Reliever Ranks – 9/19

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

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


  • 12 total teams have a scheduled day off this Monday: BOS, NYY, TOR, CWS, KC, OAK, TEX, PHI, CIN, PIT, STL, SD.
  • The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday.


  • The Marlins optioned Cole Sulser to AAA. It’s been an extremely disappointing season for Sulser and he may not pitch again for Miami.
  • The Rockies placed Alex Colomé on the bereavement list. He’ll spend between three and seven days away from the club.
  • The White Sox placed Joe Kelly on the Family Medical Emergency list.
  • The Mets are expected to activate Tylor Megill on Monday and he’s expected to come back as a long reliever.



Yesterday’s Performances


CWS 11 – DET 5

  • The White sox were still scrambling from the late scratch of Johnny Cueto on Saturday, but the offense provided enough support to save them from having to use their top arms again. Tanner Banks picked up the win and logged the final nine outs of this one. Between this and the scheduled off day, the top arms of the White Sox pen should be fully available to start their key series with the Guardians on Tuesday.
  • Andrew Chafin was the only key Tigers arm who hadn’t yet seen any work in the weekend series, so he got a few pitches in here despite the lopsided score. He’ll still be one of the top options for holds in Detroit when they take the field again on Monday.


TEX 3 – TBR 5

  • Jonathan Hernández and Matt Moore each pitched a scoreless inning to keep the Rangers within striking distance and continue their impressive seasons. Neither has allowed a run since September 1st, a string of seven appearances for Hernández and six for Moore.
  • Pete Fairbanks was called upon in the 9th to record his eighth save of the year. He again rode his electric fastball to success and a pair of strikeouts as the Rangers were unable to put a single ball in play on six swings against the heater. Fairbanks has recorded four of the past five saves for the Rays including each of his past four appearances. He’s been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball over the past couple months and hasn’t allowed a run since July 22nd, a stretch of 19 IPs over which he’s struck out 30 and walked two. It is the Rays, so Jason Adam may still see the 9th in the right situation, but Fairbanks is the clear HLR here right now.


KCR 3 – BOS 13

  • This game got ugly early and the Royals sent out their innings eaters to try and keep it respectable. They were unsuccessful.
  • Both John Schreiber and Matt Barnes got work in this lopsided game as neither had pitched since Tuesday. Matt Strahm also continued his dominant stretch by striking out the side. Even though Barnes was the one to work the 9th in this one, I don’t think it tips the Red Sox hand about future usage. This bullpen is in full-blown committee mode.


PHI 2 – ATL 5

  • It was a rough day for the Phillies’ relievers as they allowed runs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings to allow Atlanta to pull away and seal the game. Connor Brogdon was hit with the loss, but Sam Coonrod and David Robertson allowed insurance runs to score. Robertson seems to be the most likely option to get the next save chance, but he hasn’t looked very sharp recently.
  • Tyler Matzek and A.J. Minter each earned a hold, but Atlanta added one too many runs of support and Jesse Chavez came on in the 9th for a non-save situation. Kenley Jansen was warming and ready to go in, so this is still his 9th inning despite his recent struggles.


MIA 3 – WSH 1

  • Sandy gave all his relievers a day at the beach. What a guy.
  • Save for a massive blowup against the Orioles on Wednesday, Mason Thompson has been lights out this year and is looking at a key role in the bullpen for the 2023 Nationals. This bullpen has been much improved with the emergence of guys like Carl Edwards Jr., Hunter Harvey, and Erasmo Ramírez.


BAL 5 – TOR 4

  • Félix Bautista converted a shaky save for his fourteenth of the year. He worked around two walks and an RBI double before managing to secure the third out. Bautista has rarely been called upon recently as this was just his second appearance since September 6th, so the combination of rust plus the difficult Blue Jays offense may have played a role here.
  • Jordan Romano had his worst outing since May 10th as he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks to get his fifth blown save of the year. Romano has been lights out all year and has been on a great stretch, so this is simply a poorly timed off night for fantasy managers who have ridden him to success up to this point this year.


PIT 3 – NYM 7

  • Joely Rodríguez took advantage of a favorable series against the Pirates and added two perfect innings with 5 Ks to bring his series total to four perfect innings with seven punchouts. He also walked away with his first win of the season. The entire bullpen feasted this series allowing just one run across 11.2 IPs of work striking out 18 across the four-game sweep.
  • The usage of Wil Crowe has been baffling recently and Sunday only raised further questions. Crowe, after appearing to be settling into a multi-inning closer role like that of Garrett Whitlock, was brought on to work the 5th and 6th innings in relief here when the Pirates were already down three runs. They did eventually tie the game in the 6th, but they lacked the firepower to close the game out and three pitchers combined to allow four runs in the 8th to blow the game open.


MIN 3 – CLE 0

  • Jhoan Duran earned his eighth save of the year and second in his past three appearances to lower his post-All-Star Game ERA to 0.76 in 23.2 IPs. Jorge López had thrown 32 pitches the night before, so this isn’t as clear of a takeover as it may seem from first glance, but Duran is definitely inching towards at least a committee designation here. He was used three times in four games for the first time all year, so the Twins are pulling out all the stops to try to sneak into the playoffs. Using Duran more aggressively is probably a big part of their late-season strategy.
  • Eli Morgan continued his scoreless September and extended his scoreless streak to 8.2 IPs. This bullpen was used a lot over this weekend series and they don’t have an off-day on Monday to get reset, so it’s possible we see some back-to-back-to-backs or three games in four at the beginning of this week in the Guardians’ bullpen to allow them to get the innings they need.


OAK 2 – HOU 11

  • This game was out of hand by the 5th inning, so the depth guys in the bullpen got some work. None of them were particularly successful.
  • Despite the run differential, the top two arms in their bullpen were coming off a couple days of rest, so the Astros decided to throw Rafael Montero in the 8th and Ryan Pressly in the 9th anyway. You generally don’t see maintenance innings like this after just two rest days, but perhaps closing in on clinching the division and an ALDS bye played a role in the decision to use them here. The Astros have a seven-game week in two pitchers’ parks in Tampa Bay and Baltimore, so I’d expect several close games for them this week. It might be a good week to play both Montero and Pressly given the high expected workload.


NYY 12 – MIL 8

  • The Yankees probably used their bullpen a bit more than they expected with their ace on the mound, but they had some leeway going into the off day. Clay Holmes finished things off in a non-save situation and, while he wasn’t sharp, he at least ended a stretch of three straight appearances in which he allowed an earned run. He seems to have a pretty long leash given all the turbulence among Bronx relievers this year, so it looks like they’re going to ride it out.
  • It seemed like none of the relievers the Brewers threw out there today could figure out this Yankees offense. Five pitchers combined to allow nine runs (seven earned) on ten hits in 5.1 IPs. They were at least able to rest most of their top arms so that they can send the A-team out there on Monday if there’s a lead that needs to be protected.


CIN 3 – STL 0

  • Alexis Díaz had thrown 50 pitches between two appearances on Thursday and Saturday, so Buck Farmer got the call for his second save of the season. He likely won’t get too many more opportunities, but he has emerged over the past two months as the Reds’ second-most effective option out of the pen. He has an ERA of 0.46 in 19.2 IPs since August 1st and, while the periphery numbers don’t hint at dominance, they do show a player who has the capacity to be a solid middle reliever and, given the Reds ballpark and general situation, that’s a nice find for them.
  • The Cardinals were playing from behind so Jake Woodford got some bulk innings which he handled admirably. More importantly, it afforded some rest to the clear top-2 in St. Louis’ relief corps, Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos, who each came into this game being used in three out of the previous four tilts. Between this and the scheduled off day on Monday, both should be back and available for their next slated matchup on Tuesday.


COL 4 – CHC 3

  • Daniel Bard secured his 32nd save delivering a clean inning with two punchouts against the Cubs. Bard has had an excellent season and is giving fantasy managers a nice late season push here in September. In his seven appearances in the month, he’s now logged two wins and four saves without giving up an earned run. He has excellent home numbers as well, so even Coors shouldn’t scare you away from rostering him.
  • An impressive showing from the Cubs bullpen as a whole to keep the team in this game and give them a chance until their final out. Cubs relievers combined for seven innings of scoreless ball allowing just four hits and striking out eleven. Three of the five relievers used, however, went over 20 pitches, so the Cubs will be a bit short-handed in the bullpen for their next matchup on Monday.


SEA 1 – LAA 5

  • Chris Flexen logged the only five outs required by Seattle’s bullpen on Sunday. Both Paul Sewald and Andrés Muñoz are working on several off days in a row now, so look for both to get into a game on Monday or Tuesday for a maintenance inning at least.
  • Jimmy Herget was used in the 7th inning when the game was 3-1 and therefore picked up the only hold of the outing, his fifth of the year. Ryan Tepera was deployed in the 8th with José Quijada working the 9th. Herget has earned three of the Angels’ past five saves, but neither of the previous two and wouldn’t have been in line for this one as well. There doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite to earn the next save and any one of four guys could be the one to get it. Between the lack of certainty and lack of opportunity, there are likely better bullpens in which to chase saves.


SDP 6 – ARI 1

  • Robert Suarez and Adrian Morejon combined to take care of the final three innings of this one. The lead was never less than four after the fifth inning, so there weren’t any holds or high-leverage situations to go around here. The Padres will get a scheduled off day on Monday and should have all of their relievers available on Tuesday.
  • We saw both Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon here and neither were particularly sharp as they each allowed the Fathers to score an insurance run on two hits. There hasn’t been much high-leverage work for these two recently as the Diamondbacks have recorded one save as a team in the month of September and two in their past 29 games.


LAD 4  – SFG 3 (F/10)

  • A brief rain delay and a small case of Dodgeritis forced starter Andrew Heaney out of the game after four innings which left the bullpen to work six frames here. Craig Kimbrel pitched the 9th inning of a tie game and, surprisingly, Andre Jackson, only on the roster due to Tyler Anderson being on paternity leave, was the first called upon to attempt to earn the save with a two-run lead in the bottom of the 10th. He proceeded to allow a single and walk two loading the bases and scoring the extra-innings runner in the process. Justin Bruihl was brought in a one-run game with the bases loaded and two outs to earn his first save of the season. The Dodgers have a double header to prepare for on Tuesday, so between that and the heavy usage today, they’re going to be hoping for some length out of starter Clayton Kershaw on Monday.
  • Camilo Doval worked a scoreless bottom of the 9th to keep the game tied, but John Brebbia faltered in the top of the 10th allowing two runs to score and taking his second loss of the campaign. In reality, the shame should be shared with Thomas Szapucki who walked in what would eventually become the winning run that would be charged to Brebbia. The Giants also don’t benefit from an off day, but they just have the standard two games over the next two days.



Bullpen Depth Charts



Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:

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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