is to eventually have four dominant set-up guys and two closers, that way I can bank on winning holds and maybe poach saves once in a while.

    Current Bullpen:
    Bush (Sv)
    Neris (?)
    Bedrosian (Sv, DL)
    Rivero (h)
    Wilson (h)
    Knebel (h)

    Neris is the problem. What is he and is he good at it? My three set-up guys typically get the job done in Holds each week, but not every week. My closers seldom get the job done.

    On the wire are Dunn and Rosenthal. I could dump Neris for Dunn or Rosie, and run w/ one closer until/if Bedrosian gets the closer job back. Or I could hold and let Neris (hopefully) sort himself out. If I grab Dunn I would have four stud set-up guys, good holds, good ratios, good K’s.

    Thanks for any insight you can give!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ryan: Neris was good last year not so much right now. Dropping him is never a recommended thing as I never drop saves ever to the wire. I think withe what you have your talent should catch up to your stats eventually. Hold for 10 days or so and see how and where Bedrosian news sits and then you may have to change it up a bit.

  7. trick dad says:
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    Who is the 8th inning guy in ARZ? I own bradley it’s a pts league heavy on k’s but holds count. Drop bradley for Jorge DLR or Delgado?

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @trick dad: it’s NOT delgado. it’s moved between mostly hoover/george

  8. Brett says:
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    Thoughts on strahm in kc seems to be putting it together and looks like the 7th inning guy?

    Would you rather him or Harris for holds?

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Brett: harris, strahm has this going against him
      1. he was completely awful for a bit before being back
      2. KC is really bad at having leads in baseball games

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