The Hold-Up 4/19: Ranking The Top 60 Relievers For Holds Every Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, which means Matt is here to talk about Holds.  Consider these rankings about 60% based on projected hold totals and 40% based on skill and ratios. Holds are...

It’s Tuesday, which means Matt is here to talk about Holds.  Consider these rankings about 60% based on projected hold totals and 40% based on skill and ratios. Holds are pretty volatile. A lot of times the best strategy in hold leagues is to focus on ERA and WHIP, roll out as many setup men as you can and let the holds naturally trickle in. 

In the near future I’m going to add more detail to point out arms with very high k/9 for leagues that actually use K/9 and daily rotos with IP limits, arms that will likely trend up as the season rolls on and are better targets in h2hs, and the horses that get a boost in points leagues. Maybe even add a little tag for lefty specialists if you are desperate for holds and stream like a mad man based on bullpen usage and matchups. Please don’t hesitate to make any requests or critiques in the comments. 


1. Tony Watson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

2. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees

3. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

4. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

5. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

6. Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

7. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

8. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

9. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

10. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers)

11. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals) 


12. Drew Storen (Toronto Blue Jays)

13. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

14. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

15. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

16. Joaquin Benoit (Seattle Mariners)

17. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners

18. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)

19. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

20. Tyler Clippard (Arizona Diamondbacks)

21. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

22. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

23. Neftali Feliz (Pittsburgh Pirates)

24. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

25. Mark Lowe (Detroit Tigers)

26. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

27. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

28. Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

29. Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox)

30. Shawn Kelley (Washington Nationals)

31. Joe Smith (Los Angeles Angels)

32. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

33. Chris Hatcher (Los Angeles Dodgers)

34. Yimi Garcia (Los Angeles Dodgers) 


35. Trevor May (Minnesota Twins)

36. Miguel Castro (Colorado Rockies)

37. Josh Osich (San Francisco Giants)

38. Kevin Quackenbush (San Diego Padres)

39. Brett Cecil (Toronto Blue Jays)

40. Justin Grimm (Chicago Cubs)

41. Blake Treinen (Washington Nationals)

42. Oliver Perez (Washington Nationals

43. Antonio Bastardo (New York Mets)

44. Greg Mahle (Los Angeles Angels)

45. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

46. Jim Henderson (New York Mets)

47. Jose Alvarez (Los Angeles Angels)

48. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres)

49. Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox)

50. David Hernandez (Philadelphia Phillies)

51. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

52. Fernando Rodriguez (Oakland Athletics)


53. Mike Morin (Los Angeles Angels)

54. Pat Neshek (Houston Astros)

55. Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)

56. Michael Blazek (Milwaukee Brewers)

57. Zach Duke (Chicago White Sox)

58. Tyler Thornburg (Milwaukee Brewers)

59. Xavier Cedeño (Tampa Bay Rays)

60. Fernando Salas (Los Angeles Angels)

61. Adam Warren (Chicago Cubs)

62. Vidal Nuno (Seattle Mariners)

63. Jake Diekman (Texas Rangers)

64. Trevor Bauer (Cleveland Indians)

65. Joel Peralta (Seattle Mariners)

66. David Phelps (Miami Marlins

67. Jumbo Diaz (Cincinnati Reds)

Injured Setup Men – Romo and Carson Smith are DL slot worthy in some cases but don’t tie your hands with roster flexibility if you don’t have to. 

Sergio Romo (San Francisco Giants)

Carson Smith (Boston Red Sox)

Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)

Mike Dunn (Miami Marlins

Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

SAVES – I have minimal faith in Doolittle or Jepsen so the value of these two hinges on your league setup. Both are tier 2 talents, I trust Madson more. 

Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics)

Kevin Jepsen (Minnesota Twins)

DROPS – Not a huge drop from tier 4 to these guys but at the moment I’m bailing completely.

Stephen Geltz (Tampa Bay Rays)

Jumbo Diaz (Cincinnati Reds)

Danny Farquhar (Tampa Bay Rays)

Casey Fien (Minnesota Twins)


Tony Watson has been pretty shaky in his 6.1 IP. More walks than strikeouts, getting hurt by the long ball. Likely just an ugly small sample size but Neftali Feliz currently has more holds and there is some cause for concern. Not selling low, we’ll give him another week to settle in. 

Joe Smith and Bryan Shaw have been reliable 8th inning guys for a while but 2016 has not treated them well. Less worried about Smith. Control has been an issue for Shaw in the early going but the long ball is the real culprit. After a couple 70+ IP seasons the Indians eased his workload a bit last year however his hr/fb ballooned to 13.8% and early on in 2016 that trend has continued for the soft tosser.

Kelvin Herrera passes Joakim Soria and makes his way into Tier 1. The breaking pitch Herrera introduced in 2015 is more polished and he looks sexier than ever.

– This week featured a decent amount of movement and tweaks in general. Brad Brach and Miguel Castro are two quality additions. Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe look like a great lefty/righty duo in Detroit.

Pat Neshek has looked pretty good so far but I’m still not that comfortable after he imploded in the second half. He hasn’t been a reliable 50+ IP guy and 35 is getting up there in age. 

Drew Storen and Koji Uehara are great for holds but they worry me a bit in terms of ratios. 

– I’m hopping on the Hansel Robles bandwagon. Collins hasn’t used him as the official high leverage arm after Jeurys Familia but I think his stuff is far superior to Addison Reed and in time he’ll gain more and more high leverage opps. 

– Hard to say what Sergio Romo’s timeline looks like but Josh Osich gets a nice boost until Sergio comes off the DL.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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