We are now post the non-waiver MLB deadline and with that, I decided to revamp these reliever rankings a bit for the rest of the season. This formula is roughly 40% fantasy value to this point, 40% peripheral numbers (FIP, xFIP, SwStr%, etc.) and 20% opportunity. There are some major changes this week due to this, so I’ll be looking forward to receiving some feedback on the current list.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
4. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)
- When running through all the data, I never expected to come up with these 3 as the legitimate consensus top 3 non closer relievers in baseball this season. Mychal Givens has been about as consistent as they come, posting a sub 2 ERA and sub 1 WHIP for the year, to go along with 17 holds and 1+ K per inning. Ryan Madson has continued his 8th inning dominance since moving to Washington, and has posted numbers similar to Givens on the year so far. Pat Neshek may have been the biggest under the radar type move from the past week, and should slot in as the team’s top set-up option.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
7. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)
8. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)
- lt’s been a rough month for Chris Devenski, seeing an ERA in the sixes. He, as well as Dellin Betances, have seen a decrease in SwStr% over the past month, which makes it tough to think the struggles are just a fluke. It’s fair to wonder if hitters have caught on to some of Devenski’s tendencies, are maybe he simply just wasn’t as sharp. Either way, he is fading away from being that truly elite difference maker he was at the beginning of the season for owners.
- Stepping into that dominate, difference maker role could be Kirby Yates. He has been an absolute force lately, and locked into a clear setup role only helps his fantasy value. He is 2nd on this list in SwStr% on the year which makes it crazy to believe he was on waivers to begin the season. If he is still available in your league that counts holds, go pick him up ASAP.
TIER 3: Torn
22. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals)
- Brandon Morrow has been a nice story this year for a Dodgers team that apparently can do no wrong. After pitching a total of 82 innings since 2014, the veteran righty has posted sparkling numbers in 22 innings this season and has earned a role as the bridge to Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen in that bullpen. Only Pat Neshek has missed more bats over the past 30 days, while Morrow’s FIP and xFIP in that time also rank him in the top 10 on this list.
- I admittedly haven’t been giving Tommy Hunter enough love in the past few weeks. The Tampa set-up man still see’s his ERA under 2 and WHIP under 1. His FIP gives me reason to think that he can keep those numbers in that area, but he ranks in the bottom of the pack for SwStr% so he’ll need to keep luck on his side as well.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
33. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres)
38. Steve Cishek (Tampa Bay Rays)
39. David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks)
40. Neftali Feliz (Kansas City Royals)
43. Seung Hwan-Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)
- Chad Green actually came up as a top 10 RP right now in my rankings, that is if you take away opportunity. That bullpen is just stacked (Adam Warren was in the top 30 as well) and I still think you can get fantasy value from 4-5 guys there.
- David Hernandez finds himself back in Arizona, and should serve in some set-up capacity, whether it be in the 7th inning or 8th. None of his numbers stand out particularly, but he has been able to keep his ratios low (2.23, 1.02) while striking out a batter an inning.
TIER 5: There She Goes
51. Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays)
54. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)
55. Cody Gearrin (San Francisco Giants)
56. Tony Watson (Los Angeles Dodgers)
58. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels)
59. Joe Smith (Cleveland Indians)
63. Louis Garcia (Philadelphia Phillies)
68. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
69. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
70. Joe Jimenez (Detroit Tigers)
- I wanted to add Joe Jimenez to the back-end of this list (again) so I could mention (again) that he is in a position to move up the Tigers bullpen depth chart (again) and could wind up in a 8th or 9th inning role. I believe this time it is for real, as neither Alex Wilson or Bruce Rondon have proved to be the least bit trustworthy. Once again, he is an interesting stash for deep, keeper or dynasty leagues.
Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues
3. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)
13. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)
22. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)
23. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)
32. Shane Green (Detroit Tigers)
44. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)
46. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals)