Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 9/4/23 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


  • Fifteen games were played on Sunday and it’s a relatively busy Monday slate with eleven more on the schedule. The eight teams with scheduled off days are: NYY, DET, ATL, MIA, NYM, WSN, STL, and LAD.


  • The Rays placed Jason Adam on the IL with an oblique strain. Look for both Robert Stephenson and Andrew Kittredge to start getting a few more holds opportunities to make up for the slack.
  • Garrett Whitlock was placed on the bereavement list, so he’ll miss at least their series in Tampa Bay. Whitlock seems relegated to the bullpen for the rest of the year and, as a long man, there will be a number of players who will step up to fill his role.


Yesterday’s Performances


CHC 15 – CIN 7

HD: None

SV: None

  • Keegan Thompson is still trying to find his way as a long reliever as he allowed a pair of runs in the 8th in his inning of work Sunday. Fortunately, the offense had gone off for seven runs in the top of the frame to blow the game open. Also,  welcome back to the majors to former Tigers closer Shane GreeneIt’s good to see him back up, but he’s not likely to play a prominent role over the final few weeks.
  • The game was tied going into the 8th, but three relievers combined to allow ten runs (eight earned) in an absolute implosion. Alexis Díaz was part of the debacle and was unable to retire any of the three batters he faced. Two of his runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error on his part, though, so in a way, he helped himself out.


PHI 4 – MLW 2

HD: Matt Strahm (8), José Alvarado (10)

SV: Craig Kimbrel (22)

  • Five Phillies relievers logged five scoreless innings picking up the win and the save on Sunday after a rough week involving a couple of blown saves. Both Craig Kimbrel and José Alvarado bounced back from rough outings but will need to find more consistency as they prepare for a likely Wildcard Weekend series.
  • Both Abner Uribe and Bryse Wilson worked around some traffic but eventually emerged unscathed in this game. Both have been extremely effective, but Uribe is still buried in the depth chart in the chase for holds and Wilson has an inconsistent role as a long reliever/spot starter that can’t really be trusted for fantasy production despite his strong August.


MIA 6 – WSN 4

HD: None

SV: Tanner Scott (4)

  • Tanner Scott was the lone reliever to log an appearance for the Marlins as Sandy Alcantara took care of the other eight innings. Scott logs the only save of the week for the Marlins here as he appears to be the top guy in the 9th inning after the removal of David Robertson from the role. Scott has a history of poor command, but he’s reigned it in quite a bit this year and should remain the top option for saves in the team’s fight for the playoffs over the final four weeks.
  • Kyle Finnegan allowed a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the 9th to break the tie game and, eventually, take the loss. He had an amazing run in the first few weeks after the All-Star break but has now allowed a run in six of his past eight appearances even though he hasn’t blown a save in any of them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hunter Harvey move back into the closer role with more struggles from Finnegan given that the former is back, healthy, and looking good again.


SEA 3 – NYM 6

HD: Brooks Raley (23), Trevor Gott (10)

SV: Adam Ottavino (8)

  • Not much to discuss here as that multiple-run cushion you see held throughout the middle innings and the Mariners rested their top arms after a long day of work for the relief corps on Saturday. Trent Thornton continued his strong performance, although he did allow a solo bomb to Pete AlonsoThornton has now allowed just four earned runs in his 16.2 IPs of work since August 1st, good for a 2.16 ERA.
  • The Mets continue to go full committee giving Adam Ottavino the save here, his first since August 13th. He worked around a hit and a walk but struck out the side and has been pretty dominant over the past few months. With the Mets out of contention, though, I don’t think they have any incentive to lock anyone into a role, especially a veteran on a player option next year.


BOS 7 – KCR 3

HD: None

SV: None

  • Kenley Jansen picked up some maintenance work in a six-run game and allowed a pair of runs to bring his ERA back over three. He hadn’t allowed multiple runs in an outing since June 3rd, so this looks like a high-leverage reliever letting his foot off the gas pedal a bit in a low-leverage situation.
  • Carlos Hernández also got some maintenance work and continued to struggle allowing a run on a hit and a walk and needing 25 pitches to record three outs. He’s shown flashes of dominance this year but has yet to find the consistency that would make him a strong fantasy reliever. That plus his team context makes him a tough guy to roster right now even for those extremely desperate for saves.


DET 3  – CWS 2

HD: Jason Foley (22)

SV: Alex Lange (21)

  • Even though Jason Foley has been the considerably more consistent reliever across the year, the Tigers keep going back to the well with Alex Lange whose wild swings of inconsistency make him tough to roster. He did record the save, but worked around a hit and a walk and failed to strike out a batter. The next blowup could be right around the corner.
  • It turned into a bullpen game for the White Sox after Michael Kopech struggled to find the strike zone in his brief outing. Six relievers saw the field including Gregory Santos who struck out two in a clean inning as he tried to hold on to the 9th inning after blowing his last two save chances. The opportunities are not likely to come pouring in for this White Sox team over the last four weeks, but I’d say Santos has a better chance than division mate Carlos Hernández of being a fantasy asset over the home stretch. Both are reserved for managers in desperate situations.


PIT 4 – STL 6

HD: Andre Pallante (10)

SV: Giovanny Gallegos (12)

  • The Pirates were down multiple runs through the late innings and David Bednar had already had a busy week, so the Pirates emptied out their low-leverage relievers to get the final few outs here. Nothing interesting.
  • Ryan Helsley asked for another day of rest before pitching again and JoJo Romero was still unavailable after a 35-pitch outing on Friday which left Giovanny Gallegos as the Cardinals’ preferred 9th-inning option. He’s struggled this year with multiple outings in which it seemed like he couldn’t get anyone out, but his track record still keeps him in the mix for ancillary saves. It’s clear that Helsley is going to be babied the rest of the season. Back-to-backs are right out and he might not log more than a couple of appearances a week and those appearances might not necessarily be save situations. This allows Romero to retain some value down the stretch filling in the large gaps between Helsley’s few remaining appearances.


MIN 5 – TEX 6

HD: None

SV: None

  • The Twins were a bit shorthanded after a heavy day of work on Saturday and went with Kody Funderburk in the 8th and Josh Winder in the 9th in a tie game. Winder only lasted one batter before allowing the walk-off homer. The Twins should have everyone available for their regular role for their next game on Monday.
  • Texas is struggling to find the right combination in the bullpen to make things work. They squandered leads in the 7th and 8th innings of this one and surprisingly had Cody Bradford warming up for the 9th inning even when it seemed they may take the lead in the bottom of the 8th. No role is safe here and, while I do believe Aroldis Chapman has the best chance of emerging with the largest share of the 9th inning, anything is possible in a four-week sample.


TOR 7 – COL 5

HD: None

SV: Jordan Romano (32)

  • Both starts were cut short by some rain in this one, so both bullpens got a bit of extra work. One performance to note is Chad Green making his second appearance of the year in the bottom of the 8th in a tie game. He lucked into a win here, but this shows a surprising amount of confidence in the veteran given how poorly his first appearance went. He’s been a dominant multi-inning setup man in the past, but his injury history and recent return from a major injury make him a risky play.
  • Justin Lawrence took his seventh loss of the season allowing two runs in the top of the 9th on three hits. Lawrence had a stretch where performance and opportunity lined up, but both have fallen off in a major way recently. He’s only gotten five save chances since the beginning of August and only converted two of them. His ERA has risen from 2.47 on July 23rd to 4.18 today.


LAA 6 – OAK 10

HD: None

SV: Trevor May (17)

  • José Soriano had a complete meltdown on Sunday allowing six runs (four earned) in the 7th inning while recording just one out. The Angels re-tooled their bullpen on Thursday when they waived several veterans to give opportunities for younger players, pushing everyone in the bullpen except Carlos Estévez into new roles. Maybe there will be a diamond in the rough that emerges here, but this is likely to be a rough month for Angels’ relievers.
  • Trevor May snuck into his second straight day with a save and third of the week with a one-out, three-pitch performance. May has now gone seven straight appearances without allowing a run and has converted seven straight save chances, although there is the meltdown against Washington sprinkled in there which was so large that it wasn’t even a save chance.


BAL 8 – ARZ 5

HD: None

SV: None

  • Jorge López made his Orioles’ debut this season, working a scoreless 8th in a four-run game. The Orioles sure do love their reliever reclamation projects this year and they’ve hit pretty well on a couple of them so far. He has a chance to figure into some holds chances given the rapidly shifting roles to fill in for the absence of Félix Bautista.
  • Arizona gave up the lead in the top of the 6th and never really clawed back. Kyle Nelson had another rough outing and might be at risk of losing a grip on holds chances, but Arizona doesn’t have many other left-handed options. Miguel Castro is still fighting to right the ship and regain the team’s trust after back-to-back four-run outings derailed his season in mid-August. He has a much tougher path to saves given the team’s numerous right-handed options.


SFG 0 – SDP 4

HD: None

SV: None

  • Fresh up from the minors, Keaton Winn took all five innings of relief for San Fran, saving the rest of the bullpen. It’s been a very light week of work for both Camilo Doval and Tyler Rogers, so I’d expect both to be in line for maintenance innings soon.
  • Even with a four-run lead, the Padres opted to go with their top arms to close out the game as they tossed Nick Martinez, Scott Barlow, and Josh Hader 7-8-9. Hader struck out the side after blowing the save in his last appearance. He only logged four save chances in August, but he’s now struck out sixteen in his past 7.2 IPs, so he seems ready to dominate for the next one that comes along.


TBR 6 – CLE 2

HD: Robert Stephenson (12)

SV: Pete Fairbanks (19)

  • Five relievers combined to log four scoreless innings to take the win and a save as the Rays’ offense took the lead in the 8th and extended it in the 9th. Robert Stephenson did log the only hold of the game here, but Andrew Kittredge was first on in the 9th and also figures to move into the holds conversation in the absence of Jason Adam.
  • Trevor Stephan allowed the eventual winning run in the top of the 8th to earn his fifth loss of the year. Eli Morgan came on in the 9th and allowed three more runs, sealing Stephan’s fate. Stephan has been good all year, but stellar over the past five weeks, so hopefully this is just a little blip in an excellent end to the season. He retains a lot of value in SVHD leagues.


ATL 1 – LAD 3

HD: Shelby Miller (3)

SV: Brusdar Graterol (7)

  • Dylan Lee made his first appearance off the IL and allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless inning. There was a time this year when he was the preferred lefty for Atlanta over A.J. Minter, so he could get into some late-inning situations again. Minter’s performance has stabilized since then and the team has added other weapons, though, so it’s not likely to happen extremely often.
  • Los Angeles opted to toss Brusdar Graterol instead of Evan Phillips for a back-to-back to close out the final game of their series against Atlanta. Graterol hasn’t allowed a run since July 24th, a stretch of 15.1 IPs, so I’m not surprised the Dodgers have as much confidence in him as their number-one option. Phillips is still the guy to own here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Graterol pick up 2-3 more ancillary saves down the stretch.


NYY 6 – HOU 1

HD: Tommy Kahnle (12), Jonathan Loáisiga (4)

SV: None

  • Good news for Yankees fans, Tommy KahnleJonathan Loáisiga, and Clay Holmes finally shut down the final few frames of the game as they had hoped would happen many times this year. Bad news, it’s September and the team is out of contention and things still don’t look quite right for Loáisiga who is struggling to find his strikeout pitch. I’d chase holds from Kahnle much more readily than Loaisiga.
  • José Urquidy took the final couple of innings here to give the rest of the bullpen a break. He allowed three runs in the 9th and generally got hit pretty hard. He’s struggled no matter his role this year, so I wouldn’t be looking to him to try to steal an ancillary win.


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.

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