Even though there’s only about a month left to the fantasy baseball season, if you’re still looking for saves (and who isn’t) new closers continue to emerge. The Padres, Angels, A’s, and Astros all have new relievers who’ve been closing out games recently that are widely available on league waiver wires. We’ll let you know who they are, and as we often do in this column, we’ll identify a couple of under the radar relievers who can sometimes provide better weekly fantasy production than some ordinary starting pitchers. Don’t forget to utilize our Closer Grid throughout the week. It’s a great resource for identifying bullpen closers, handcuffs, and sleepers. 

(The statistics quoted in this article are accurate as of the morning of 8.30.2022)



Fantasy Baseball Weekly MLB Saves Leaders

Eight relievers had two saves last week including:

Adam Ottavino, Mets

With Mets manager Buck Showalter using closer Edwin Díaz in the eighth inning against the heart of his opponents’ batting order on two occasions last week Ottavino was able to pick up two saves. Ottavino remains Diaz’s handcuff and an excellent source for holds (17 on the season).

Daniel Bard, Rockies

Entering Tuesday’s action, Bard was tied for having the fourth most saves (27) in baseball this season. He has a 1.64 ERA in his last 32 appearances dating back to May 18th.

Emmanuel Clase, Guardians

Clase entered Tuesday’s action with 30 saves, the most in baseball. He hasn’t given up a run in 52 of his 57 appearances this season.

Félix Bautista, Orioles

Bautista has seven saves and a 1.32 ERA since taking over as the Orioles’ closer on August 2nd 

Fantasy Baseball Weekly MLB Holds Leaders

Eight relievers had two holds last week including:

John Brebbia, Giants

Brebbia has had a solid season, posting a 6-1 won/loss record, picking up 15 holds, and pitching to a 2.63 ERA. 

José Alvarado, Phillies

Alvarado, who has 21 career saves, has pitched to a 1.50 ERA and struck out 17 batters in his last 12 innings of work, spanning 13 appearances. He has 14 holds on the season.

MLB Bullpens To Take Note Of

Los Angeles Dodgers

According to Bill Plunkett, Dodgers beat writer for the Orange County Register, Craig Kimbrel’s days as the teams’ closer could be numbered. Plunkett told Chris Russo on his Sirius XM radio show on Tuesday that Blake Treinen, who is expected to be reinstated from the IL, Brusdar Graterol and even Dustin May, could be potential replacements for Kimbrel. The Dodgers have plenty of live arms in their bullpen including Evan Phillips, who has a sparkling 1.22 ERA, 16 holds and two saves on the season, and Alex Vesia (14 holds and 1 save). For what it’s worth, Kimbrel was unavailable after throwing 32 pitches on Monday, and Jake Reed picked up his first career save for the Dodgers against the Mets on Tuesday night. 

Los Angeles Angels

Jimmy Herget picked up two saves for the Angels last week and now has four on the season. He has a 0.56 ERA, three saves and a hold since the Angels traded Raisel Iglesias to the Braves. José Quijada has two saves during that time-frame, but Herget has been more effective than Quijada this season and is only rostered in 3% of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues.

Houston Astros

As we warned might happen, Ryan Pressly was placed on the IL due to neck spasms retroactive to August 22nd.  This is an issue that has been bothering Pressly on and off for the past couple of weeks. Rafael Montero picked up two saves since Pressly hit the IL. Should Montero be unavailable Héctor Neris would be next in line for save opportunities. Pressly is expected to be reinstated once he’s eligible to come off the IL, but the fact that this has been a reoccurring issue is a bit concerning.

Oakland A's

With Dany Jiménez’s 2022 season over due to a right shoulder strain and Zach Jackson hitting the IL due to right shoulder inflammation, A.J. Puk is the last man standing. Puk, who is rostered in just 18% of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, will likely get the majority of save chances with Jackson sidelined. Should Puk be unavailable, Domingo AcevedoSam Moll or even Austin Pruitt (he’s back) could be called upon to close out games for the A’s.

San Diego Padres

Padres manager Bob Melvin has confirmed that Nick Martinez is currently his preferred closer and that Josh Hader would continue to work in low-leverage spots for the time being. Entering Tuesday’s action, Martinez hadn’t given up a run in his last 16 innings of work. He saved four games and held another during that time frame. Hader, who gave up six earned runs to the Royals on Sunday, has an 8.82 ERA in his last 16.1 IP.

Middle Relievers Who Should Be On Your Radar in Deep Leagues

With starting pitchers averaging 5.2 innings per start so far this season, in some instances you might get similar, or even better production by using a top middle relief pitcher instead of a mediocre starting pitcher in a given week. The following are examples of two middle relievers who often make multi-inning relief appearances and might have deep league fantasy value based on their recent performance.

Justin Lawrence, Rockies

Lawrence’s overall 4.74 ERA is underwhelming, but in his last four outings spanning 5.2 IP he’s struck out nine batters and pitched to a 1.59 ERA.

Chase De Jong, Pirates

De Jong pitched 5.1 scoreless innings last week, striking out six batters. Overall, De Jong has a 2.01 ERA and 0.95 WHIP on the season.



Fantasy Alarm is the home of expert MLB Fantasy content. We also bring you all of the best online sportsbook free bets & promo codes and fantasy sports bonuses. 

MLB Related Links: