Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves – 8/11

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

With the MLB season in full swing, some bullpen hierarchies are becoming a lot clearer, while others have fallen apart. Though some managers may keep fantasy owners guessing, it is important to at least have an idea of who has a chance at a save, and who is most likely not even going to appear in a game today. Don’t sleep on saves! In a shortened season, they all count that much more.

First, notes from last night and thoughts on today’s games:




  • As you already knew, Cardinals and Pirates will be off Tuesday and Wednesday. The St. Louis/Detroit double header on Thursday was also postponed so we’ll have wait an extra day before we see any members of the Cardinals’ bullpen.
  • Daniel Norris stole the win for the Tigers after Michael Fulmer only pitched through the first three innings on Monday. Gregory Soto continues to make his presence known in the Tigers’ bullpen, putting up another 1.1 innings of scoreless, hitless relief.


  • Tyler Alexander was presented with the opportunity to join the Tigers’ rotation as a reward for his 10-strikeout performance on August 2. Assuming he doesn’t make it through five innings, expect Kyle Funkhouser or Rony Garcia to get the ball first as every other member of the Tigers’ bullpen besides closer Joe Jimenez was used on Monday. Like Alexander, Garcia hasn’t pitched since August 2 as well.
  • Sean Doolittle came in the ninth inning for the Nationals on Monday to hold down a 13-run lead over the Mets. The second pitch he threw was taken deep by Brandon Nimmo. He got the next three batters to line out to end the ball game. Daniel Hudson should continue to close out closer games for Washington moving forward.


  • Kirby Yates was reportedly experiencing some soreness on Sunday, so the Padres went with Drew Pomeranz in the ninth inning, up by one run against the Dodgers. Pomeranz did what he’s been doing all season and threw an uneventful inning, resulting in his third save on the season. Though that make him the team leader in saves on the year, Yates should still be considered their closer, unless the general soreness grows to something more.
  • Ty Buttrey allowed one hit and two strikeouts on his way to his second save on the year, with Felix Pena getting the win while setting him up in the eighth inning. Pena had been performing admirably in the middle innings in the early goings this season, but has seen more high leverage opportunities later in games as of late including pitching the eighth inning in each of his last three appearances. Buttrey has established himself as the new closer in Anaheim, but keep an eye on Pena as he very well may get the next opportunity, which very well may come as early as Tuesday with Buttrey pitching in two straight.


  • It seemed Josh James was asked to finish off the final two innings for the Astros, up by six runs. After giving up a solo home run in the eighth inning, James was sent back out in the ninth and allowed the next three hitters to reach base before Houston replaced him with Ryan Pressly, who induced two straight fly ball outs before giving up a two run single to Brandon Crawford. After giving up another single to Austin Slater, Pressly got Evan Longoria to line out to record his first save of the season. Assuming health, Pressly should be firmly in the closer spot for the Astros, while James probably has pitched himself into much lower leverage roles moving forward.
  • Archie Bradley closed out what turned out to be a bullpen heavy game for the Diamondbacks after Robbie Ray was pulled in the fourth inning. Bradley has been as solid as closers come this season, recording four straight saves and hasn’t given up a run since his first outing on July 26. He has pitched in two of the last three days, but has only thrown a combined 24 pitches, so look for him to be available Tuesday if needed.


  • Taylor Rogers also recorded his fourth save on the season for the Twins, allowing a hit and recording two strikeouts—a nice bounce back from his blown save on Thursday. With Tyler Clippard set to open the game for the Twins on Tuesday, look for more bullpen use throughout the game and Devin Smeltzer as the main option to get the bulk of the work in the early goings.
  • Andrew Kittredge was asked to get the final two outs for the Rays, recording his first save on the season. Kittredge has seen more action in the past week than any other piece of the Tampa Bay bullpen as he’s been called up in four of the last six games and it won’t stop there as he’s set to open the game against Boston on Tuesday. Jalen Beeks is the most well rested piece in the Rays’ bullpen and is a good bet to take over for Kittredge as soon as he’s pulled in the early goings of the game.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. was placed on the IL, solidifying Taylor Williams to be the main closer in the Seattle committee.


Bullpen Depth Charts


Green = closer is available/long reliever expected to pitch after starter
Yellow = closer pitched previous day/LR has chance to pitch after starter
Red = closer has pitched back to back days and likely has the day off
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

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