Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 9/18/23 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 fifteen games were played as scheduled on Sunday and another eleven are on the docket for Monday. The teams with a scheduled day off are: TBR, TOR, NYY, LAA, CHC, PIT, ARZ, and SFG.


  • Scott McGough was placed on the IL by the Diamondbacks with right shoulder inflammation. Look for Ryan Thompson to start taking over some of the holds chances McGough would have gotten.
  • Kenley Jansen is expected to be activated from the COVID-IL on Wednesday meaning Chris Martin will likely be the team’s closer for their games on Monday and Tuesday.


Yesterday’s Performances

TBR 4 – BAL 5 (F/11)

HD: None

SV: None

  • It’s the time of year when teams fighting for the division or a playoff spot start to get a lot more aggressive with their reliever usage and that’s what we saw with Pete Fairbanks getting sent out in the 8th and tossing a career-high 39 pitches. He had been among the most dominant relievers in baseball over the past month, but Orioles magic was too strong in this one as he allowed two runs on three hits to lose the save. Still, with four strikeouts on the day, I think he’s still in a good groove and is a strong bet to end the season strong. The Rays have an off day on Monday, but that might not be enough. Even with Jason Adam still out, I think Fairbanks sits on Tuesday and is first available this week on Wednesday.
  • Six Baltimore relievers combined to allow just three hits across six innings of work, but unfortunately, two of those hits were home runs allowed by Jorge López. DL Hall was the hero in extras holding the Rays scoreless in the top of the 11th and earning the victory, but Yennier Cano also played a big role. It was a big day of work for the bullpen and they’re right back out there on Monday, so I’d expect to see a couple of back-to-backs.


NYY 2 – PIT 3

HD: Carmen Mlodzinski (8)

SV: David Bednar (36)

  • The Yankees needed just four outs from Randy Vásquez as he was the only reliever to work on Sunday. The Yankees also have a scheduled day off on Monday, so almost all of their relievers will get two full days off and they should have a full complement of guys available Tuesday.
  • Colin Holderman was given another day of rest after his rough outing on Friday, so Carmen Mlodzinski was called upon for the eighth inning and earned his eighth hold setting the table for a dominant David Bednar save in which he struck out the side and extended his streak to nine innings without an earned run. Nothing new this season for Bednar who was finally the closer for the full year for the Pirates and rose to the ranks of the elite closers in baseball this season.


BOS 2 – TOR 3

HD: Génesis Cabrera (11), Chad Green (1)

SV: None

  • It was Garrett Whitlock’s turn to get walked off in somewhat controversial fashion as Matt Chapman was ruled to have not swung at strike three before rocketing the walk-off hit into right field. Everyone was a bit out of position this weekend without Kenley Jansen and they were certainly on the wrong side of some bad calls, so there is some explanation for the rough weekend for the Boston bullpen, but I imagine it still leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
  • With both Jordan Romano and Jordan Hicks unavailable to go a third day in a row, the 8th inning went to Chad Green who successfully converted his first hold of the season. The 9th inning went to Erik Swanson who gave up a tying homer with two outs to blow the save, but who was bailed out and awarded with a win when the team walked it off in the bottom of the frame. The team has an off day on Monday, so Romano will be back out there for the next save chance.


CIN 4 – NYM 8

HD: Drew Smith (12)

SV: None

  • The Reds put a lot of pressure on Carson Spiers here as they apparently decided that they really needed to give the bullpen a break and pushed Spiers to go for a third inning which cost them four runs and put the game out of reach. Tuesday to Friday was a period of extremely heavy usage for the back of this bullpen and I suppose David Bell just wanted to go into this penultimate week of action fresh given they don’t benefit from an off day on Monday.
  • Even when the game was pretty much over after the bottom of the 7th, the Mets still decided to toss Brooks Raley for the second straight day to close out a four-run lead in the 9th. The team heads straight to Miami for a matchup on Monday, so someone like Trevor Gott may be stepping up to take the 8th inning the next couple of days.


TEX 2 – CLE 9

HD: None

SV: None

  • A nine-run 4th inning put this game out of reach early and the Rangers just tried to get through without burning too many arms. We saw Jonathan Hernández buckle down for a couple of scoreless innings after the disastrous 4th and Jake Latz made his season debut with a couple of clean innings. The Rangers are back out there on Monday, so at least they’ll benefit from the rest they got here.
  • The Guardians had a big cushion throughout this game, so they decided to get a struggling Matt Moore some work and, while he was able to come away without allowing any runs, he did have to work through two more hits and a walk. He’s allowed eighteen hits over his past nine appearances (five with the Guardians and four with the Angels), so he isn’t likely to get any high-leverage≥ work over the final two weeks of the season given Cleveland’s other options.


ATL 2 – MIA 16

HD: None

SV: None

  • This one was a laugher by the time we got into the middle innings, so infielder Nicky Lopez recorded the final four outs of the game for Atlanta. They are only fighting for home field advantage in the NLCS at this point, so they’re likely not going to be pushing their top relievers to do many back-to-backs or long outings here. That being said, Raisel Iglesias hasn’t pitched since Tuesday, so I’d expect him to at least get some maintenance work within the first couple of games of their next series against Philadelphia.
  • The game was so much of a laugher, in fact, that BOTH teams sent out position players to pitch. Jacob Stallings was tasked with protecting a fourteen-ru\] lead in the 9th and he delivered a scoreless frame, missing a save by just eleven runs.


HOU 7 – KCR 1

HD: Bryan Abreu (24)

SV: None

  • Ryan Pressly was ready for the save chance, but the Astros piled on a few more runs in the top of the 9th and they opted to save him and send out Kendall Graveman instead.  Bryan Abreu extended his scoreless innings streak to 22.2 IPs as he continues his second straight season of dominant relief work for Houston. He’s still got a few years of team control left and he’s unlikely to supplant Pressly next year, so it seems like one more year of setup work for Abreu before likely assuming a closing job in 2025.
  • The Royals used a trio of failed starters to get the final nine outs here and none have shown anything particularly intriguing in relief quite yet.


MIN 4 – CWS 0

HD: None

SV: None

  • The Twins sent Emilio Pagán out for the 9th inning to protect a four-run lead. Given that Jhoan Duran had thrown nine pitches the day before, I’d say he was likely available, but they wanted to try and have him available for a more high-leverage spot on Monday if possible. The small gamble paid off and the Twins should have their full complement of arms available out of the pen on Monday.
  • Luis Patiño threw three innings of bulk relief for the White Sox as he attempted to make it stick with his third organization. It’s hard to believe this guy is still 23. It’s harder to believe that the White Sox will be able to find the right formula with him if the Rays couldn’t, but stranger things have happened.


PHI 5 – STL 6

HD: Matthew Liberatore (2), Giovanny Gallegos (20)

SV: Ryan Helsley (11)

  • Seranthony Domínguez was the only Phillies reliever to see action in this one and he allowed the game-winning homer off the bat of Jordan Walker. It was his second loss of the month to go along with a blown save, so his high-leverage opportunities over the final two weeks of play might be limited.
  • Giovanny Gallegos earned his 20th hold but allowed two hits, including a home run while recording just one out. It’s pretty much been a lost season for Gallegos who hasn’t been able to recapture the dominance he showed in each of the past two seasons. Ryan Helsley has been able to, at times, recapture the dominance from 2022, but he’s had trouble staying on the field as this was just his 29th appearance. Both have the potential to return to form next year and make it a quick rebuild for St. Louis.


WSN 2 – MIL 1 (F/11)

HD: None

SV: None

  • The hero of the game here was Robert Garcia who held the Brewers scoreless in the 10th and 11th to earn his first win of the season. Garcia’s emerged as a solid middle/long reliever in the second half and has a chance to stick on the team next year. The Nationals take the field again on Monday, but will likely not have either Kyle Finnegan or Hunter Harvey available due to workload.
  • Thyago Viera ended up being the losing pitcher here in the second appearance of the year, but it wasn’t due to poor performance. He held the Nationals scoreless in the 10th and only issued a walk in the 11th, but did allow the ghost runner to score. The former NPB closer put up a 32% K-rate in AAA this year and, given the Brewers’ general success at developing relievers, could be a dark horse to stick on the roster next year and even take on some high-leverage innings like these. Devin Williams did work the 9th inning here for his third day of work in the past four and fourth in the past six, so he may be unavailable for Monday’s action.


SFG 11 – COL 10

HD: None

SV: Taylor Rogers (2)

  • Looking to get some positive momentum after a blown save on Friday, Camilo Doval took the field with a five-run lead in the 9th on Sunday and left the game with two outs on the board and just one run remaining in his cushion. Three of the runs were ruled unearned, but only due to an error that Doval himself made. It’s been a rough second half for him as he was sitting on a 1.89 ERA across 38 IPs on June 30th and now has a 4.84 ERA in 26 IPs since then. His FIP is about the same between the two halves, though, so there’s hope that this is just luck playing itself out.
  • After closing two games on Saturday, the Rockies were working with a limited bullpen and it showed.


DET 5 – LAA 3

HD: José Cisnero (14), Tyler Holton (13), Jason Foley (26)

SV: Alex Lange (24)

  • Joey Wentz worked after an opener, but after him came 3.2 IPs of hitless baseball from the four pitchers mentioned above. It’s been quite a breakout season for Tyler Holton who has now surpassed 1 WAR on the year, second on the team to Jason Foley.
  • The Angels also had their starter come in after an opener, but they were playing from behind and, therefore, didn’t have any high-leverage innings to dole out. They also have an off day on Monday, so the bullpen should be fully ready to go on Tuesday.


SDP 10 – OAK 1

HD: None

SV:  None

  • The Padres took a big lead in the middle innings and only extended it in the late innings allowing the team to save their higher-leverage arms for another day. We ended up mainly seeing bulk relievers in Pedro Avila and Ray Kerr who combined for five of the six innings of relief.
  • Oakland also employed the double starter strategy and the game was all but over by the time they needed another pitcher.


LAD 6 – SEA 1

HD: None

SV: Gavin Stone (1)

  • The Dodgers used an opener followed by two starters to get through this game which led to Ryan Yarbrough technically picking up a relief win and Gavin Stone getting the eleven-out save. With rosters expanded and the NL West clinched the Dodgers are only fighting to make sure the Brewers don’t somehow sneak into the bye and to see if they can steal home field advantage in the NLCS from Atlanta. Both of those are pretty unlikely, so you’ll likely see the team take their foot off the accelerator in terms of bullpen usage and start avoiding back-to-backs more.
  • Two relievers, Eduard Bazardo and Dominic Leone, provided two innings of low-leverage work each to allow the Mariners to save the rest of their bullpen for their upcoming series in Oakland that starts on Monday.


CHC 2 – ARZ 6

HD: Miguel Castro (13), Ryan Thompson (6)

SV: None

  • We got a look at a couple of Chicago’s young flamethrowers on Sunday night in Luke Little and Daniel Palencia. Little has rocketed through the system this year and, after starting at high-A ball and putting up a 41% K-rate over 11.2 IPs in AAA, has now made three scoreless appearances in the majors. With the recent string of injuries in the Cubs bullpen, I wouldn’t be surprised if Little got his first career hold in the final two weeks of the season.
  • Ryan Thompson still hasn’t allowed a run in his 8.2 innings thrown with the Diamondbacks. He certainly wasn’t the most high-profile addition to this bullpen around the trade deadline, but he has a chance to play an important role for a team that has struggled to close out games all season as they try to fight to hold on to their playoff spot.


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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 9/18/23 Depth Chart”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login