Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 7/23/23 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


  • 16 games were played on Saturday as the Mets and Red Sox resumed their suspended game from Friday. There’ll be another full slate of 15 games on Sunday.



Yesterday’s Performances


KCR 2 – NYY 5

H: Tommy Kahnle (7)

SV: Clay Holmes (13)

  • Carlos Hernández should be a pitcher on everyone’s radar. Despite taking his sixth loss on Saturday, he is the best-remaining reliever in Kansas City with Aroldis Chapman gone. It’s getting close to the deadline, so it might be time to preemptively pick him up if you’re desperate for saves. Scott Barlow is likely on his way out of town and I’m expecting Hernández to take over the closer role for the final two months. Barlow is 69% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and Hernández is a better pitcher, so he should be rostered as much or more than Barlow by the time he’s traded.
  • Clay Holmes locked down his 13th save with a scoreless ninth in which he struck out two batters. Since the start of June, he owns a 1.10 ERA (16.1 IP) as he’s finally gotten back to being one of the best ground ball pitchers in baseball. He’s induced ground balls at a rate 15% higher than he did in the first two months, allowing him to keep runners off base. Holmes has pitched on back-to-back days and Michael King is the only backend option that hasn’t done the same, so he could be called upon in the 9th.


COL 4 – MIA 3

SV: Justin Lawrence (7)

  • It’s unfortunate that Justin Lawrence may spend the entirety of his prime in Colorado. Already 28 years old and not a free agent until 2029, unless a team pays up in a trade, Lawrence’s numbers may be suppressed when he’s at his best. His numbers this year are impressive even without accounting for the park factor. He sports a 2.52 ERA (50 IP) and a 1.08 WHIP while getting called strikes and whiffs at a 33% rate and inducing grounders more than 55% of the time. The silver lining to him pitching for the Rockies is that he gets to be the closer.
  • The Miami arm barn blew the lead handed to them by a gem from Johnny Cueto. JT Chargois blew the lead initially, A.J. Puk pitched a clean eighth, but Tanner Scott took his third loss when he surrendered a run in the top of the ninth. It was interesting to see Puk pitch the eighth and Scott the ninth. That’ll be something worth watching down the stretch because we haven’t seen many closer situations change hands this year and the Marlins are currently a playoff team that could have a lot of close games down the stretch.


NYM 5 – BOS 4 (Game 1)

H: David Peterson (1), Dominic Leone (2), Brooks Raley (19)

SV: David Robertson (14)

NYM 6 – BOS 8 (Game 2)

H: Josh Winckowski (10)

SV: Kenley Jansen (21)

  • The Mets won the resumption of Friday’s suspended game thanks to a great performance from the bullpen. Brooks Raley stood out as he continues to be a holds machine. The southpaw is currently tied for second in the National League with 19 holds. On top of that, he has a 2.08 ERA and is one of the best relievers at inducing weak contact. Outside of that though, there’s not much that stands out. His 4.89 xFIP is nearly three runs north of his current ERA, so it could be a rocky second half for Raley.
  • We got to see a save from both teams on Saturday as the Red Sox took the regularly scheduled Saturday game. Weirdly, Nick Pivetta tossed just one frame in this one. He was expected to be the bulk reliever on Sunday in a follow-up to his franchise record-setting 13-strikeout performance last time out. Instead, they deployed him in the eighth of this one and he produced a perfect frame.


ARI 2 – CIN 4

H: Ian Gibaut (12), Alex Young (10)

SV: Alexis Díaz (29)

  • Scott McGough pitched the eighth down by two. It’s been a rough month for the right-hander as he’s sporting an 11.74 ERA in his past 7.2 frames. His job may be in jeopardy on three fronts. Not only is he struggling mightily and Kevin Ginkel has recorded the last two saves, but the team may add a reliever at the deadline that could take away McGough’s job. If opposing managers aren’t afraid of his recent struggles, it might be high time to shop him around while he still has the closer tag before he loses his job due to performance issues, internal promotions, or external additions.
  • Ian Gibaut may have gone under the radar this year because he has a weird name. Alex Young may have gone under the radar this year because he has a common name. Both have been integral members of the Cincinnati relief corps. The former owns a 3.12 ERA in a bullpen-leading 49 innings pitched but he barely strikes out more than 20% of the batters he faces. He does a good job of getting weak contact, but his 5.13 xFIP suggests a less-than-stellar second half. The latter’s 2.31 ERA (39 IP) trails only Alexis Díaz among relievers on the Reds. He also doesn’t strike too many guys out (22.9%), but his 16.8% SwStr% is indicative of a pitcher that deserves more punchouts. Díaz has pitched on consecutive days, so Lucas Sims may be the temporary closer on Sunday.


BAL 6 – TBR 5

H: Danny Coulombe (17)

SV: Félix Bautista (27)

  • Shintaro Fujinami pitched for his second time as an Oriole and unfortunately struggled with his control. That was his biggest bugaboo in Oakland and it held him back from attaining his full potential and forced him into a bullpen role. He had finally started figuring things out before the trade, so I hope this doesn’t mean he’s reverting. He had just one walk in his last 14.1 innings entering Saturday and tripled that total in just five batters. Félix Bautista has pitched in three of the past four days, but so has setup man Yennier Cano. Danny Coulombe and Bryan Baker will likely be deployed in the ninth depending on matchups.
  • For some odd reason, the Rays saw it fit to trot Pete Fairbanks out for the third day in a row despite his injury history and the lack of a save opportunity. In a tie game in the ninth, Fairbanks surrendered the go-ahead run and took his fourth loss. He will most definitely have Sanday off, leaving closing duties to Jason Adam.


Best of the Rest


  • Adbert Alzolay earned his ninth save with a scoreless outing in which he struck out two. He has pitched in each of the past two days, but so have Mark Leiter Jr., Julian Merryweather, and Michael Fulmer, so Alzolay may just get used for a third day in a row.
  • With Paul Sewald resting after heavy usage during the week, Justin Topa worked around three hits and a run to vulture his second save. Sewald will be back on the mound for the next save opportunity.
  • Emmanuel Clase closed out a 1-0 ballgame to record his 27th save. He’s currently tied with Félix Bautista for the American League lead in that category. The right-hander has pitched on back-to-back days, so Trevor Stephan may pitch the ninth on Sunday.


  • Jhoan Duran struck out the side on his way to his 17th save of the year. After just 7 saves in the first two months of the season, Duran is already up to 10 in June and July.
  • Devin Williams worked around three baserunners as he struck out the side for his 25th save. In case you were wondering, advanced metrics love his change. Its 34.2% CSW is in the 91st percentile and it rates out in the 93rd percentile in terms of PLV. It truly deserves its nickname.
  • Trevor May was called upon to close out Saturday’s win and he got the job done. He’s up to nine saves now. After a pair of punchouts to go with his duo of strikeouts, May maintained his 1:1 K/BB ratio.
  • David Bednar recorded his 19th save of the season in a hitless frame. The right-hander continues to dominate and is a borderline top-10 closer in fantasy.


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

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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 7/23/23 Depth Chart”

  1. Babbo B says:

    Carlos Hernandez may be on the move as well at the deadline, there’s been a fair amount of interest from other teams.

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