Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 7/9

Rick Graham updates his top 100 relief pitchers for SV+HD leagues.

One of the more surprising All-Star selections this past weekend was Gregory Soto as he was chosen to be the Tigers’ lone representative. You can certainly make a case for him being an All-Star, there were just more deserving pitchers that didn’t get the initial invite. As far as Soto’s fantasy value goes for the remainder of the season, I do have my concerns for the second half given his track record. He broke down over the second half of last year, albeit a shortened season, and his high walk rate (13.8%) is sure to create some inconsistencies. The Tigers have performed better than many thought they would this season, but will that be sustained in the second half, at least enough so to allow Soto a chance at adding a save or hold every week? A SIERA and xFIP over four suggest some rough times may be ahead as well, and there isn’t exactly elite strikeout upside to chase here (14.5% K-BB rate ranks 96/170 qualified relievers).




  • Ryan Tepera is expected to come off the IL today after missing a little over a week with a calf injury. He had struggled over his last four outings, so the IL trip was likely more maintenance-related than a legitimate injury concern (Scott Barlow needs this). Assuming the time off and rest gets him back on track, he slots right back in as one of the best setup men in baseball. As I’ve also noted with teammate Craig Kimbrel, Tepera hasn’t thrown more than 22 innings in a season over the past two years, so hopefully, he’s able to hold up through the second half.
  • Also returning from the IL this week is Daniel Hudson, who was having a great season before being shut down. Hudson worked a scoreless inning yesterday, his first game action in a month, and should immediately be the Nationals’ top setup option. About a month ago I had also pegged the Nationals as potential sellers, but it looks like they will be in the playoff hunt, so expect Hudson and Brad Hand to remain in Washington.


  • Ranger Suárez continues to act as the Phillies closer, but the big question that remains is whether or not that could become a permanent role for him. The Phils are in a kind of limbo right now when it comes to whether or not they should buy or sell at the deadline, but if they are to buy (they should), expect a reliever with closing experience to be at the top of the list. That wouldn’t change Suárez’s place on this list too much, as he should remain in a high leverage role unless they were to add three relievers at the deadline.
  • Zack Britton is tentatively expected to return from his latest IL stint this weekend, as he appears to be over the hamstring issue that sidelined him for the past two weeks. He had only thrown 4.1 innings this season up until the injury, as he had already missed a large chunk of the year after needing a bone spur removed from his elbow. Those 4.1 innings weren’t great, as Brittons velocity was down over two MPH from last season and his slider wasn’t the same swing and miss pitch it’s been in the past. Perhaps with this extra time off to not just heal his hamstring, but his elbow as well, he will come back stronger than before.


  • Heath Hembree still looks like the leader in the Reds closer by committee, but that could change by the end of the month. I don’t see the Reds going out and trading for a reliever, but with Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone both due back by early August, I could see one of them taking the job back. Which one remains to be seen, but if both relievers are back around the same time, I’d give Sims the edge over Antone.
  • Jose Cisnero, Raisel Iglesias, Ryan Pressly, Tyler Rogers, Ryne Stanek, and Josh Osich all had three SV+HLD’s this past week. It’s only been nine innings for Osich in 2021, but they have been quality innings so far and he’ll get some consideration next week. This makes it back-to-back weeks for Iglesias on the list, and while he continues to allow way too many HR’s (26.5% HR/FB, 2.01 HR/9), he remains one of my favorite reliever options to have a strong second half as the HR rates should come down.
Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Craig Kimbrel
4Ryan Pressly-
5Edwin Diaz-
6Matt Barnes+1
7Kenley Jansen+1
8Raisel Iglesias+1
9Alex Reyes+2
10Aroldis Chapman-4
11Jordan Romano
12Will Smith+1
13Diego Castillo+1
14Giovanny Gallegos-2
15Chad Green+4
16James Karinchak-1
17Taylor Rogers+10
18Kendall Graveman-2
19Scott Barlow-1
20Blake Treinen-
21Jake McGee
22Seth Lugo-1
23Emmanuel Clase-6
24Devin Williams-1
25Drew Pomeranz-3
26Jake Diekman+2
27Mark Melancon-3
28Brad Hand-3
29Andrew Chafin+1
30Ryan Tepera+UR
31Michael Kopech-
32Jimmy Nelson+4
33Adam Ottavino-
34Anthony Bender+28
35Collin McHugh+15
36Trevor May-2
37J.P. Feyereisen-8
38Daniel Hudson+UR
39Austin Adams
40Jonathan Loáisiga-2
41Lou Trivino-1
42Tyler Rogers-
43Garrett Whitlock+4
44Chris Martin+7
45Ian Kennedy-1
46Ranger Suárez+48
47Aaron Loup+2
48Emilio Pagán-7
49Daniel Bard-6
50Richard Rodríguez-4
51Paul Sewald+UR
52Josh Taylor+40
53Gregory Soto-14
54Zack Britton+UR
55Tanner Scott-7
56Yimi García-11
57José Alvarado-20
58Richard Bleier+UR
59Pete Fairbanks
60Ryne Stanek-3
61Mike Mayers-5
62Heath Hembree+UR
63Brad Boxberger-8
64Dylan Floro-10
65Jeffrey Springs-1
66Pierce Johnson-1
67Kyle Zimmer-
68Joely Rodríguez+4
69Cristian Javier+5
70Craig Stammen+1
71Yusmeiro Petit-3
72Garrett Crochet-11
73Matt Wisler+2
74David Bednar+4
75Jake Cousins+1
76Connor Brogdon+4
77Codi Heuer+21
78Art Warren+UR
79Andrew Kittredge+5
80Tyler Duffey
81Cole Sulser+1
82Paul Fry-22
83Tim Mayza+16
84Sam Howard+UR
85Josh Staumont-22
86A.J. Minter-17
87Miguel Castro-29
88Hansel Robles-22
89Hector Neris-30
90José Cisnero+6
91Brad Brach+6
92Brooks Raley-3
93Joakim Soria+UR
94Nick Sandlin+6
95Joe Kelly+UR
96Josh Sborz-26
97Rex Brothers-2
98Bryan Shaw+UR
99Drew Steckenrider+UR
100Tim Hill-12


Injured List



Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

2 responses to “Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 7/9”

  1. J says:

    with Barlow looking shaky for multiple innings, would you drop him for the likes of Hembree, Sewald, Diekman, or Josh Taylor (in a SV+HLD league)??

    • Rick Graham says:

      I don’t think I would yet. Barlows been overworked and probably needs a week off from pitching which hopefully he can get with the All-Star break coming up

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