Top 125 Relievers for SV+HD Leagues in 2019

Leagues the score both saves and holds grow more prominent each year. This list covers the best relievers for that scoring option.

Following our saves and holds preview articles, today we combine the two to get the top relief pitchers for SV+HD leagues. While opportunity is certainly taken into consideration, it’s typically hard to gauge because bullpen usage is so fluid throughout the season for most teams. The bulk of the rankings are derived from swing-and-miss ability, expected outcome stats (FIP, SIERA, xwOBA, etc.), and a little bit of HOTEL mixed in. Also, keep in mind that holds are much more volatile and harder to predict. We’ve only seen eight seasons from a pitcher with more than 30 holds since 2016, while 38 closers have gone over 30 saves in that same time frame.


The Rankings


Rank Player Team
1. Edwin Diaz New York Mets
2. Josh Hader Milwaukee Brewers
3. Kenley Jansen Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Blake Treinen Oakland Athletics
5. Aroldis Chapman New York Yankees
6. Craig Kimbrel Free Agent
7. Sean Doolittle Washington Nationals
8. Will Smith San Francisco Giants
9. Kirby Yates San Diego Padres
10. Jose Leclerc Texas Rangers
11. A.J. Minter Atlanta Braves
12. Roberto Osuna Houston Astros
13. Dellin Betances New York Yankees
14. Felipe Vazquez Pittsburgh Pirates
15. Ryan Pressly Houston Astros
16. Brad Hand Cleveland Indians
17. Corey Knebel Milwaukee Brewers
18. Seranthony Dominguez Philadelphia Phillies
19. Jose Alvarado Tampa Bay Rays
20. Andrew Miller St. Louis Cardinals
21. Ken Giles Toronto Blue Jays
22. Raisel Iglesias Cincinnati Reds
23. Wade Davis Colorado Rockies
24. Matt Barnes Boston Red Sox
25. David Robertson Philadelphia Phillies
26. Jeurys Familia New York Mets
27. Joakim Soria Oakland Athletics
28. Joe Jimenez Detroit Tigers
29. Trevor May Minnesota Twins
30. Jose Castillo San Diego Padres
31. Cody Allen Los Angeles Angels
32. Jeremy Jeffress Milwaukee Brewers
33. Taylor Rogers Minnesota Twins
34. Keone Kela Pittsburgh Pirates
35. Jace Fry Chicago White Sox
36. Mychal Givens Baltimore Orioles
37 Arodys Vizcaino Atlanta Braves
38. Archie Bradley Arizona Diamondbacks
39. Jordan Hicks St. Louis Cardinals
40. Pedro Strop Chicago Cubs
41. Seung Hwan Oh Colorado Rockies
42. Adam Ottavino New York Yankees
43. Ryan Brasier Boston Red Sox
44. Ty Buttrey Los Angeles Angels
45. Alex Colome Chicago White Sox
46. Craig Stammen San Diego Padres
47. Diego Castillo Tampa Bay Rays
48. Tony Watson San Francisco Giants
49. Trevor Rosenthal Washington Nationals
50. Carl Edwards Jr. Chicago Cubs
51. Hector Neris Philadelphia Phillies
52. Richard Rodriguez Pittsburgh Pirates
53. Oliver Perez Cleveland Indians
54. Sergio Romo Miami Marlins
55. Drew Steckenrider Miami Marlins
56. Kelvin Herrera Chicago White Sox
57. Greg Holland Arizona Diamondbacks
58. Brad Boxberger Kansas City Royals
59. Blake Parker Minnesota Twins
60. Darren O’Day Atlanta Braves
61. Zach Britton New York Yankees
62. Hector Rondon Houston Astros
63. Tony Cingrani Los Angeles Dodgers
64. Dan Winkler Atlanta Braves
65. Will Harris Houston Astros
66. Chad Green New York Yankees
67. Chris Devenski Houston Astros
68. Pedro Baez Los Angeles Dodgers
69. Shane Greene Detroit Tigers
70. Scott Oberg Colorado Rockies
71. Victor Arano Philadelphia Phillies
72. David Hernandez Cincinnati Reds
73. Reyes Moronta San Francisco Giants
74. Lou Trivino Oakland Athletics
75. Yoshihisa Hirano Arizona Diamondbacks
76. Ryan Tepera Toronto Blue Jays
77. Seth Lugo New York Mets
78. Jesse Chavez Texas Rangers
79. Adam Conley Miami Marlins
80. Tanner Scott Baltimore Orioles
81. Brandon Morrow Chicago Cubs
82. Mark Melancon San Francisco Giants
83. Amir Garrett Cincinnati Reds
84. Justin Anderson Los Angeles Angels
85. Jared Hughes Cincinnati Reds
86. Dominic Leone St. Louis Cardinals
87. Chaz Roe Tampa Bay Rays
88. Hunter Strickland Seattle Mariners
89. Steve Cishek Chicago Cubs
90. Joe Kelly Los Angeles Dodgers
91. Ryne Stanek Tampa Bay Rays
92. Kyle Crick Pittsburgh Pirates
93. Phil Maton San Diego Padres
94. Juan Nicasio Philadelphia Phillies
95. Brad Brach Chicago Cubs
96. Anthony Swarzak Seattle Mariners
97. Tyler Olson Cleveland Indians
98. Ryan Buchter Oakland Athletics
99. Sam Dyson San Francisco Giants
100. Shawn Kelley Texas Rangers
101. John Brebbia St. Louis Cardinals
102. Trevor Hildenberger Minnesota Twins
103. Nate Jones Chicago White Sox
104. Pat Neshek Philadelphia Phillies
105. Fernando Rodney Oakland Athletics
106. Kyle Barraclough Washington Nationals
107. Tayron Guerrero Miami Marlins
108. Robert Gsellman New York Mets
109. Tommy Hunter Philadelphia Phillies
110. Justin Miller Washington Nationals
111. Cam Bedrosian Los Angeles Angels
112. Addison Reed Minnesota Twins
113. Ray Black San Francisco Giants
114. Tim Mayza Toronto Blue Jays
115. Andrew Chafin Arizona Diamondbacks
116. Paul Fry Baltimore Orioles
117. Neil Ramirez Cleveland Indians
118. Dylan Floro Los Angeles Dodgers
119. Robert Stock San Diego Padres
120. Drew VerHagen Detroit Tigers
121. Taylor Cole Los Angeles Angels
122. Heath Hembree Boston Red Sox
123. Adam Cimber Cleveland Indians
124. Luis Garcia Philadelphia Phillies
125. Nick Vincent San Francisco Giants




The top 80 have been covered, so let’s jump right into No. 80 and Brandon Morrow. Easily a top-40 talent, health has always been his downfall, and he is now rehabbing from arthroscopic elbow surgery. He will miss at least a month, probably closer to two, and will have to contend with Pedro Strop among other capable relievers in that bullpen once he returns. I’m not an advocate of holding onto relievers with long-term injuries unless they are guaranteed their jobs back and/or are truly special talents. He’s only worth a draft pick if you have injured list spots, and even still, it could very well end up a wasted pick.

Tanner Scott and Justin Anderson are both intriguing because of their incredible ability to get swings and misses. Scott posted a 16.7% swinging-strike rate, good for 10th among relievers, while Anderson had a 37.19 whiff rate, good for ninth. Why are they so low, then, you ask? Both had tendencies to walk the yard, with Scott holding a 4.73 BB/9 with Anderson at a dismal 6.51%. If they can shore up some of the command issues, both have the stuff to move quickly way up the rankings.

It’s unfortunate for fantasy purposes Ryne Stanek made 29 “starts” this past year as his stuff plays great as a prototypical late-inning reliever. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rays attack the whole “opener” role this season, but keep on eye on Stanek if he winds up in a more conventional role this year.

The 20-player gap between 94 and 113 features plenty of names who were at the top of these lists not all that long ago. Despite an ERA of 6.00 this past year and lodged in a deep Philly bullpen, Juan Nicasio could still be a big contributor this season. A ridiculously high .402 BABIP explains a lot as to why things went wrong last year as he still had an impressive 26.2% K/BB rate.

Although I’m not sure exactly where he fits into the Angels 25-man roster, keep an eye on Taylor Cole. A 34.48% whiff rate and 20% K/BB over his first 36 MLB innings have me intrigued. He’s already 29 and missed all of 2017 recovering from injury, but there’s some ability here if he can earn a consistent role at the end of games.

(Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire)

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.

4 responses to “Top 125 Relievers for SV+HD Leagues in 2019”

  1. Jonathan says:

    These relieved lists are great, thanks! Small note: I keep seeing K/BB listed as a percentage, but it should simply be the quotient of Ks divided by walks. I think the percent being listed is actually referring to K%-BB%.

  2. Joe says:

    Can I ask why you have Minter ranked so highly? His ratios don’t seem as elite as a lot of the other reliever options.

  3. Kevin says:

    would by any chance… Fernando Romero be on this list….now that the Twins said they would use him out of the pen?

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