The Hold Up 7/6: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week

A tough week for relievers, with most of Tier 2 hitting a rough patch at some point, with the biggest being Dellin Betances. All the while, Andrew Miller and Chris...

A tough week for relievers, with most of Tier 2 hitting a rough patch at some point, with the biggest being Dellin Betances. All the while, Andrew Miller and Chris Devenski continue to be pretty dominant basically every week. As far as the future closer watch goes, I still like Arodys Vizcaino (when healthy) and Tommy Kahnle as the two most likely options, although Brad Hand certainly deserves a longer chance in San Diego, assuming he isn’t dealt at the deadline.

TIER 1: Good Vibrations

1. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

2. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

  • The move up to tier one for Chris Devenski probably feels long overdue, as he keeps putting together top 5-10 RP weeks on a consistent basis. His usage, which is similar to Andrew Miller’s typical role, also keeps him in the mix for a win or two a week, which can be a huge boost for fantasy owners.

TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You 

3. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

4. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

5. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

6.  Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles

7. Will Harris (Houston Astros

8. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

9. Tommy Kahnle (Chicago White Sox

10. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

11. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

12. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics)

13. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

14. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

15. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

  • Dellin Betances doesn’t seem to be right at the moment and has not pitched like his normal self for 2 weeks now. Since June 22nd, the numbers are just ugly. Over 4.2 innings, he has issued 12 walks to go along with 5 hits while allowing 9 earned runs. There is clearly some major issue going on here, whether it is injury related or a mechanical problem, he can’t be counted on as a top-tier RP right now.
  • All Taylor Rogers does is accumulate holds. Despite the less than stellar K/9 number, he has done a masterful job limiting runs, and for the most part, baserunners in general. His xFIP, FIP, SwStr% numbers suggest regression is all but certain, but for the time being, there aren’t too many trustworthy options.

TIER 3: Torn

16. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)

17. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

18. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

19. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

20. Pat Neshek (Philadelphia Phillies)  

21. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

22. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs

23. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)

24. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)  

25. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates

26. Brett Cecil (St. Louis Cardinals) 

27. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)

28. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

29. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

30. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

  • Brad Boxberger finally return after a longer than expected DL stint due to both lat and forearm injuries and figure to slot into a setup role early on. With Alex Colome falling apart lately, there’s a chance here for Boxberger to earn his job back Colome. He struggled last year with injuries and ineffectiveness, but was awesome in 2014 and half of 2015. Even if he just reverts back to his 2015 self, he should be useful in most leagues that count holds.
  • After a couple of brutal early season outings, Brett Cecil has put together a nice little string of performances. He has been one of if not the most consistent contributor for that Cardinals bullpen that is in need of sorting out there late inning options as soon as possible. He may not get a chance to close out games, but he should continue to see plenty of hold chances.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

31. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies

32. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)  

33. Koji Uehara (Chicago Cubs)

34. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

35. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

36. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers

37. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)   

38. Anthony Swarzak (Chicago White Sox)

39. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals

40. Joaquin Benoit (Philadelphia Phillies

41. Joe Kelly (Boston Red Sox)

42. Danny Barnes (Toronto Blue Jays)  

43. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)  

44. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

45. Tyler Clippard (New York Yankees)

46.  George Kontos (San Francisco Giants

47. Michael Feliz (Houston Astros)

48Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)

49. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves

50. James Pazos (Seattle Mariners)

  • Matt Bowman could be the other option for Cardinals most consistent reliever lately. He came in and cleaned up Trevor Rosenthal’s mess this past weekend, earning his first career save. While Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh seem to be locked in a committee right now, Bowman’s role is certainly trending in the right direction for him to have fantasy value.
  • Anthony Swarzak had a monster week, picking up a win, 2 holds and 9 K’s in 4 games, while only allowing 2 hits (0 BB’s). If David Robertson does get traded, the White Sox seem to be in good shape going forward regarding their late inning bullpen options.

TIER 5: There She Goes 

51. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays

52. Chase Whitley (Tampa Bay Rays

53. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers

54. Daniel Hudson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

55. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres

56. Paul Sewald (New York Mets)

57. Andrew Chafin (Arizona Diamondbacks

58. Mike Dunn (Colorado Rockies

59. Blake Treinen (Washington Nationals)

60. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds)

61. Bruce Rondon (Detroit Tigers)

62. Grant Dayton (Los Angeles Dodgers)

63. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

64. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

65. Chad Green (New York Yankees)

66. Heath Hembree (Boston Red Sox)

67. Neftali Feliz (Kansas City Royals)

68. Tyler Lyons (St. Louis Cardinals)

69. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)

70. Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays)

  • Chad Green is another nice upside arm in the Yankees system, who could see himself moving up the Yankees bullpen ladder quicker than expected. Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard and to a lesser degree, Aroldis Chapman have all been on the struggle bus lately, while Green has been stellar. He is certainly worth watching in deeper leagues, regardless of what his future role may be.


Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

3. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

4. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

5. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

6. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

7. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

8. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

9. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)

10. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers

11. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

12. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)

13. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

14. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles

15. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

16. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)

17. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

18. Will Harris (Houston Astros

19. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

20. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

21. Tommy Kahnle (Chicago White Sox

22. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

23. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

24. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

25. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

26. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

27. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics)

28. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

29. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox)

30. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

31. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

32. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

33. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

34. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)

35. Bud Norris (Los Angeles Angels

36. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

37. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

38. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

39. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

40. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)

41. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

42. Pat Neshek (Philadelphia Phillies)  

43. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)

44. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

45. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)

46. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs

47. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins)

48. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)

49. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

50. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)

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 “The Hold Up 7/6: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week”

  1. Brad Hand over Will Harris?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Statistically speaking, they are about the same, with Hand actually getting a slight edge in value this far due to usage + K’s. I also like the fact that he could either A. be traded into a better situation (more HD+SV chances) or B. move into the closers role at some point in SD.

  2. The Kraken says:

    It seems like Hector Rondon is being used in lower leverage situations lately. Also, how close is Enny Romero to getting a shot at saves in WAS? His stats are not great, but most of that damage came really early in the season.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Outside of Edwards Jr. and Davis, that Cubs bullpen has been pretty unpredictable for most of the year. I still like what Rondon offers over Uehara and Strop.

      I have Romero and Albers as co-closers in Washington, which is why neither is on the list. Romero probably has been their best RP this season, and has the stuff to be a closer, atleast untill the team trades for one.

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