Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 5/21/23 Depth Chart

Find breakdowns of key bullpen usages from yesterday's slate of games.

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


  • Just 14 games were played on Saturday as the game between the Mets and Guardians was postponed. We’ll see 16 games on Sunday as those teams will partake in a doubleheader.
Yesterday’s Performances 

BAL 6 – TOR 5

W: Félix Bautista (3)

L: Yimi García (1)

H: Trevor Richards (2), Erik Swanson (10)

BS: Jordan Romano (3)

  • Félix Bautista dominated the final two frames, striking out batters for five of his six outs. He allowed just two baserunners and earned his third win. Despite all the Ks, he’s struggled with his control, walking more than 16% of batters. So far, it hasn’t come back to bite him, but it’s the one blemish on Bautista’s otherwise flawless skillset. After pitching on consecutive days, Bryan Baker or Cionel Pérez could be options for the ninth on Sunday.
  • Another day, another hold for Erik Swanson. The righty recorded his 10th hold to tie him with Matt Moore and Peter Strzelecki for the Major League lead. Swanson has the same concern as Bautista, as his walk rate has more than doubled from last year’s breakout and now sits above 11%. He’s been ultra lucky in the batted ball and LOB departments, so in a SV+HLD league, it might be time to sell high. With Jordan Romano having tossed 32 pitches on Saturday, we could see Nate Pearson get the call today.


ARI 4 – PIT 3

W: Kyle Nelson (4)

L: Robert Stephenson (2)

H: Austin Adams (1), Andrew Chafin (4)

SV: Miguel Castro (4)

BS: Robert Stephenson (1)

  • Miguel Castro secured yet another save for the DBacks. He’s been the go-to option with Andrew Chafin shifting into more of a high-leverage role. It’s weird that Castro has had so much success this year despite a strikeout rate under 21%. I don’t feel too confident that it’ll continue, leaving him with little areas of contribution when he inevitably regresses.
  • David Bednar pitched the final inning for the Pirates. It’s been a slow month for the Yinzer as this was just his fourth appearance, all of which have been scoreless, but none of which have resulted in a save. The next tight game should feature Bednar closing things out.


MIA 1 – SFG 0

W: JT Chargois (1)

L: Tyler Rogers (4)

H: Tanner Scott (7)

SV: Dylan Floro (5)

  • Dylan Floro recorded another save in A.J. Puk’s absence. He’s been great this year but is sort of the relief pitcher version of a Toby. His ratios are fantastic (2.49 ERA, 1.02 WHIP), but he strikes out fewer than 23% of batters, so his viability relies heavily on his role. He’s a solid option while Puk is on the shelf, but will be dropped everywhere but SV+HLD leagues when he loses the closer role. Floro will need some help in the ninth today after pitching in three of the past four games.
  • The Giants called upon Camilo Doval in the ninth down by one. He struck out two and dropped his ERA to 2.18 (20.2 IP). This current version of the flamethrowing righty is a top-10 closer in my opinion. He’s inducing grounders and striking out more batters than ever with a firm grip on the ninth.


NYY 7 – CIN 4

W: Clay Holmes (2)

L: Ian Gibaut (1)

SV: Ryan Weber (1)

  • Ryan Weber recorded one of the most random saves of the 2023 campaign. Weber’s only successful Major League stint came last year when he pitched to a 0.84 ERA across 10.2 innings for the Yankees. The thing is, he strikes out absolutely no one. His K rate was just 8.1% in that stint last year, and so far this year is just 6.3%. I don’t think he’ll be factoring into too many more saves this year.
  • Alexis Díaz pitched the eighth in a tie game. He’s been the best strikeout artist in the Majors this year, fanning 48.4% of the batters he’s faced this year. He’s more than making up for the absence of his brother.


BOS 4 – SDP 2

H: Chris Martin (8)

SV: Kenley Jansen (10)

  • Kenley Jansen bounced back from a couple of rough outings with his 10th save on Saturday. He may have bouts of inconsistency, especially when he struggles with the pitch clock like he did last week, but when he’s on, he’ll be one of the better closers in baseball. This outing pushed his ERA under four through his first 13.2 innings.
  • It was a rough start to the season for Luis Garcia, but he has turned things around in May. Since April 25th, he’s tossed nine scoreless frames with a 9/2 K/BB ratio, suggesting he’s regained his feel on the mound. Expect him to begin working back into hold situations in the near future.


Best of the Rest

  • The White Sox turned to Kendall Graveman in the ninth despite a four-run lead. Reynaldo López also locked down his fourth hold with two outs in the seventh. Graveman has pitched on back-to-back days, so Lopez could get a shot at the ninth today.
  • Kyle Finnegan recorded his ninth save in a win over the Tigers and was preceded by Hunter Harvey (eighth hold) and Carl Edwards Jr. (seventh hold). Finnegan continues to hold onto the job despite a 5.51 ERA (16.1 IP).


  • The Rockies sent Pierce Johnson to the mound in the eighth despite a seven-run deficit. He had just pitched on Wednesday, so this can just be blamed on Rockies’ shenanigans.
  • A clean ninth earned Ryan Pressly his eighth save against the A’s. A slow start worried fantasy managers, but he’s allowed just two runs in his 13 innings since mid-April. Bryan Abreu should get the ninth now that Pressly has pitched on consecutive days.


  • Jason Adam got the final two outs of the game versus the Brewers after Kevin Kelly walked two. Adam was rewarded with his sixth save despite the minimal effort.
  • Ryan Helsley was brought on in the eighth with the team down by one. The offense took the lead, but he gave up two runs to start the ninth and was replaced by Giovanny Gallegos. He was able to calm things down and recorded his fourth save in the process.


  • Paul Sewald pitched in the ninth with a four-run lead in an uneventful night for the Mariners bullpen.
  • Jhoan Duran did the same for the Twins. He recorded all three of his outs via the strikeout.


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)


Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List, is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub, and does playing time analysis at BaseballHQ. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic.

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