In this week’s article we’ll identify closer options for the Red Sox, a team that has been able to keep winning, despite having a bullpen that hasn’t registered a save in over three weeks. We’ll also take a look at the Mariners and Cardinals bullpens and try to determine which one of their relievers will get the most save opportunities moving forward. We’ll also point out a couple of under the radar relievers who can sometimes provide better 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 6.7.2022)



Weekly Saves Leaders

Eight relievers had two saves last week including:

Paul Sewald, Mariners

Sewald’s two saves last week gave him four on the season. He now leads the Mariners in that category. Diego Castillo chimed in with a save of his own last week and Andrés Muñoz remains a high leverage late inning option for the Mariners as well. With Drew Steckenrider’s demotion to Triple-A, look for Sewald to continue to get the majority of save opportunities for the M's.  Castillo should also continue to get save opportunities when Sewald is unavailable, but with Ken Giles and Erik Swanson nearing completion of their rehab assignments the Mariners’ already very fluid bullpen situation could eventually get even more difficult to figure out. 

Weekly Holds Leaders

Chris Stratton, Pirates, 3

Stratton entered the 2022 season as the Pirates’ expected co-closer, however with David Bednar emerging as one of the best closers in the game Stratton has settled into a setup man role. Over the past week Stratton pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, and he struck out five batters while walking none. He picked up a win last week in addition to his three holds. Stratton now has seven holds on the season.

Dennis Santana, Rangers, 2

Santana picked up his eighth and ninth holds of the season last week. He hasn’t given up a run in his last 10 appearances and he has an overall 1.40 ERA and 0.621 on the season. His nine holds tie him for the fifth most in baseball.

Nine additional pitchers had two holds last week.

Bullpens To Take Note Of

St. Louis Cardinals


Fantasy managers rostering Ryan Helsley hoped that Giovanny Gallegos May 31st eighth inning meltdown that saw him blow a 2-0 lead against the Padres (1IP, 2H, 2R, 1HR) would catapult Helsley to the top of the pecking order in the Cardinals bullpen. However, since that game the Cardinals bullpen has registered two saves. Nick Wittgren got one and Zack Thompson got the other. With Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol managing his bullpen based on best matchups, it might not be the last time that a reliever like Wittgren or Thompson gets a chance to pick up their first save of the season. Gallegos (8 saves on the season) and Helsley (3 saves) remain the two Cardinals relievers to roster if you’re looking for saves. Marmol did use Gallegos in the eighth inning and Helsley in the ninth inning on Tuesday night but based on his bullpen management strategy, they’re likely to split the majority of save opportunities moving forward. How many opportunities they get depends on matchups and game situations, but both could potentially provide fantasy managers with lower double digit save totals moving forward. 

Boston Red Sox


The Red Sox don’t have a closer and they really haven’t needed one lately. Heading into Tuesday night’s action the Red Sox had won 14 of their last 19 games but their bullpen only recorded one save during that span. That one save belonged to Matt Barnes. In a perfect world Bosox manager Alex Cora hoped that Barnes would be his go to reliever in the 9th inning this season. However, since recording that save, he’s pitched 3.1 innings, walked six batters, and compiled a 13.50 ERA.  He’s currently on the IL due to right shoulder inflammation. Hansel Robles (2 saves, 2.65 ERA) has been on the IL (back) since May 25th and if all goes well with his rehab assignment, he’ll likely rejoin the teams by the end of this week. Once Robles is activated, he should take over as the Red Sox’s closer (if they ever really need one) but John Schreiber is another Bosox reliever to keep your eye on. He has one save and six holds on the season to go along with his sparkling 1.17 ERA and 0.717 WHIP, and Cora has been using him in the seventh and eighth innings lately. Schreiber held two games last week.

Middle Relievers Who Should Be On Your Radar in Deep Leagues

With starting pitchers averaging 5.1 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 middle relievers who often make multi-inning relief appearances and might have deep league fantasy value based on their recent performance.


Jalen Beeks, Rays

After missing the entire 2021 season while recovering from TJ surgery Beeks is having one of the best seasons of his career. Heading into Tuesday’s action Beeks has a 1.48 ERA, a 0.904 WHIP and an 11.1 K/9. Twelve of his 14 relief appearances have been multi-inning efforts. He pitched 3.1 innings last week and while he did give up a run, Beeks struck out eight batters and walked just one. 



Collin McHugh, Braves

The Braves have been increasingly turning to McHugh in high leverage situations in the seventh and eighth innings lately and that has helped him log five holds on the season. Last week McHugh pitched 4.2 scoreless innings across three appearances. He held one game while striking out six batters and walking none. 




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