Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 8/16/23 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


  • Back to our regularly scheduled full slate of baseball games. All 30 teams were in action, and the closers were busy!
  • Washington reinstated Hunter Harvey from the injured list but manager Davey Martinez says that Kyle Finnegan will remain the closer, making Harvey the setup man.
  • Jordan Romano was activated from the 15-day injured list by the Blue Jays and immediately slipped right back into his old role, bumping Jordan Hicks to a setup role.


Yesterday’s Performances

MIN 5 – DET 3

HD: Emilio Pagán (6), Caleb Thielbar (9)

SV: Jhoan Duran (22)

  • Minnesota got a solid start from Bailey Ober but were down going into the bottom of the 6th until Matt Wallner hit a grand slam. From there, they turned things over to (most of) the usual suspects to secure the win with Dylan Floro getting the win and Emilio Pagán and Caleb Thielbar getting the holds with scoreless appearances all around. Most of the hierarchy has now gone twice in the past 3 days, so Griffin Jax could be the beneficiary of a save chance if the opportunity arises today.
  • Alex Faedo threw a gem, but the Detroit bullpen imploded. Will Vest got charged with the blown save in his second appearance since returning… in the 6th. Vest came on in relief of José Cisnero, who was unable to record an out and allowed a run of his own before departing with 2 men on. From there, Vest loaded up the bases after a Carlos Correa single and Wallner cleared them with a grand slam.


PIT 7 – NYM 4

HD: Angel Perdomo (6), Colin Holderman (19)

SV: David Bednar (25)

  • Don’t you hate it in a group project where the guy doing the least work still gets credit? Well, the guy with the worst ERA in the game ended up with the win, as Colin Selby picked up the W for his inning and a third despite allowing 3 runs. From there, Angel Perdomo stopped the bleeding with a one-batter hold to end the 7th and Colin Holderman did what he was born to do, securing his 19th hold in front of David Bednar
  • A tie game quickly got blown open with 6 runs allowed in the 6th off of José Butto and Grant Hartwig. After the storm passed and the Mets scored 3 of their own in the 6th, they turned to high-leverage arms Drew Smith and Brooks Raley, who both kept things scoreless to keep things close, but the damage was already done.


BOS 5 – WAS 4

HD: Chris Martin (21), Josh Winckowski (16)

SV: Kenley Jansen (28)

  • Boston’s bullpen continues to be a point of strength for the team, and today was no different. Nick Pivetta couldn’t get out of the fifth inning, so in a reversal of recent weeks, Brennan Bernardino came on in relief of him! Bernardino kicked off 4.2 innings of scoreless relief for the Sox pen. John Schreiber got the win by pitching a perfect inning in the sixth, and Chris Martin and Josh Winckowski held down the 7th and 8th for holds, bridging the gap to close Kenley Jansen, who secured his 28th save on only 5 pitches.
  • Josiah Gray allowed all the damage in this one, with the bullpen doing no harm of their own. We did see Hunter Harvey return and throw an empty frame in his return to action. As mentioned previously, Harvey will take on a setup role since Kyle Finnegan did so well in his stead.


CHW 5 – CHC 3

HD: Aaron Bummer (9)

SV: Gregory Santos (4)

  • Starting pitcher Touki Toussaint was only able to go 4 innings, so the White Sox bullpen needed to eat some innings… and eat they did, with 4 pitchers combining for 5 scoreless innings, only allowing 2 hits while walking none and striking out 5. Tanner Banks got things started with a clean inning. Lane Ramsey followed with an inning of his own to take the win after the White Sox went ahead. Aaron Bummer held things down for 1.1 innings before Gregory Santos secured his 4th save of the season in 1.2 innings.
  • Adbert Alzolay was brought in for the top of the 9th with the Cubs down by one run. He quickly got the first out, but allowed Elvis Andrus to reach on single, and then Andrus quickly stole second before Andrew Benintendi was able to knock him in to extend the White Sox lead. Nothing really to see here… a closer allowing a run in a non-save situation. Julian Merryweather and Mark Leiter Jr. had preceded Alzolay, with Merryweather taking the loss after allowing a 7th-inning home run and Leiter Jr throwing a perfect 8th. This means the entire high-leverage hierarchy got some play in this one after having 2 days off. All three are more than likely available tomorrow should the need arise.


SEA 8 – KCR 5 (F/10)

HD: Gabe Speier (12), Justin Topa (18)

SV: Tayler Saucedo (1)

  • Andrés Muñoz ran into trouble in his second inning of work and ended up throwing 42 pitches. Having been called on to get the final 2 outs of the 8th inning, Muñoz returned for the ninth and the first batter reached on a fielding error. After that, Muñoz managed to load the bases via walks before allowing a 2-run single to Michael Massey. At this point, there was still a chance to lock down the save and secure the win, but Salvador Perez roped a single into left field that scored the tying run. Fortunately for the M’s, pinch-runner Dairon Blanco was thrown out at third on the play, ending the inning. The Mariners ended up scoring 2 in the top of the 10th, so Tayler Saucedo was called upon to close things out and got his first save with a perfect inning of work. Andrés Muñoz did end up with the win, and while he has allowed at least one run in his last 3 appearances (including tonight) and 4 of his last 5, Muñoz is still the guy. At the very least, all of the runs were unearned but one thing to keep an eye on is that the fastball was down about a tick and a half at 97.7 mph.
  • Tucker Davidson took the loss in the 10th for Kansas City, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on a hit and a walk. The top options of Carlos Hernández, Austin Cox, and Nick Wittgren had all pitched the previous day, throwing over 20 pitches apiece, so it seems they were unavailable.


ARI 8 – COL 5

HD: Matt Koch (3)

SV: Paul Sewald (32)

  • After going more than a week without a save opportunity once traded to Arizona, Paul Sewald has now locked down 3 saves in his past 4 games. Things were a little shaky here, as Sewald allowed 3 hits, but managed to keep any from scoring. Kevin Ginkel got the win in front of Sewald with a clean 8th, following Colorado’s implosion. Also of note, Joe Mantiply threw a clean 1st inning as the opener after not recording an out the night before for a nice reset.
  • It looked like things were shaping up for Justin Lawrence to notch his second consecutive save before things went so sideways that they effectively did a 180. Lawrence was charged with 5 earned runs on 5 hits in 2/3 of an inning, completely flipping the game in Arizona’s favor and spiking his ERA from 2.76 to 3.49. Prior to this, Lawrence had been solid, only allowing 1 run in his previous 6 appearances. Alas, such is life as the Rockies closer. Matt Koch and his sparkling 1.57 ERA did manage an 8th-inning hold prior to the meltdown.


The best of the rest…

  • As mentioned at the top, Jordan Romano was activated and was immediately thrust into a save situation. He rewarded Toronto with a clean 2 K effort for his 29th of the season. Jordan Hicks got the Win in front of him.
  • Hunter Brown saw his first action as a reliever and delivered 2 scoreless innings before giving way to Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly to close out the night, with Abreu recording his 20th hold and Pressly his 28th save.
  • Another day, another save for Emmanuel Clase who picked up his AL-leading 32nd save. He’s starting to seem like the preeminent closer Cherry Bomb as he’s alternating saves and losses lately. But I guess, that’s kind of closers in a nutshell. Enyel De Los Santos and Trevor Stephan both got holds in front of Clase


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

Josh Mockensturm

Josh is an Ohio Born, North Carolina residing Boston Red Sox fan thanks to his mom (and her love of Wade Boggs). If he's not watching or reading about baseball, he's probably watching a movie, reading a book, or making a dumb spreadsheet about Baseball, movies, or books.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 8/16/23 Depth Chart”

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