Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 7/23

Rick Graham updates his top 100 relief pitchers for SV+HD leagues.

While there have been some bumps along the road (like last night), Adam Ottavino’s first year in Boston has gone as well as we could have hoped for following his 2020 season. Even at age 35, Ottavino has been able to increase his fastball velocity this year to 94.8, the highest average he’s had since 2015 while his slider continues to do its thing. Last year’s bad luck could be chalked up to Ottavino allowing (uncharacteristically) a ton of hard contact which led to an extreme BABIP (.375). This year, he’s back to being one of the better hard contact suppressors in the league, with 2% Barrel and 24.2% HardHit rates while having an average exit velocity of just 84.1 MPH, all ranking in the 98th percentile or higher. Ottavino remains one of the steadier contributors at the RP position and a true set-and-forget asset for your fantasy teams.




  • What a brutal two-day stretch it has been for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansenwho allowed seven earned runs while getting just three outs. All three outs came via a strikeout at least, but he allowed seven hits and four walks in between. He wasn’t having the smoothest July to begin with, so this latest series against the Giants is certainly a bit concerning. Walks continue to be a problem, with his command all over the place in his latest outing. Once elite level closers, Jansen, Edwin Díaz, and Aroldis Chapman just haven’t been the same since the new sticky stuff rules were implemented. We knew it would take these guys some time to adjust; let’s just hope that adjustment period doesn’t last much longer.
  • I still don’t have complete faith in Mark Melancon and I believe the Padres should look for a quality reliever at the deadline but 29 saves is 29 saves and you can’t knock that. Since May began, he has had a 4.7% K-BB rate, 1.48 WHIP, 5.16 FIP, 4.58 SIERA—and yet just a 2.79 ERA and leads the league in saves. There’s always one closer every year who defies logic and reason and is at the top of the leaderboard for saves, and this year it just so happens to be Melancon.


  • Although, Melancon does have some competition in Lou Trivino, who has a 1.91 ERA and 1.15 WHIP on the year despite a high walk rate (11.6%), low Whiff rate (22%), and 4.43 xFIP. He has been using his sinker more often, leading to a career-high 48% GB rate, but there still seems to be plenty of luck involved here. Just like with San Diego, I think the Athletics need to go out and get some insurance at the deadline in case regression comes for Trivino in August/September.
  • Speaking of trades, this could very well be the last week for Daniel Bard, Richard Rodríguez, Ian Kennedy, and Yimi García as closers. It’s certainly possible that they wind up in situations where they close for their new team, but more likely than not these four will wind up in setup or middle relief roles elsewhere.  Not that Kennedy is even closing out games currently, as the Rangers have only allowed him one save opportunity for the entire month of July.


  • There are a couple of players I left on the list despite being on the IL currently. Devin Williams is expecting a minimal stay on the IL and could return this weekend. Jimmy Nelson could return this weekend as well after throwing live BP yesterday. Jonathan Loáisiga, returning from a Covid positive should be back this weekend for the Yankees. Michael Fulmer has begun a rehab assignment in AAA Toledo and should be on track to return next week. Brooks Raley is also on a rehab assignment at the AAA level and should return to the Astros bullpen this weekend or early next week.
  • Gregory Soto and Blake Treinen each had four SV+HLD’s this past week. Soto looks to be running away with the Tigers’ closer gig, as he now has five saves over the past 16 days, although it hasn’t always been pretty (5.14 ERA, 1.57 WHIP in July). Treinen continues to be the only sturdy, dependable reliever in that Dodgers bullpen for the time being.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Craig Kimbrel
4Ryan Pressly-
5Matt Barnes+1
6Raisel Iglesias+2
7Will Smith+5
8Aroldis Chapman+2
9Alex Reyes-
10Edwin Díaz-5
11Kenley Jansen-4
12Diego Castillo
13Jordan Romano-2
14Giovanny Gallegos-
15Blake Treinen+1
16James Karinchak-1
17Scott Barlow+1
18Mark Melancon+7
19Taylor Rogers-2
20Kendall Graveman-
21Chad Green
22Jake McGee+2
23Seth Lugo-2
24Andrew Chafin+3
25Ryan Tepera+3
26Brad Hand-
27Emmanuel Clase-5
28Michael Kopech+3
29Collin McHugh+9
30Devin Williams-7
31Adam Ottavino-1
32Pete Fairbanks+15
33Aaron Bummer-4
34Drew Pomeranz-1
35Daniel Hudson-
36Lou Trivino+12
37Jimmy Nelson-3
38Aaron Loup+3
39Trevor May+3
41Austin Adams
42Ranger Suárez-3
43Gregory Soto+13
44Anthony Bender-12
45Paul Sewald-9
46Jake Cousins+21
47David Bednar+18
48Jonathan Loáisiga-8
49Jake Diekman-3
50Garrett Whitlock+1
51Heath Hembree-1
52Chris Martin-7
53Tanner Scott+2
54Richard Bleier+4
55Brad Boxberger+4
56Josh Taylor+5
57Jeffrey Springs+5
58Matt Wisler+6
59Andrew Kittredge+9
60Emilio Pagán-8
61Yusmeiro Petit
62Bryan Shaw+20
63Connor Brogdon+3
64Victor González-15
65Ryne Stanek+6
67José Alvarado+6
68Daniel Bard-8
69Garrett Crochet-6
70Cristian Javier+6
71Richard Rodríguez-14
72Ian Kennedy-18
73Michael Fulmer+UR
74Paul Fry+15
75Kyle Zimmer+15
76Yimi García+5
77Dylan Floro-2
78Héctor Neris+8
79Joely Rodríguez-5
80Zack Britton-27
81Pierce Johnson
82Craig Stammen-4
83Josh Sborz-
84Brooks Raley-
85Josh Staumont+6
86Drew Steckenrider+8
87Phil Maton+UR
88Kyle Funkhouser+UR
89Joakim Soria+10
90Tyler Duffey-2
91Miguel Castro+1
92Joe Kelly+1
93JT Chargois+UR
94Jake Brentz+UR
95Génesis Cabrera+UR
96Cole Sulser-9
98Codi Heuer-19
99Rex Brothers-1
100Ryan Borucki+UR


Injured List



Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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 “Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 7/23”

  1. MAGNUS says:

    No mention of José Cisnero? He has been very good in Net Save + Holds league.

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