Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 4/1 Depth Chart

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

Welcome back to the latest edition of our Reliever Ranks series! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for an excellent tool for those looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!




Transaction and Schedule Notes


  • After an action-packed Opening Day featuring all 30 teams, Friday was a bit quieter with a five-game slate. More on those games below.
  • Today, the first Saturday of the season sees its normal 15-game schedule.


  • With all of the first-day-of-the-season IL moves handled yesterday, there was little transaction news yesterday.
  • Garrett Whitlock (BOS) formally began his rehab assignment with AAA Worcester Red Sox as he continues to recover from hip surgery. He’s aiming to make it back to the big league club as early as mid-April.


  • With Nathan Eovaldi on a 75-80 pitch limit in his Rangers debut, look for the first arm out of the pen to get a shot at the win. This same strategy was in place with Jacob deGrom’s start on Thursday, and sure enough, Cole Ragans walked away with a win (despite some shaky ratios). Ragans only threw five pitches following deGrom’s abbreviated outing, so he is technically still available following Friday’s off day, but the more likely-vulture candidate is Dane Dunning, who has been suggested as a piggyback-type all spring as deGrom and Eovaldi get up to speed.
  • Richard Bleier may also find himself in a favorable position for wins depending on how Chris Sale’s start goes. Sale did not pitch into the sixth in Spring Training and maxed out at 70 pitches, so there is certainly room for a vulture; with the Boston pen seeing heavy usage on Thursday, Bleier appears to be in the best position to steal a decision.


Yesterday’s Performances

NYM 1 – MIA 2

  • The Mets took their first loss of the season despite an acceptable performance from David Peterson. Tommy Hunter was first out of the pen, tossing two scoreless innings while allowing one hit with no strikeouts. Down by one entering the bottom of the eighth, John Curtiss came in and allowed a dagger of a home run to Jazz Chisholm Jr. Behind the entire game, we didn’t learn much about the Edwin Diaz-less Mets bullpen.
  • However, we did get some intel on the Marlins in their first win of the season. JT Chargois and Dylan Floro both registered holds before A.J. Puk was asked to get the save in the ninth with a two-run lead. After a solo home run by Pete Alonso and two punchouts, Puk walked away with Miami’s first save of the year. Despite the home run, Puk did record four whiffs on just ten pitches; however, the velocity on his slider was down about three mph. Puk was facing the 3-4-5 of the Mets lineup, so it remains unclear if he’s a high-leverage guy who happened to be called upon in the ninth or the preferred closer at the moment.


CWS 3 – HOU 6

  • The White Sox bullpen surrendered all six of Houston’s runs in this one. Jimmy Lambert was the first reliever out of the pen following Lance Lynn and was primed to vulture the win after getting the final out of the sixth. However, Kendall Graveman ended up taking the loss after giving up three runs in the seventh and Jake Diekman was dealt a blown save after giving up the go-ahead run in that same inning. José Ruiz pitched a scoreless eighth to preserve the score.
  • Houston showed off their phenomenal bullpen against Chicago, registering four innings of 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, and 5 K dominance en route to their first win of the season. While Phil Maton was first out of the pen, Seth Martinez was credited for the win after pitching the seventh, and Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero recorded a hold and the save, respectively, for their work in the eighth and ninth. After throwing 30 pitches over the past two days, Montero is likely off Saturday.


COL 4 – SDP 1

  • The Rockies pen put in three solid innings to secure the team’s second win of the season. Brent Suter handled the seventh, Brad Hand pitched the eighth, and Pierce Johnson was called upon for the save opportunity in the ninth, converting it while striking out two. Hand pitching in the eighth is potentially revealing – while he allowed a few baserunners, he was supposed to face only 7-8-9, saving the top of the order for, presumably, Johnson. In Daniel Bard’s absence, perhaps Johnson has leapfrogged into the closer role while Hand has remained the set-up man. We’ll see what happens this weekend.
  • Starter Nick Martinez was (surprisingly) allowed to go a full seven innings on 101 pitches, possibly asked to help the bullpen out after Blake Snells abbreviated start the day before. After Martinez, Tim Hill handled the eighth and Luis García finished the game, each allowing two base runners. Garcia’s velocity was noticeably down on his SI, SL, and FF, but actually up a tick on his splitter. Looking ahead, I’d expect to see Josh Hader make his first appearance this weekend even without a save opportunity – this pen is just too taxed.


ARI 2 – LAD 1

  • The story of the day here was Drey Jameson, who pitched four strong innings of relief after starter Merrill Kelly was unable to make it out of the fourth, earning the win in the process. He wasn’t quite dominant – 3 BB and 2 H, including a Mookie Betts solo shot – but his 5 Ks and length mean he could be an interesting streamer moving forward. However, he’s also likely the first man up should anyone in the rotation falter. With their first late-inning lead of the year, projected closer Scott McGough came in with two outs in the eighth, likely looking for a four-out save against 8-9-1-2. However, after he walked one in the eighth and Betts to lead off the ninth, Andrew Chafin came in to finish the game instead. At least for now, McGough is clearly the preferred guy – but keep an eye on that command.
  • The Dodgers took their first loss of the season after Alex Vesia served up a two-run blast to Kyle Lewis in the eighth. Evan Phillips saw his first action of the year – a single pitch – finishing the inning before Caleb Ferguson pitched the ninth.


CLE 9 – SEA 4

  • This was a prime win vulture opportunity with Hunter Gaddis making a spot start. Sure enough, Gaddis only went 3.2 IP, allowing Nick Sandlin to get the W after getting the next four outs. Eli Morgan struck out the side around a pair of baserunners in the sixth, Enyel De Los Santos got the seventh, Trevor Stephan took the eighth, and we got our first taste of Emmanuel Clase across 10 (disgusting) pitches to finish the game, striking out two. Nothing unexpected here, but Stephan has looked good so far – he’s the likely replacement if Karinchak continues to struggle after his rough opening day.
  • The most interesting story for the M’s in this one was their willingness to get bulk innings out of Chris Flexen, who entered the game in sixth down only three and simply took it home from there. Trevor Gott labored through 35 pitches (not entirely his fault thanks to three unearned runs) after Robbie Ray’s early exit and Penn Murfee recorded an out as well.


Bullpen Depth Charts

Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:

The Hold Up: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Closing Time: Ranking the Top 30 Closers

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter

Ethan McCollister

Diehard Red Sox fan. Vermonter in Philly. Harvard alum. Cat dad. In Chaim we trust...but I miss Mookie.

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