Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 6/26/23 Depth Chart

Breakdowns of key bullpen usage 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


  • All 30 games were in action on Sunday, but today’s slate is one of the quieter ones of the season with only twelve teams in action. They are CIN, BAL, MIL, NYM, MIN, ATL, DET, TEX, CWS, LAA, WSN, and SEA.


  • The Giants placed Luke Jackson in the IL and replaced him on the roster with Ross Stripling.
  • The Pirates acquired Andre Jackson from the Dodgers. I imagine they’re going to try to slot him in as a long reliever since they’re struggling so much with depth there.
Yesterday’s Performances

CHC 5 – STL 7

HD: Génesis Cabrera (5), Giovanny Gallegos (8), Andre Pallante (7)

SV: Jordan Hicks (4)

  • Both Adbert Alzolay and Mark Leiter Jr. got work in this one and both are having excellent months. Leiter has allowed two runs with fifteen punchouts and two walks in ten innings while Alzolay has tossed seven scoreless with ten strikeouts and two walks. I haven’t seen convincing evidence that this isn’t still a committee, but Alzolay has gotten three of the past four between these two and has been a bit better recently. I still think Alzolay eventually breaks away from Leiter as the top option, but we might still see some mixing and matching for now.
  • It was a somewhat rocky save for Hicks as he needed 24 pitches and allowed a run, but he is clearly the closer with Ryan Helsley out and he’s converted all four saves since taking over the role. We’ve seen lots of volatility from him over the season and over his career and he has quite a lengthy injury history, but he has a 21.4% K-BB and 2.70 ERA since the beginning of May (20 IPs) and that works well enough to be a solid closer while he’s healthy.


MIN 6 – DET 3 (F/10)

HD: Will Vest (5), Tyler Holton (3), José Cisnero (8)

SV: Jhoan Duran (11)

  • Duran’s still got it and Brock Stewart is still a solid setup man. With Griffin Jax having apparently figured things out after his early-season struggles (5.09 ERA through May 15th, 1.10 ERA since), the Twins have one of the more effective 7-8-9 combinations in the league right now.
  • Outside of Alex Lange, this bullpen has been having a pretty good month with Holton especially starting to prove himself as a guy who can get out in leveraged situations. There are several options around his level and I wouldn’t expect the Tigers to rack up tons of holds, so I still wouldn’t be terribly excited to pick Holton up in a SVHD league. Lange again had to work around a couple walks here to get through his inning, so the command issues that have plagues him in June are definitely still there, but Saturday’s outing was definitely encouraging. I’d be holding, but maybe benching for one more week to make sure he doesn’t have one more blowup in him before he goes on another nice run.


SEA 2 – BAL 3

HD: Danny Coulombe (16)

SV: Félix Bautista (21)

  • Not a ton of work here for the Mariners pen, but Matt Brash continued his excellent June and now has fifteen strikeouts and two walks in 9.2 IPs with a 1.86 ERA for the month. With news of Andrés Muñoz battling light-headedness with no known underlying cause, Brash could easily find himself as the top option for holds behind Paul Sewald in the near future and, given his recent performance, that would make him an excellent option in SVHD leagues.
  • This was a supremely dominant outing, even by Bautista’s standards. Seven whiffs on seventeen pitches and all nine of his fastballs were over 100 mph, topping out at 103.4. He did allow a weak single, but struck out the side to slam the door shut on the Mariners. Bautista was dominant in April and May, but has ascended into the stratosphere here in June with a 58.8% K-rate on 34 batters faced while not walking a batter. Hitters beware.


NYM 6 – PHI 7

HD: Grant Hartwig (1),

SV: Craig Kimbrel (11)

  • The Mets only got four innings from their starter and had to dig deep into their bullpen to try to hold the lead. Hartwig did a great job to bridge them to the 8th, but the team had to turn to Josh Walker, a relatively unproven rookie who had to leave his previous appearance with an injury, due to several typical holds options being unavailable due to usage or suspension. It did not go well as he didn’t retire a single batter and had to be removed for Jeff Brigham who was not able to stop the bleeding and took the loss. Guys were pitching outside of their typical roles, but I imagine David Robertson would have been available had they been able to get it to the 9th. This just goes to show how important a guy like Brooks Raley is to this team.
  • José Alvarado was used in the 7th inning with the team down 5-3 and allowed his third run of the month. Kimbrel seems to be the preferred closer here given how the usage has gone the past week or so and Kimbrel’s dominant June. We’ve seen Kimbrel go through wild fluctuations in performance the past couple years, so Alvarado is certainly not down for the count, but the closer of the moment certainly appears to be Kimbrel.


TEX 3 – NYY 5

HD: Josh Sborz (9), John King (2),

SV: Michael King (5)

  • For such a good team, the Rangers don’t generate that many holds; a product of a high-powered offense that has a knack for extending leads late. The holds that they do get have been spread around quite a bit as Sborz’ eighth here puts him in a three-way tie for the team lead. With Jonathan Hernández in AAA, Sborz and Brock Burke are the top options with Sborz sporting some impressive numbers under the hood like a 19% swinging strike rate and 2.10 FIP. It’s possible that he is the best reliever in the bullpen right now and could step in to a closer role if Will Smith stumbles or is injured.
  • The Yankees continue to mix and match the late inning work with Ron Marinaccio working the 8th inning and picking up a win after earning a save on Saturday. I’ve thought that Clay Holmes was back to being the guy in the not too distant past, but the more I look at recent usage and the options that the Yankees have, the more I think they are going to continue to play matchups in the 9th inning and spread things around. Holmes likely ends the year as the team leader in saves, but his overall share is likely to be under 50%.


OAK 1 – TOR 12

HD: None

SV: None

  • Typically, when starters get moved to the bullpen, their stats get a little better, but Waldichuk has a worse ERA in his seven relief appearances than he did in his eleven starts after this performance.
  • The Blue Jays could have put Alejandro Kirk on the mound for the final two frames and won this one. Just a couple of meaningless mop up innings here.


KCR 1 – TBR 3

HD: Jason Adam (8)

SV: Pete Fairbanks (8)

  • Aroldis Chapman put up another excellent outing striking out two in his scoreless inning as he continues to raise his trade stock for what is sure to be one of the more sought after relief arms over the next month. I wouldn’t expect him to be a closer anywhere except maybe Texas, but he could be a good source of holds and strikeouts on the right team down the stretch.
  • The Rays continue to be predictable as Fairbanks and Adam have combined for 19 of the team’s 24 saves with Fairbanks getting the saves when he’s been healthy and Adam getting the others. It would be interesting to hear an explanation for what changed in their philosophy compared to previous years which led to them now having one of the more predictable bullpens in baseball after being the complete opposite the past few years.


ATL 7 – CIN 6

HD: Kirby Yates (5), Nick Anderson (13), A.J. Minter (7), Joe Jiménez (5)

SV: Raisel Iglesias (12)

  • It was a holds party in Cincinnati, but there were a couple of dirty holds in there as both Anderson and Minter allowed earned runs. Iglesias, working his fourth inning of the week, showed increased velocity even touching 98 mph on the gun. I’m not sure if he’s consciously adjusting his velocity based on the outing, but he seems to have a wider range of velocities that he’s worked at this year as he sat 96.5 in this one, but we’ve also seen games where he sat around 93. It was initially a bit of an alarm bell for me, but he’s done it pretty consistently so far and his performance hasn’t suffered, so I wouldn’t get too worried unless it’s way down for a few outings in a row.
  • Alexis Díaz did have to work around a couple of walks here, but still delivered a scoreless inning to get his ERA down to 1.91 on the year. I really didn’t think that 95 mph fastballs up in the zone would work very well in the GABP, but I’ve had to eat my words so far as Diaz has been among the best closers in the game. We’ll see how it fares over the summer, but he’s been excellent at avoiding home runs so far in his career.


PIT 0 – MIA 2

HD: Steven Okert (9), Andrew Nardi (6)

SV: A.J. Puk (11)

  • Recent acquisition Ryan Borucki has certainly not had the impact the Pirates were hoping he would as he allowed an earned run and recorded just one out in his second outing of the year. The Pirates are reeling in the middle of their bullpen with some injuries and recent struggles from Dauri Moreta and others. The team is struggling to score runs and struggling to get leads to David Bednar and they’re searching for answers anywhere they can think to look. This is a bullpen to stack against right now.
  • Only the Angels and Orioles have earned more holds as a team than the Marlins this year as the team’s great pitching and mediocre-to-poor offense typically leads to them being in close games. Nardi has been rising up the leverage ladder quite a bit as he’s thrown 22 IPs since May 1st and recorded 31 Ks to five walks with a 0.82 ERA. The only thing stopping him from rising more is the fact that the team’s closer and other primary setup man, Tanner Scott, are also lefties.


MIL 5 – CLE 4 (F/10)

HD: None

SV: Elvis Peguero (1)

  • Devin Williams worked the bottom of the 9th here to pick up the win and pave the way for the first career save for Peguero. The latter’s been having a solid month, but it was very much circumstance that pushed him into this save opportunity rather than commanding performance. Joel Payamps also delivered a strong performance here keeping the game tied with a scoreless 7th and 8th. He seems to be the top 8th inning option for this team right now.
  • The Guardians bullpen put up a valiant effort with four innings with no earned runs, but the ghost runner in the 10th was enough to do them in and hand Trevor Stephan the loss. Emmanuel Clase logged a scoreless 9th to send the game to extras and he’s been back to his dominant self recently after some troubling performances early. He struck out just six across 13.1 IPs in April and that was followed up by a 4.97 ERA in May. He’s been nearly perfect in June though with 10.1 IPs with no runs allowed and fifteen punchouts. Perhaps he was just easing into the season and is now poised for a dominant stretch run.


BOS 1 – CWS 4

HD: Aaron Bummer (7)

SV: Keynan Middleton (2)

  • Not much to say about the usage here as the team was down a few runs throughout the late innings. Brennan Bernardino isn’t likely to rise above the middle innings, but he’s been a solid bridge over the past month to get Boston to their late innings arms and could pick up a few more holds over the coming months.
  • With Kendall Graveman seemingly unavailable after a rough 28-pitch outing on Saturday, the White sox turned to Middleton to close this one out instead of Reynaldo López who didn’t pitch Saturday. I think this bullpen is going to change around a lot over the next month between trades and changes in performance and Middleton could be a dark horse to come out on top when all the dust settles. Lopez and Joe Kelly have better stuff in my opinion and Graveman has had decent results in the 9th so far, but anyone on this team could get traded and no one has performed well enough to completely solidify their role. Expect this bullpen to look very different by August 1st.


LAA 3 – COL 4

HD: Jake Bird (5), Pierce Johnson (1), Daniel Bard (2)

SV: Justin Lawrence (4)

  • José Soriano was the only Angels reliever to get work today in what was an extremely quiet weekend series for their high leverage arms. He struck out four more batters here and the strikeouts could be the thing that pushes him ahead of Jacob Webb in the leverage ladder long-term.
  • Bird now has 48.1 IPs in relief to lead all of baseball and that doesn’t include his two innings as an opener from this week, too. He’s on pace for 102 IPs on the year and the Rockies have three of the five most heavily used relievers in the league by innings pitched. Bard continues to pitch to an excellent ERA, but his 1.44 WHIP and walk rate of nearly 20% are ticking time bombs in Coors.


ARZ 5 – SFG 2

HD: Andrew Chafin (10)

SV: Scott McGough (6)

  • McGough earned his third save of the week and extended his streak to 22.2 IPs without an earned run, which runs back to May 12th. He had to toss 38 pitches to get through this one and work around three hits and two walks and was bailed out in the 8th by a huge baserunning mistake by Blake Sabol. It was a rough outing, but a save is a save and McGough is now the clear closer on a solid team who is on a 20+ innings streak with no earned runs. It likely won’t last much longer and there’s a chance the Diamondbacks go and bring in bullpen depth which could compete for saves, but he’s a solid option for now.
  • The Giants tried to give their leverage arms an off day by bulking Tristan Beck and trying to get him to go the final three frames of the game. He gave up insurance runs in the 8th and the 9th and had to be lifted in favor of Ryan Walker to finish the game. Neither are likely to figure in to too many high leverage situations.


WSN 8 – SDP 3

HD: Mason Thompson (6), Joe La Sorsa (1)

SV: None

  • It was a rocky four innings of work for this bullpen as a whole, but the offense provided plenty of insurance and secure the win. Hunter Harvey did have to come on for the final out of the 9th to make sure the Padres didn’t get themselves back into the game. Fangraphs still lists Harvey as the co-closer, but Kyle Finnegans last save was May 27th and Harvey has gotten three since then excluding this outing which was one baserunner away from a save situation. Finnegan may continue to get the occasional, but it seems like mostly Harvey’s job to me now.
  • Tim Hill’s meltdown in the fifth was the difference in this game as two throwing errors (by Hill) and a hit batsmen led to five unearned runs scoring on just two hits.


HOU 6 – LAD 5 (F/11)

HD: Phil Maton (5),

SV: Seth Martinez (1)

  • We might not see Rafael Montero in any kind of leveraged situations for Houston for a long time. He really struggled in May with a 12.10 ERA and he’s followed it up with a 10.24 RA in June. He’s allowed multiple runs in each of his past three outings and has seen his ERA balloon to 7.76 on the year. Ryan Pressly was able to pick up some slack in this one going two innings and allowing just a ghost runner to score which was enough for him to pick up the win. With pretty much all the other bullpen arms either used or unavailable, Martinez stepped up nicely in the bottom of the 11th and prevented the ghost runner from scoring to earn his first career save.
  • The Dodgers bullpen went six strong innings allowing just two unearned ghost runners to score, but it wasn’t enough to get their team the win. This team still has the fifth worst bullpen ERA in the league, but looking at the pieces they have and considering games like this one makes me feel like they’re bound to turn it around in the second half. Daniel Hudson’s expected return next week would be a big step towards that.


Bullpen Depth Charts

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)

Eric Dadmun

Eric is a Core Fantasy contributor on Pitcher List and a former contributor on Hashtag Basketball. He strives to help fantasy baseball players make data-driven and logic-driven decisions. Mideast Chapter President of the Willians Astudillo Unironic Fan Club.

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