Top 100 Relievers to Own in Save+Hold Leagues: 4/6 Update

Rick Graham's weekly update of the Top 100 Relievers to own in SV+HLDs leagues.

[sv_hlds_list season=”2018″ include_stats=”0″ list_id=”16603″]

Following up on our weekly Closers and Holds articles will be our Top 100 RP’s for SV+HD leagues every Friday. Use this list to get a feel for the current reliever market and to gauge value for trades, waiver adds, etc.


  • Obviously the big news of the day is the brutal hamstring injury to Corey Knebelwhich had the feel of a potential long-term DL stint. While I’d love to see Josh Hader get an opportunity to close out games, I feel like that is highly unlikely as the team likens him to an Archie Bradley, Chris Devenski, Andrew Miller type. So that leaves us with 3 options. Jacob Barnes, Matt Albers or Jeremy JeffressI wouldn’t be shocked if anyone of these 3 are named the teams new closer, but if I’m putting money on it, I’d go with Barnes. He was the teams 8th inning option last season and should have opened the year in that role if it weren’t for a terrible spring training. He has been much better since, even earning a save on opening day. I was a fan of his for much of last year (at least the first half) because of his ability to miss bats or get groundballs but he also had a career-high walk rate. Albers took advantage of Barnes spring training woes and had been working in front of Knebel to begin the year. He put up some nice looking numbers on the surface last year, but the 1.62 ERA came with an unsustainable .202 BABIP and a FIP/xFIP of 3.4. He doesn’t get swings and misses (8.7% last year and a paltry 7.7 for his career). He had a brief stint as the Nationals closer last year, which didn’t go all that great. Jeffress is the dark horse given he’s had the most experience in the role, but is way too inconsistent since his time in Texas. Part of me thinks the new closer will be determined on the amount of time Knebel is likely to miss. If it’s a 2-4 week thing, they can just use Albers as a stop gap. If it’s a few months though, they will need to transition Barnes or Hader into the role. Barnes certainly has the best pure stuff of the 3 righties (FB can get up to 100 and has a nasty cutter) so I’m banking on that winning out, but we should have a clearer picture soon.
  • Brad Hand had another horrific outing yesterday where he just couldn’t find the strike zone. Andy Green gave him a good ole “vote of confidence” afterward, but this is still concerning. His velo is down a little (who’s isn’t right now?) and the last thing you want to see is your closer walk the yard in a tie game. His trending down until he figures things out (he doesn’t have quite the same track record as Kenley Jansen) but isn’t worth dropping yet.
  • It seems like some guy named Chris Martin, and not Kevin Jepsen is working the 8th inning in front of Keone Kela for the Rangers. Something Just Like This happened with that Yellow team in California (Chris Hatcher, really?), and I’m not The Scientist here but I wouldn’t be rushing at The Speed of Sound to add Martin, as he is just not someone I’d want in my fantasy Paradise. Ok, I’ll stop now.

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.

8 responses to “Top 100 Relievers to Own in Save+Hold Leagues: 4/6 Update”

  1. Ken says:

    Major concerns w/ AJ Minter. Drastic velo drop last time out (and down overall) SwStr% rate pedestrian and still has not struck out a better. I see a DL stint coming…

    • Rick Graham says:

      Hmm, velo looks to be down just 1.5 from last season, which isn’t too odd to see this time of year. I’ll have to go back and check out his last outing though but I have noticed the surprising lack of K’s.

  2. Kevin says:

    Have to think Robert Gsellman needs to be added to this list. Velocity bump to 95 in the pen, being used in multiple inning hold situations.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Ehh maybe. I don’t believe in the K upside just yet (yesterday’s was a joke btw) to think he can be Chad Green 2.0. I don’t see him with a lot of holds once Swarzak returns but if he can keep this strikeout pace up he can be a nice, cheap alternative to Green and Peacock. Theres just nothing in his past to suggest that its sustainable.

  3. Bbboston says:

    Quick question:

    Why is Carson Smith not on this list? I know he hasn’t done well this first week or so, but seems he should be on this list?

    • Rick Graham says:

      He’s just not what he used to be. He’s still on the holds list for now (so barely off this list). I’m losing patience with him and now that it looks like Barnes and Kelly are the 7th and 8th inning set up men respectively, it’s tough to justify owning Smith, who will never throw more than 1 inning in an outing.

  4. Ryan says:

    Would you pick up Chris Devenski over Brandon Morrow or Hector Nerris?

    When Greg Holland comes back would you also nab him over any of the above?

    I feel like my RPs are my weakest point on my team right now. Here is my RP roster.

    4 RPs and 6 SPs. Holds and Saves, H2H, yahoo

    Brandon Morrow, Josh Hader, Hector Nerris, Ken Giles.

  5. J.C. Mosier says:

    Can you add a “last week” column, so that we can see dramatic changes?

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