Welcome back to the latest edition of our Reliever Ranks series! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for an excellent tool for those looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
Transaction and Schedule Notes
- Friday held only a 14-game schedule, as the Athletics and Giants will kick off their mini-series today. The rest of the league remains in action, so we’ll have a full slate. The Astros and Yankees get things going with a 1:05 EST start.
- A trade-deadline acquisition, Ryan Yarbrough, was activated by the Dodgers
- The Pirates recalled Andre Jackson to replace the injured Dauri Moreta.
- The Royals placed Taylor Clarke on the IL, recalling James McArthur from AAA.
Bullpen to Stream
- Keep an eye on the Red Sox pen for streaming opportunities this weekend, especially if you’re looking for win vultures. Chris Murphy and Nick Pivetta are both expected to pitch bulk innings behind an opener on Saturday and Sunday. While the Blue Jays are a tough draw, both Murphy and Pivetta have been excellent lately – if they’re on, you can expect strong ratios to go along with a good shot a W.
TOR 7 – BOS 3
- Hicks secured his first save with his new club, silencing the Red Sox bats for the final four outs while striking out one. Tim Mayza picked up a hold in a scoreless inning of his own. For the time being, Hicks should have a strong hold on a portion of the save opportunities, but don’t expect it to be absolute – Erik Swanson converted his own chance on Tuesday. Of course, Hicks’ relevance in saves leagues is conditional on closer Jordan Romano’s health. He’s been out for a week with back inflammation, and it’s unclear whether he can return when first eligible (the 13th). Once he’s back, expect to find Hicks used mostly in a high-leverage role.
- The Red Sox were behind from the start; they used their lower-impact arms (Mauricio Llovera, Joe Jacques, and Richard Bleier) to get through the final four innings.
KC 7 – PHI 5
- After the rest of the Royals’ pen contributed three holds, Austin Cox closed out the win for his first save of the season. A rookie, Cox has had a productive year; he’s pitched to a 3.58 ERA over 27 innings, giving up a single home run and limiting opposing hitters to a .195 AVG. The usage here is a little intriguing – as the team leader in games and holds, Hernández would’ve been the favorite to get the SVO here. However, he was used in the 7th – it was a one-run game at the time and he faced the middle of the order, so it’s understandable. But Cox ultimately faced the same hitters in the bottom of the 9th, so he’s clearly in the circle of trust. Fantasy-wise, this isn’t that exciting; save opportunities aren’t likely to be plentiful over the season’s final two months in Kansas City, and the Royals have been handing out late innings to wide group of relievers. However, this team has been hot of late – if the bullpen usage clarifies, any of Hernandez, Wittgren, or Cox could be useful in a pinch.
- Yunior Marte, Jeff Hoffman, and Dylan Covey pitched for the Phils in the losing effort.
SEA 9 – LAA 7
- Brash secured his second save of the season, striking out two in a scoreless inning around two baserunners. Justin Topa got the win and Saucedo a hold for their own scoreless performances. There’s been much speculation over who would benefit the most from Paul Sewald‘s departure from the Seattle bullpen. In my opinion, the closer job remains Andrés Muñoz’s to lose. He received and converted save opportunities on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and a rest day after pitching in back-to-back games and three of the last four was all but guaranteed.
- The Angels needed five arms after a short start, so look for Jaime Barría for a multi-inning performance this weekend to take the pressure off. Newcomer Reynaldo López gave up the go-ahead run in the 8th to take the loss.
The best of the rest…
- Despite the mostly-full slate, there was surprisingly little to be interested in on the bullpen front thanks to some starters getting hit hard.
- Some big-name arms pitched well, as Emmanuel Clase locked up his 29th save, Jhoan Duran his 20th, and Evan Phillips his 14th. Phillips allowed a run en route to his save.
- The Padres pen had a tough game, as newly-added stabilizers Robert Suarez (recently returned from the IL) and Scott Barlow (arriving via trade) combined to give up eight runs in just four outs.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)