The Hold Up 8/24: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week

Injuries and ineffectiveness have begun to really water down the potential hold relievers. At the time being, there isn’t one set-up man in that truly elite category. It’s certainly not ideal...

Injuries and ineffectiveness have begun to really water down the potential hold relievers. At the time being, there isn’t one set-up man in that truly elite category. It’s certainly not ideal for fantasy owners scrounging to come up with Saves+Holds heading into the final weeks of the season. For owners who are locked into a playoff spot or are in desperate need for late season saves/holds, now may be the most important time to monitor the waiver wire, particularly looking for those currently injured players to stash. I’m all for dropping a middling talent who is healthy now for a potential September stud that will make a difference in your playoff run.

TIER 1: Good Vibrations


TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You

1. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

2. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners

3. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

4. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

5. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

6. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

7. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

8. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

9. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)   

10. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

11. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

12. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

13. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

14. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

15. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)

  • Kyle Barraclough looked really good in his first full week back from his latest DL stint, enough so that one would figure a promotion to the 9th inning would be in short order. Brad Ziegler has been effective in that role so far, but I still would imagine the Marlins being interested in seeing how he fares as the teams closer. Barraclough’s kryptonite has always been allowing free passes, but he has yet to allow one in 4.2 innings since returning.
  • Ryan Tepera continues to put together a solid season and is becoming one of the more consistent relievers in the game. He has developed perhaps one of the best cutters in baseball and while he may be pitching a little bit over his head, for now, feel confident riding him out the rest of the season in holds leagues.

TIER 3: Torn

16. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

17. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

18. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

19. Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

20. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

21. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)

22. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

23. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels

24. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels

25. Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles Dodgers)

26. Trevor Hildenberger (Minnesota Twins)

27. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

28. David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks

29. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

30. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)  

  • Mark Melancon is still pitching in a setup role, which is actually alright, if you’re in a league that counts holds of course. He was the most effective reliever for holds purposes this past week, converting 4 holds and picking up 6 strikeouts, while allowing just 3 hits over 4 innings. He may not get his old job back anytime soon, but he still should be owned in most holds leagues.
  • Once the Twins moved Brandon Kintzler in late July, it opened up a more high leverage role for Trevor Hildenberger. Since then, the rookie sidewinder has failed to disappoint. Over the past 30 days, he has 15 K’s and 5 SV+HD’s while keeping his ERA at a cool 2.25, with a sub 1 WHIP. He is certainly trending up, and his SP eligibility makes him an intriguing add in holds leagues.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

31. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)   

32. Mike Dunn (Colorado Rockies

33. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers

34. Steve Cishek (Tampa Bay Rays

35. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves

36. Joe Smith (Cleveland Indians)  

37. Chad Green (New York Yankees)  

38. Tyler Lyons (St. Louis Cardinals)

39. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

40. Paul Sewald (New York Mets

41. Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays)

42. Ryan Buchter (Kansas City Royals)

43. Tyler Clippard (Houston Astros

44. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

45. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

46. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians

47. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

48. Danny Barnes (Toronto Blue Jays)

49. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

50. Adam Warren (New York Yankees)

  • Tyler Clippard has yet to allow a run in 4 appearances with the Astros, while also converting a save and hold opportunity. He hasn’t pitched well for the majority of the season, but his recent success plus his high leverage role in Houston makes him a name worth thinking about in deeper leagues.
  • Hansel Robles was once fairly high up this list early in the year, but some early/mid-season troubles dropped him off it completely. He was eventually demoted to AAA in late May but since being recalled in the middle of July, he has been rock solid. While he hasn’t picked up a hold over the past month, he does have 20 K’s and a respectable 1.50 ERA/1.00 WHIP over 18 innings. However, there certainly is room in that Mets bullpen for him to move into a setup role soon.

TIER 5: There She Goes 

51. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)

52. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

53. Chris Rusin (Colorado Rockies)

54. Tony Watson (Los Angeles Dodgers

55. Joe Musgrove (Houston Astros

56. Josh Fields (Los Angeles Dodgers)

57. Matt Albers (Washington Nationals)

58. Edubray Ramos (Philadelphia Phillies)

59. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals)

60. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants

61. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres)

62. Emilio Pagan (Seattle Mariners)

63. Drew Steckenrider (Miami Marlins)

64. Craig Stammen (San Diego Padres)

65. Mark Rzepczynski (Seattle Mariners)

66. Luis Garcia (Philadelphia Phillies)

67. Peter Moylan (Kansas City Royals

68. Gregory Infante (Chicago White Sox)

69. A.J. Shugel (Pittsburgh Pirates)

70. Joe Blanton (Washington Nationals)


Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

3. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)

4. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

5. Dellin Betances  (New York Yankees)

6. Ken Giles (Houston Astros

7. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)

8. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)

9. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays

10. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

11. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

12. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

13. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

14. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

15. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

16. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

17. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners

18. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

19. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

20. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

21. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

22. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

23. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

24. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

25. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)

26. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)

27. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

28. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)   

29. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)

30. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

31. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

32. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies

33. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

34. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

35. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)

36. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)

37. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)

38. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

39. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)

40. Blake Treinen (Oakland Athletics)

41. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)

42. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)

43. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox)

44. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)

45. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

46. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

47. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

48. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

49. Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

50. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

6 responses to “The Hold Up 8/24: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Where would you put Will Harris on here?

  2. Turp says:

    Vastly underrating Jose Ramirez. I’d swap him for Yates.

  3. Slothrop says:

    Tyler Lyons has been really good the last 30 days. At least in my points league. (56.5 points, right around DeGrom. Better than Parker and Hildenberger, both of whom I like)

    10.2 IP, 15 Ks, 6 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 12.66 K/9, 15:4 K/B

    I guess that’s not a ton of holds, but peripherals yes please.

    • Rick Graham says:

      He’s climbing up the list pretty quickly. His role has chaned a lot but I expect him to stay locked into a 7th/8th inning role which could move him to tier 2 shortly.

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