Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 8/30/23 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 on Tuesday, but only 6 teams netted any saves, so a lot of the high-leverage bullpen arms should be fresh for Wednesday.
  • The Rays signed Chris Devenski to a deal after he was released by the Angels. He’s going on the bereavement list but is expected to join Tampa in Cleveland later this week.
  • The Angels put half the team on waivers (slight exaggeration), including Matt Moore and Reynaldo LópezThe players will still be active for Los Angeles unless claimed.


Yesterday’s Performances

TEX 2 – NYM 1

HD: Brock Burke (11), Will Smith (7)

SV: Aroldis Chapman (4)

  • After a blown save on Sunday, and a Josè Leclerc save on Monday, Texas went back to the Aroldis Chapman well for the save on Tuesday and he … gave up a HR to Mark Vientos before settling down for his 4th save of the season. Brock Burke had a clean 7th inning for his 11th hold, while Will Smith threw a perfect 8th in front of Chapman for his 7th hold of the season. It feels like Chapman is the guy here since this was his second consecutive 9th inning appearance… but at any point we could flip back to Smith if Chapman continues to give up runs.
  • Drew Smith took the loss in this one, allowing a run off of a Mitch Garver HR in the 6th inning. Phil Bickford came in for 1.1 innings after Smith but gave up a run of his own that ended up being the difference maker.


CHC 1 – MIL 0

HD: Mark Leiter Jr. (25), Julian Merryweather (14)

SV: Adbert Alzolay (22)

  • Justin Steele came out on top of the pitching duel in this one, throwing 6 strong innings of scoreless baseball. From there, Chicago’s bullpen took care of the rest. Mark Leiter Jr. threw a perfect 7th to bridge things to Julian Merryweather throwing a scoreless 8th, leading into Adbert Alzolay’s perfect 22nd save of the season. Alzolay has been on a roll, with his 4th save in the past seven days. He only threw 11 pitches here, so he should be good to go today if the need should arise.
  • On the losing end of the pitching duel, we had Corbin Burnes, who had a less efficient 7 innings of work. Abner Uribe got the call in the 8th and responded with a perfect inning, but Milwaukee couldn’t make anything happen in the top of the 9th.


CLE 4 – MIN 2

HD: Sam Hentges (12), Trevor Stephan (22), Nick Sandlin (8)

SV: Emmanuel Clase (35)

  • Cleveland had itself a Holds Huddle (does this work? Really trying to find a fun, alliterative way to say that EVERYONE got a hold) after Gavin Williams had to leave the game after the first inning due to a knee injury. From there, everyone in the bullpen got something for their work! Hunter Gaddis did the bulk of the work, going 3 innings and allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk, which was good enough for the win. From there, Sam Hentges got the huddle going with 2 scoreless innings for his 12th hold of the season, before handing it over to Trevor Stephan and Nick Sandlin who grabbed some holds of their own before giving way to Emmanuel Clase who got his 35th save of the season, but decided to give up a run just for kicks I guess.
  • Pablo Lópezfresh off his AGA tag, had a less than stellar 6 IP start, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks before giving way to Emilio Pagán who tacked on a run of his own in his inning of work. With Cleveland in the driver’s seat and their bullpen delivering, Minnesota let Cole Sands finish off the final 2 innings, which he did in scoreless fashion.


WAS 5 – TOR 4

HD: Hunter Harvey (16)

SV: Kyle Finnegan (25)

  • The most surprising bullpen tandem in baseball kept rolling, although both Hunter Harvey and Kyle Finnegan did end up allowing runs. Washington’s bullpen has continued to deliver when given the chance in the stretch run, despite the team not really playing for anything. Over the past 2 weeks, Harvey has 5 holds and 1 save while Finnegan has 7 saves! I’m not sure how much longer this will last, but it’s been a nice surprise for managers looking for bullpen help leading into, or even during, their playoffs.
  • Bowden Francis came in for 3 scoreless innings in relief of a shaky Jose Berríos, who allowed 5 runs in 6 innings of work. Francis only allowed 2 hits, while striking out 4 and should allow all of Toronto’s high-leverage arms to be available for today’s games.


OAK 3 – SEA 1

HD: Dany Jiménez (2), Kirby Snead (6)

SV: Trevor May (15)

  • The Athletics had to turn to the bullpen a little early after starter Ken Waldichuk threw an inefficient 4 innings of work, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 5 walks. Recently acquired Sean Newcomb was the relief MVP, striking out 4 of the 6 batters he faced in his 1.2 innings of work, while also earning the win. From there, Dany Jiménez threw a perfect inning of work for his 2nd hold of the season, followed by Kirby Snead who finished off the 8th inning for Jimenez for the 1-out hold. Trevor May was all or nothing in his 15th save of the season, getting his outs all via the strikeout, but allowing 2 hits in the process.
  • George Kirby was a late scratch due to illness, so Luke Weaver got the spot start and didn’t really do much for the white whale playoff-hunting Mariners, only going 3.2 innings. The ever-solid M’s bullpen did deliver on the back end, getting 5.1 innings of scoreless relief to keep the A’s off the board the rest of the game from the middle reliever team of Isaiah Campbell, Matt Brash, Trent Thornton, and Tayler Saucedo. Of note, Brash came into the 6th inning of this one to face the 4-5-6 hitters. This was Brash’s first appearance in 3 days, so he most likely just needed some work and would more than likely be available should his services be required today.


STL 6 – SDP 5

HD: Scott Barlow (2)

SV: None

  • After the game went to extra innings, JoJo Romero stayed in the game for the 10th and eventually the win, allowing 0 runs on 2 hits while striking out 3 in his inning of work. The saves/holds landscape has been barren for St. Louis over the past week with Romero getting the last save for the team on Wednesday the 23rd while Giovanny Gallegos last recorded a hold on August 12th and hasn’t had a save since August 9th. The Cardinals, despite the win here, are a team in free fall and Romero seems like the best option to roster at this point but it hasn’t been pretty.
  • Josh Hader got ghosted by Tommy Edman in the 10th inning, allowing the pesky poltergeist on 2nd to score after Edman ripped a hit nearly to the wall in left. Hader had intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt, but it quickly backfired with Edman ripping the first pitch he saw. Ahead of Hader, Scott Barlow continued his “first in” routine, securing only his 2nd hold of the season for San Diego. Robert Suarez was charged with the blown save in the 8th, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits thanks to Willson Contreras‘ second HR of the night. Nick Martinez then stopped the bleeding in the 9th with a perfect inning.


The Best of the Rest…

  • In a tight AL West race, the Astros were taking no chances and deployed their top options (apart from closer Ryan Pressly who Dusty Baker said was ill) in a close game against the Red Sox. Rafael Montero got his 9th hold of the season going 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Hector Neris and Bryan Abreu followed in the 8th and 9th respectively.
  • Clay Holmes made his second consecutive appearance in a non-save 9th inning … and he once again allowed enough runs to make it a save situation, and had someone else come in behind him. Holmes is probably still the guy in the 9th with Michael King possibly getting stretched out to start more than just opening, but the struggling Yankees aren’t making it fun to roster him at this point. It may be worth keeping an eye on Jonathan Loáisiga.
  • The Royals bullpen melted down, allowing 6 runs in less than 2 innings of work and ruining an amazing start from Cole Ragans. Carlos Hernández got the loss and blown save for his third of an inning of work in the 8th that saw 2 runs cross the plate, 1 run charged to him and the other an inherited runner charged to Austin Cox. On the plus side, Cox did manage a hold.
  • Charlie Morton delivered a 6-inning gem (IN COORS!) and turned it over to the Atlanta bullpen, who rewarded him with 3 perfect innings. Pierce Johnson  and A.J. Minter both got holds, their 8th and 15th respectively, and Raisel Iglesias secured his 26th save.
  • “Bullpen? We don’t need no stinking bullpen!” – Alex Cobbprobably. Nothing like a complete game to give your bullpen a breather.


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)

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.

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