Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 5/16/23 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


  • We saw 12 games played on Monday with six teams getting scheduled off days: TBR, CLE, DET, CWS, MIA, and PIT.
  • There were a number of big blowouts across the league so many high-leverage relievers got the night off. There were six save opportunities, five of which were converted – Evan Phillips blowing the only save chance.
  • The big news amongst transactions is the return of Rays closer Pete Fairbanks to Tampa Bay. Jason Adam has been phenomenal in stepping up, converting 5-of-6 save opportunities since Fairbanks hit the IL. There is no doubt that Fairbanks should step straight back in as the primary arm in the ninth
  • After being shelled by the Cardinals the previous day, Ryan Brasier was designated for assignment by the Red Sox. Lefty Joely Rodríguez was activated from the IL to take his spot on the roster.
  • Cubs veteran Brad Boxberger was sent to the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain. Boxberger had been in-line for saves but his performances haven’t sustained. Nick Burdi was called up in a corresponding move.
Yesterday’s Performances

NYY 7 – TOR 4
SV: Michael King (3)

  • The Yankees bullpen wobbled a little before Michael King came in and retired all four batters he faced to earn his third save of the season. King was called upon to get the last out in the eighth inning before coming back out for a clean ninth. Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta pitched heavily over the weekend and so it was useful for King to come out and dominate.
  • Nate Pearson and Jay Jackson both gave up a run in relief but much of the damage was done off starter Alek Manoah as the Blue Jays continue to search for consistency in their rotation. Their primary bullpen arms will be fresh for today’s games.


CHC 4 – HOU 6
SV: Hector Neris (2)

  • Michael Fulmer’s woes continue after the veteran gave up a two-run homer to Alex Bregman in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Houston an advantage they did not surrender. Fulmer lost the closer role earlier in the season and now boasts back-to-back horror shows as his relevance as a fantasy reliever quickly diminishes before our eyes.
  • Five Astros relievers combined to allow just one run in relief of Framber Valdez, who surprisingly exited after just four frames. Ryne Stanek set up veteran Hector Neris for his second save of the season after Ryan Pressly threw in four of the last six games. Neris had pitched the day before, and had notched three holds in the last five games, but was given the responsibility and made light work of the bottom of the Cubs’ lineup.


CIN 8 – COL 9
SV: Pierce Johnson (7)

  • In a swings-and-roundabouts type of game, the Reds bullpen shipped three runs to give the Rockies the advantage going into the ninth inning – Ben Lively, Lucas Sims and Buck Farmer all giving up a run in relief of an erratic Hunter Greene.
  • Still yet to blow a save this season, Pierce Johnson notched his seventh save of the year despite allowing a run after a walk and two hits, one of which was a bullet from Nick Senzel on a 3-0 count that could have cleared the bases. Johnson remains everyone’s worst favorite closer add. Daniel Bard picked up the win as a nice bonus to those who still held onto him.


ARI 5 – OAK 2
SV: Andrew Chafin (6)

  • “The Sheriff” Andrew Chafin needed just 10 pitches to retire all three batters he faced to earn his sixth save of the season. Facing his former ball club, Chafin induced three fly balls to end this contest with a whimper. Miguel Castro walked a batter but otherwise pitched a tidy eighth inning to keep the A’s scoreless.
  • The A’s rotation is as big of a mess as the bullpen but the return of swingman Adrián Martínez was the sole bright spark for the beleaguered Oakland franchise, who remain completely irrelevant as a fantasy commodity, especially in the late innings.


PHI 3 – SFG 6
SV: Camilo Doval (9)

  • Connor Brogdon could not get out of the first inning as the opener after giving up two hits but Bailey Falter bailed him out before giving up six runs in the second inning alone in his role as the follower. Despite the Giants not scoring again, the Phillies never really looked like getting back into the contest. Former first-round pick Jeff Hoffman was solid through two innings of relief.
  • Scott Alexander (who notched the win) and Tyler Rogers combined for just one hit in a dominant showing for the Giants bullpen before closer Camilo Doval shut the door on the top of the Phillies lineup in the ninth. Doval has shaken off his rugged start to the season and become the closer we all thought he was capable to be. The young arm has now converted 9-of-10 save chances, striking out 25 batters in that time.


MIN 8 – LAD 9 (12)

  • Emilio Pagán and Griffin Jax both gave up runs in the seventh and eighth inning respectively but the Twins bats fought back to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Jhoan Duran started up by throwing a 103 mph fastball to Mookie Betts before a 98 mph splitter preceded another 103 mph heater to strike Betts out – crazy beautiful stuff. Duran then made light work of Freddie Freeman and Will Smith to take the game to extras. He came back out in extras but J.D Martinez banged a single into center field to tie the game once again. Jorge López was then called upon and fired one and two third innings of scoreless baseball before Rocco Baldelli decided to intentionally walk both Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy in the bottom of the 12th. Lopez then walked Trayce Thompson with the bases loaded for a walk-off walk!
  • After David Peralta gave the Dodgers the lead in the eighth inning, Evan Phillips was brought on to face the top of the Twins lineup to save the game. An epic battle with Carlos Correa resulted in the star Twins shortstop walking to first base before Byron Buxton rattled a double past the laboring Jason Heyward to tie the game up and hand Phillips his first blown save of the season. Yency Almonte had given up a three-run homer to Trevor Larnach in the eighth inning to erase the Dodgers’ lead at that stage too. Phil Bickford got the call in the 10th but his command was all over the place as he allowed a walk and a bunt for a hit to load the bases. He nearly took Christian Vázquez’s head off before walking in a run on four straight pitches. Somehow, he got out of the inning with just one run scored thanks to some generous calls around the plate. He also got through the 11th unscathed as a nice Miguel Vargas catch prevented a hit with two runners on. Bickford then pitched a clean top of the 12th and came up with the win after a career-record 48 pitches.


Best of the rest

  • The Mariners thrashed the Red Sox 10-1 on the back of an excellent outing from young George Kirby. The day after Ryan Brasier was designated for assignment by Boston, another veteran reliever Richard Bleier gave up five runs on four hits as things got ugly once again for the Red Sox pen.
  • Another blowout was the Cardinals’ huge 18-1 demolition of the Brewers in which St. Louis hit three homers including an Andrew Knitzer grand slam in the eighth inning. Gus Varland gave up nine runs on as many hits including two long balls and three walks. Yikes!
  • The Mets’ sorry few weeks continued with a heavy 10-3 defeat by the Nationals. David Peterson was knocked around before Tommy Hunter gave up four runs on six hits in a miserable three innings of long relief.
  • Atlanta walloped the Rangers 12-0 thanks to a peach of a performance by Charlie Morton, who struck out 10 through six and two-thirds innings. Danny Young went the rest of the way in impressive fashion.
  • The Padres walked comfortably past the Royals 4-0 as starter Brad Keller struggled for command. San Diego limited Kansas City to just two hits as Michael Wacha threw seven brilliant innings and Nick Martinez went the rest of the way. They combined for 13 strikeouts and saved the bullpen for the night.
  • Finally, it was the Shohei Ohtani special in Baltimore as the Japanese superstar moved to 5-1 despite giving up three home runs in a 9-5 win over the Orioles. He struck out five but remarkably fell a double short of the cycle in a monster showing with the bat. Matt Moore threw a perfect ninth inning to preserve the four-run lead and may be in for more save opportunities if Carlos Estévez continues to show inconsistency.


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)

Benjamin Haller

A Yorkshireman living in Australia, loving Major League Baseball from afar. As I wait for my A's to build their new stadium, I spend my time coaching soccer, writing for sportbc.blog, and over-analyzing relief pitcher scoring in fantasy baseball. Follow me @benjaminhaller1 for thousands of retweets

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