The Hold Up 8/31: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week

A trio of well-known relievers came off the disabled list this past week, all three of which having significant fantasy value in save+hold leagues. I’ll talk about the two proven...

A trio of well-known relievers came off the disabled list this past week, all three of which having significant fantasy value in save+hold leagues. I’ll talk about the two proven set-up men in a little bit, but for now I am interested in figuring out whether or not Jeurys Familia will be useful for fantasy owners in September. After a rough first outing, he settled down Tuesday and looked like his typical self, more or less. The bigger news however, is the fact that he won’t be used as the teams closer right off the bat. This gives AJ Ramos a small boost for the next few weeks while ultimately leaving Familia in limbo. My best guess here would be that the team will slowly begin working him into higher leverage situations before handing him some save chances later in the month. This could still mean some fantasy value will be there soon in hold leagues, although those expecting saves before the end of the fantasy playoffs will likely be disappointed.

TIER 1: Good Vibrations


TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You

1. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

2Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

4. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

5. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)  

6. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)   

7. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

8. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

9. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

10. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

11. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

12. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros)

13. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)

  • Will Harris pitched well in his first game back from the DL after basically missing the past two months with shoulder inflammation. It’s definitely good to see from the Astro’s perspective since their bullpen was starting to deteriorate. Joe Musgrove has been effective since moving to the bullpen full time, but they would ideally like Harris to take back his set up job. I wouldn’t expect it to take more than a week for him to regain that role, as long as he continues to stay healthy.
  • As I am writing this, David Phelps is leaving the game with a trainer, with what is probably a re-aggravation of his elbow injury that caused him to miss more than half the month of August. Another DL stint seems probable at the moment unfortunately. In case it was just precautionary though, I’d imagine Phelps would be in a situation similar to Harris and would likely reclaim his setup role in short order. Unfortunately, it may be all for not.

TIER 3: Torn

14. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets

15. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels

16. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

17. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

18. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

19. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

20. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

21. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)

22. David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks

23. Trevor Hildenberger (Minnesota Twins)

24. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)  

25. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

26. Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

27. Tyler Lyons (St. Louis Cardinals

28. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

29. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies

30. Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Tyler Lyons continues to sparingly see hold opportunities, despite not allowing a run since July 6th (18 straight appearances). Now if everyone in that bullpen were healthy and/or pitching up to expectations, it could make some sense that Lyons would only have 9 SV+HD’s over the past 60 games. But the fact that no one else in that bullpen can be counted on to get outs makes it a bit mind-boggling as to why Mike Matheny hasn’t given him a save chance yet. It has to happen soon, right?
  • Jake McGee was tasked with bailing Greg Holland on Saturday and earned a save in the process. While it seems like Holland is running on fumes these days and may have nothing left at this point in the season, no official change has been made so McGee is still just a spec add for saves and a mid-high end option for those looking for holds.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

31. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)

32. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels

33. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

34. Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays)

35. Chad Green (New York Yankees)

36. Mike Dunn (Colorado Rockies

37. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

38. Steve Cishek (Tampa Bay Rays)  

39. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

40. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

41. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)

42. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

43. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves

44. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers

45. Ryan Buchter (Kansas City Royals)

46. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers

47. Paul Sewald (New York Mets)   

48. Joe Smith (Cleveland Indians)

49. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

50. Joe Musgrove (Houston Astros

  • So Blake Parker seems to be the Angels closer de jour lately, meaning Cam Bedrosian is back to either pitching in mop up situations or in the 8th inning of a one run game. As we get closer to the start of the NFL season, this situation eerily reminds me of how fantasy football owners typically feel about Bill Belichick and how he features a different RB every week (which will be the case this season, again). Anyway, Bedrosian is still probably worth hanging onto for those in hold leagues as he still can have value if being used late in games.
  • Who would have thought a month ago that by the end of August, Joe Musgrove would be the Astros best and most consistent reliever heading into September. He has been, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but his success as a reliever has begun to earn him some hold chances. It may be short-lived however, with Will Harris returning and Chris Devenski not totally imploding yet. He could still see the occasional hold, but come fantasy playoff time, he will probably give way to set-up duties to the two mentioned above.

TIER 5: There She Goes 

51. Chris Rusin (Colorado Rockies)

52. Matt Albers (Washington Nationals)

53. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants

54. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)

55. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

56. Tony Watson (Los Angeles Dodgers

57. Luis Garcia (Philadelphia Phillies

58. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals)

59. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

60. Tyler Clippard (Houston Astros

61. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

62. Danny Barnes (Toronto Blue Jays)

63. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

64. Adam Warren (New York Yankees)

65. Edubray Ramos (Philadelphia Phillies)

66. Emilio Pagan (Seattle Mariners)

67. Scott Alexander (Kansas City Royals)

68. Drew Steckenrider (Miami Marlins)

69. Craig Stammen (San Diego Padres)

70. Peter Moylan (Kansas City Royals)



Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

3. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

4. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)

5. Dellin Betances  (New York Yankees)

6. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

7. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)

8. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

9. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

10. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)

11. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

12. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

13. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

14. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

15. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

16. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

17. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

18. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)

19. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

20. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners

21. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

22. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)    

23. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

24. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

25. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

26. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

27. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies

28. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

29. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)

30. Blake Treinen  (Oakland Athletics)

31. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

32. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

33. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros)

34. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)

35. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)

36. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)

37. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels

38. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

39. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

40. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)

41. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)

42. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

43. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

44. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

45. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

46. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)

47. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)

48. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)

49. David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks

50. Trevor Hildenberger (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.

One response to “The Hold Up 8/31: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week”

  1. Jeremy says:

    What’s going on w Mychal Givens? His FIP/xFIP don’t really suggest much bad luck, moreover he’s just possibly more susceptible as of late. In fact he hasn’t really been lights out since break? I wanna drop him but he ranks so high here ?. Almost rather own a guy like Steve Cishek and protect my already lower tier ratios ?

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