While Robert Stephenson jumps up into the top spot this week, it’s a pitcher he was once traded for that makes the biggest jump into the Top 25 this week. Jeff Hoffman has quietly been the most trustworthy member of the Philadelphia bullpen since the end of June. Over his past 29 IP, Hoffman has a 1.86 ERA (2.47 SIERA), 0.69 WHIP plus 36.7% K and 18.2% SwStr rates as well as an impressive 132 Stuff+. He only has five holds over that span, but two have come in the past two weeks so perhaps he will start to see more chances.
Stephenson still remains on another planet from all other pitchers right now, with a 2.56 ERA (1.95 SIERA) and 0.69 WHIP to go along with just bonkers 28.5% SwStr and 42.4% CSW rates since joining the Rays (31.2 IP). He’s also getting holds now (five in the past two weeks) with Jason Adam out, so it was an easy call to move him into the top spot. It will be interesting to see what Stephenson’s market will be this offseason, and whether or not he can get a chance to close out games next year.
- Matt Brash may or may not be in a closer committee with Andrés Muñoz, but either way, he has been rock solid since the start of July and continues to see plenty of hold chances, leading all of baseball in holds over that span with 15 in fact. Walks are still a bit of an issue, but the swing-and-miss ability will always give him a chance to be a dominant reliever. Right now, he feels like a safer bet than someone like José Alvarado who still doesn’t seem 100% or Bryan Abreu who has just three holds over the past month.
- Ryan Helsley returned to the Cardinals’ bullpen last week and it looks like he is destined to pitch two games, two innings a week moving forward. That’s obviously not great from a fantasy perspective, but if he can factor into at least one save or hold each week, he could still have good value. It’s a long shot, but the upside is worth it in deeper leagues.
- Tyler Rogers since the start of July has been more or less irrelevant in holds leagues with just a 5.55 ERA (4.42 xFIP), 1.27 WHIP and 17.1% K rate. He does have nine holds in that timeframe, which is tied for 16th most in baseball, but also leads the league in blown saves with five over that span. Rogers is tricky to roster because if he isn’t near the top of the holds leaderboard each week, he’s not adding value, making him essentially a reliever Toby.
- Mason Miller will be pitching out of the Athletics bullpen the rest of the season, and while I have no idea if he will get any more holds for them, the strikeout upside of him working multiple innings out of the bullpen makes him worth a look in deep leagues. Having SP eligibility is another plus for those in leagues where that sort of thing matters, but again, I wouldn’t count on any more holds. Just solid ratios and plenty of strikeouts.
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