Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 8/17/23 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 teams were in action once again on Wednesday. There are just six games scheduled for Thursday, which means the majority of the league (18 teams) has the day off. Bullpens should be well-rested going into the weekend.
  • Tampa Bay placed longman Kevin Kelly on the 15-day IL with a left ankle sprain, evidently sustained during his multi-inning appearance on Tuesday. RHP Hector Perez was called up in his place, with Ryan Thompson getting DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster.
  • Kansas City optioned right-hander Nick Wittgren to Triple-A. RHP John McMillon was called up all the way from Double-A to replace him. He’s so new, we don’t even have a player page for him to link!


Yesterday’s Performances

DET 8 – MIN 7

HD: Alex Lange (4), Will Vest (6)

SV: None

  • The Detroit bullpen had to cover some serious ground after a short start by Reese Olson, but they rose to the challenge. Tyler Holton struck out five over 2.1 scoreless in relief, and Lange and Vest followed suit with a clean inning apiece. Things didn’t get rocky until the bottom of the 9th when Jason Foley took the hill with an 8-4 lead. The Twins rapt four hits (including two homers) and scored three runs off Foley before he salvaged the win with a game-ending double play.
  • With Jhoan Duran resting, Griffin Jax did earn a save decision for the Twins, but it wasn’t the kind we were hoping for. Jax entered in the 7th, with the Twins clinging to a 4-3 advantage. He left it trailing 7-4, having just allowed two home runs and an RBI triple, to earn his seventh blown save (tied for second-most in MLB). The Twins’ bullpen was otherwise solid, allowing just one more run in the 9th, though that one run proved to be costly.


ARI 9 – COL 7

HD: Kevin Ginkel (3)

SV: Paul Sewald (25)

  • Miguel Castro had a tough outing in Coors, surrendering four runs in the 7th thanks to a two-out double and home run to take his fourth blown save. But the D-Backs’ offense picked him up late, resulting in a win for Kyle Nelson, who toed the rubber in the 7th. The Snakes turned to Ginkel and Sewald to close it out, with the latter punching out two to earn his fourth save since being traded. Both Sewald and Ginkel have pitched back-to-back days, so if Torey Lovullo wants to play it safe on Thursday, Scott McGough is probably the most well-rested option to snipe a save.
  • Daniel Bard had another rough outing, walking three batters and hitting another in the 9th. He was lucky to only be charged with one run. The 38-year-old Bard still holds a quality 3.59 ERA on the year, which translates to high quality when you apply the Coors Field discount.


NYY 0 – ATL 2

HD: Pierce Johnson (6), Kirby Yates (7)

SV: Raisel Iglesias (23)

  • The Yankees were unable to avoid the sweep on Wednesday, despite another excellent showing from their relief core, which kept the game’s top offense off the board (with just one hit!) for nearly five innings. Most of that credit goes to Michael King, who tossed a season-high 3.2 innings scoreless. King allowed one hit and one walk, striking out three on the day.
  • As has so often been the case this year, the Braves were simply better. Charlie Morton’s 10-K outing gave way to Johnson, Yates, and Iglesias, who combined to retire the last nine batters in order without a blemish. Iglesias extended his scoreless streak to 10 games. In that stretch, he owns an elite 15-2 K-BB ratio and a .143 BAA.


LAA 2 – TEX 0

HD: Reynaldo López (13)

SV: Carlos Estévez (26)

  • Reid Detmers courted a no-hitter until the 8th when a one-out double forced him from the game at 108 pitches. In came Reynaldo López, who intentionally walked Corey Seager and then retired the next two batters with ease to end the inning. López topped out at 100 mph, for you speed-gun-watchers at home. Carlos Estévez made things interesting in the 9th, allowing a pair of leadoff singles, but he struck out two of the next three to avoid any damage and add another save to his tally.
  • The Rangers got seven strong out of Jon Gray, then turned to Aroldis Chapman in the 8th and Josh Sborz in the 9th. Sborz allowed a home run to Matt Thais that gave the Halos a big insurance run.


SEA 6 – KCR 5

HD: Gabe Speier (13)

SV: Matt Brash (3)

  • With Andrés Muñoz unavailable, Matt Brash stepped in in the 9th and got some redemption for Monday’s blown save. He did allow a leadoff homer that made things sweaty, but he recovered to sit down the next three batters, including a Bobby Witt Jr. groundout to end the game. Gabe Speier preceded him with a scoreless 8th for his second hold in as many days.
  • The Royals used Alec Marsh as a bulk man, and he managed to hold Seattle to one run in five innings despite walking five. He left the game in a 4-4 tie, but late-innings runs scored off Dylan Coleman and Tucker Davidson proved to be the undoing for Kansas City.


BAL 2 – SDP 5

HD: Nick Martinez (15), Robert Suarez (4)

SV: Josh Hader (27)

  • Shintaro Fujinami was the first man out of the pen in the 7th for the O’s, and he promptly allowed a tater tot shot to the second batter he faced. He also gave up a single to Fernando Tatis before he was removed, which proved costly when Tatis went on to steal home on Fujinami’s replacement, Cionel Pérez. That put the Padres up three runs, which was all they needed.
  • By contrast, San Diego got a perfect inning from Nick Martinez in the 7th. From there they turned to their standard combo ticket of Suarez and Hader. Hader did have a bit of a scare with one out, as Jordan Westburg’s would-be two-run-homer landed safely in Tatis’ glove on the warning track. The Padres’ closer has been one of their few bright spots this season, as he still hasn’t allowed an earned run since May.


The best of the rest…

  • Pete Fairbanks worked a perfect 9th inning in the Rays’ 6-1 win over the Giants, a quality improvement from his three-walk outing last Friday. Kevin Cash presumably just wanted to get his closer some action with the off day imminent.
  • The Cardinals allowed a whopping eight runs and 14 hits to the A’s, but they did so while only using two pitchers, so you’ve gotta give ’em credit for that. Casey Lawrence threw nearly five innings out of the bullpen, relieving Matthew Liberatore, who … well, we don’t need to talk about it.
  • Kyle Finnegan worked around one walk in the 9th to close out the Red Sox in a 6-2 victory. Like Fairbanks, Finnegan hadn’t worked in a few days, so there’s not much to be made of this.
  • Gregory Santos blew a save and the game for the White Sox, allowing the first two Cubs to reach in the 9th and then serving up a three-run, walk-off bomb to Christopher Morel. On to the next.


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

Wynn McDonald

Born a Kentuckian, much like Dan Uggla. Braves fan by choice, unlike Dan Uggla. I enjoy long walks on the Brandon Beachy. @twynstagram

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