Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves – 8/17

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 with most Mondays, there’s a handful of teams scheduled to take the day off. Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Milwaukee will be resting their bullpens on Monday.
  • Kwang-hyun Kim is slated to make his rotation debut for the Cardinals on Monday. After such a long time off, and only pitching one inning out of the bullpen prior, it’s safe to assume Kim may not be fully stretched out and may not get through the fifth inning. Ricardo Sanchez is the only active member of the bullpen that hasn’t seen time on the mound since the team’s return to play, so he may get the ball first when Kim is pulled.
  • The Mets have decided to move Robert Gsellman into the rotation and stretch him out through the season. He threw 33 pitches through two innings in his first start and one shouldn’t expect him to get much further this time out. Chasen Shreve is the most rested member of their bullpen and could be put in a position to pick up a win against Miami.
  • Minnesota has tapped reliever Matt Wisler to start their matchup against Kansas City on Monday. Devin Smeltzer hasn’t taken the hill for the Twins since starting the game on August seventh and it may be him or Lewis Thorpe getting the ball after Wisler. Whoever gets it should be in a good spot to vulture a win against the Royals. Taylor Rogers was brought in for the eighth inning on Sunday with two lefties due up for the Royals. He let up just a single to pinch hitter Ryan McBroom and passed the ball onto Sergio Romo to strike out the side in the ninth and record the save for the Twins. Rogers should still be considered the main guy in Minnesota, but Romo deserves to be rostered for situations like these. Both Rogers and Romo have gone in back to back games so Trevor May, who threw 15 pitches of his own on Sunday, may get a chance on Monday if needed. Tyler Duffey may get a shot if they want to give May a rest, considering the Twins may end up using a few bullpen arms with Wisler starting.
  • With Kirby Yates placed on the IL, Padres fans were hoping to let assumed closer Drew Pomeranz close things out against Arizona on Sunday. Unfortunately, Emilio Pagan had other ideas, as he let up three runs on two hits and a walk pitching the eighth inning, setting things up for opposing closer Archie Bradley to earn his second save in as many days for the Diamondbacks. Junior Guerra was credited with a blown save after allowing two earned runs on four hits in the sixth inning, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to get the save opportunity on Monday if presented. Hector Rondon or Andrew Chafin may be called upon instead.
  • Bud Black said he wouldn’t be using a set closer moving forward. They may have something to do with the recent struggles of assumed closer Jairo Diaz, or perhaps even after cleaning up Diaz’s mess on Sunday, Carlos Estevez needing to go in for x-rays after being struck on the hand. Daniel Bard was the last pitcher to record a save for the Rockies before Sunday, so he should be considered the front runner to get the next shot is Estevez is forced to miss much time.
  • Josh Hader recorded his fifth save on the season, pitching a perfect ninth. On the other side, Craig Kimbrel pitched the eighth inning for the Cubs and struck out two without allowing a baserunner. A lot like Edwin Diaz in New York, Kimbrel is trying to find his groove. It’s not there yet, but worth watching. Contracts still dictate a lot of the decisions teams make so there’s a non-zero chance Kimbrel forces his way back into closing situations at some point.
  • A day after a dominant save, Ryan Pressly picked up his first win of the season after Kyle Tucker’s walk-off homer in the 9th. Pressley only needed 10 pitches to get through his clean inning and has settled into the endgame role in Houston after a somewhat shaky start. He’s pitched in the past two games, but has only needed a combined 18 pitches so he very well may be available if needed on Monday. If not, look for Blake Taylor or Brooks Raley to get a shot.
  • The Blue Jays help Anthony Bass out of their pseudo doubleheader today due to reported back tightness. Finishing up the suspended game from Saturday, the Jays relied on Jordan Romano to keep the game tied late in the game. After getting the final out of the eighth inning, Romano came back out in the ninth and ended up giving up a go-ahead home run to Brandon Lowe to lead off the inning, setting up Nick Anderson’s save for the Rays. Romano would be the obvious replacement in the ninth until Ken Giles returns, based on performances besides this one, if Bass is forced to miss more time.
  • Seth Lugo closed out the Mets’ four-run loss to the Phillies on Sunday. Combine that with the loss he was credited with on Friday and the positive strides Edwin Diaz has been making and you have the makings for a return to high leverage spots for Diaz. No one should be surprised to see Diaz getting the next save opportunity.
  • Daniel Hudson recorded his 4th save for the Nationals Sunday. Though it was a clean inning with two strikeouts, he still needed 23 pitches to get through it. He hasn’t pitched prior to that outing since August 11th, so he should still be good to go if needed on Monday.
  • Zack Britton recorded what might be his last save for a while on Sunday night, as Aroldis Chapman is expected to return to the Yankees’ bullpen on Monday. Chapman is expected to be thrown right back into the ninth inning, but I wouldn’t throw out your Britton shares until Chapman proves he’s fully ramped up.


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.

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login