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Rest-of-Season Relief Pitcher Rankings (Midseason Update)


The trade deadline approaches and bullpen speculation is running rampant, with the battle for saves likely deciding which spot on the podium you'll stand on. We here at RotoBaller want to give you the inside track for a successful second half with a Rest-of-Season update of our mixed rankings analysis. RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Bill Dubiel and Scott Engel want you to crush the competition and know that rankings can't end on draft day. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the latest and greatest ranks at any time.

Only three RP-eligible players are within the top-50 on Yahoo's 5x5 standard scoring system, but then things really open up. Of course, the relief pool goes well beyond closers that accrue saves. I realize innings and roster spots are precious, but Scott Oberg and Ryan Pressly are top-100 players too. Keep an open mind and let's talk bullpens.

Without any more delay, let's break down the 2019 relief pitcher rest-of-season rankings for July.

Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Offer expires Thursday night! Sign Up Now!

 

Relief Pitcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (July)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill
1 1 Kirby Yates RP 52 59 55
2 1 Aroldis Chapman RP 62 46 66
3 1 Josh Hader RP 47 45 83
4 1 Kenley Jansen RP 66 48 70
5 1 Edwin Diaz RP 90 49 72
6 1 Brad Hand RP 80 47 86
7 2 Felipe Vazquez RP 97 53 100
8 2 Roberto Osuna RP 96 58 99
9 2 Craig Kimbrel RP 92 60 112
10 2 Sean Doolittle RP 99 87 105
11 3 Ken Giles RP 119 106 121
12 3 Will Smith RP 173 65 175
13 3 Hector Neris RP 149 115 150
14 4 Shane Greene RP 183 92 185
15 4 Liam Hendriks RP 196 110 176
16 4 Raisel Iglesias RP 220 67 222
17 4 Alex Colome RP 206 117 209
18 4 Luke Jackson RP 176 138 223
19 4 Wade Davis RP 234 116 196
20 4 Greg Holland RP 218 131 220
21 4 Taylor Rogers RP 203 164 207
22 4 Hansel Robles RP 223 133 224
23 4 Jose Leclerc RP 221 149 221
24 4 Blake Treinen RP 174 150 271
25 5 Matt Barnes RP 224 204 226
26 5 Carlos Martinez SP/RP 228 272 200
27 5 Ryan Pressly RP 231 257 233
28 5 Emilio Pagan RP 245 245 245
29 5 Hunter Strickland RP 377 172 385
30 5 Blake Parker RP 299 203 298
31 5 Roenis Elias RP 301 207 304
32 5 Diego Castillo RP/SP 269 301 243
33 5 Brad Peacock RP/SP 294 256 266
34 5 Jeremy Jeffress RP 311 210 305
35 5 Reyes Moronta RP 328 163 351
36 5 Mychal Givens RP 355 142 358
37 6 Michael Lorenzen RP 327 209 335
38 6 Shawn Kelley RP 239 274 363
39 6 A.J. Minter RP 296 269 312
40 6 Nick Anderson RP 349 #N/A 238
41 6 Ty Buttrey RP 344 205 348
42 6 Pedro Strop RP 345 208 350
43 6 Adam Ottavino RP 305 293 309
44 6 Joe Biagini SP/RP #N/A 305 #N/A
45 6 Joe Jimenez RP 366 175 375
46 6 Andrew Miller RP 360 198 364
47 6 Zack Britton RP 353 236 356
48 6 Ryan Brasier RP 341 268 346
49 7 Lou Trivino RP 363 278 369
50 7 Jose Alvarado RP 207 310 211
51 7 Chris Martin RP 376 266 384
52 7 Matt Strahm RP/SP 350 350 350
53 7 Brandon Workman RP 362 352 368
54 7 Sergio Romo RP 401 292 410
55 7 David Robertson RP 364 404 371
56 7 Adam Conley SP/RP 385 #N/A 381
57 7 Sam Dyson RP 428 306 437
58 7 Mark Melancon RP 347 465 365
59 7 Seranthony Dominguez RP 391 #N/A 399
60 7 Marcus Walden RP 383 419 392
61 7 Kelvin Herrera RP 370 452 374
62 7 Dellin Betances RP 365 476 373
63 7 Cody Allen RP #N/A 405 #N/A
64 7 Brandon Morrow RP 386 447 382
65 7 Seth Lugo SP/RP 403 #N/A 412
66 7 Anthony Swarzak RP 368 484 377
67 7 Yusmeiro Petit RP #N/A 411 #N/A
68 7 Alex Reyes SP/RP 420 402 427
69 7 Brandon Kintzler RP #N/A 421 #N/A
70 7 Archie Bradley RP 498 265 502
71 7 Steve Cishek RP 423 416 431
72 7 Elieser Hernandez SP/RP 369 526 378
73 7 Kyle Crick RP 424 #N/A 433
74 7 Keone Kela RP #N/A 500 372
75 7 Sam Gaviglio SP/RP 480 425 407
76 7 Trevor May RP #N/A 439 #N/A
77 8 Yoshihisa Hirano RP 439 429 453
78 8 Brad Boxberger RP #N/A 441 #N/A
79 8 Trevor Rosenthal RP #N/A #N/A 442
80 8 Corbin Burnes SP/RP 426 475 429
81 8 Carl Edwards Jr. RP 437 #N/A 451
82 8 Craig Stammen RP 444 #N/A 459
83 8 Drew Steckenrider RP #N/A 453 #N/A
84 8 Anthony Bass RP #N/A #N/A 454
85 8 Nick Goody RP 448 #N/A 463
86 8 Jared Hughes RP 449 #N/A 464
87 8 Wily Peralta SP/RP #N/A 469 457
88 8 Joe Kelly RP 457 #N/A 473
89 8 Shawn Armstrong RP 445 497 460
90 8 Jeurys Familia RP #N/A 514 441
91 8 Cam Bedrosian RP #N/A 496 #N/A
92 8 Chad Green RP #N/A 506 #N/A
93 8 Alex Claudio RP #N/A 508 #N/A
94 8 Brad Brach RP #N/A 503 538
95 9 Pat Neshek RP #N/A #N/A 524
96 9 Robert Gsellman SP/RP #N/A #N/A 525
97 9 Luke Gregerson RP #N/A 485 565
98 9 Adam Cimber RP #N/A #N/A 526
99 9 Luis Cessa RP #N/A 527 #N/A
100 9 Fernando Rodney RP #N/A 507 553

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

Yates, Chapman, Hader, Jansen, Diaz and Hand find themselves at the top, with Diaz being the clear grandfathered exception, whereas the others’ performances are worthy of top-five discussion in 2019. While I personally have Hader over Yates due to the insane strikeout rate and league-leading 1.66 SIERA, I can’t be upset at Yates winding up numero uno. His 30 saves lead the league, which has helped make him the top closer thus far.

Considering past save rate isn’t exactly predictive, I’ll take Hader’s absurd 50.3% strikeout rate and 42.3% K-BB mark. Chapman doesn’t casually touch 104 mph anymore, but his increased slider usage makes him a different kind of nasty. Jansen has rebounded from low-velo concerns in kind and Hand is fantasy’s third-best stopper in 5x5 formats.

Tier Two

Vazquez is filthy but the Pirates could ship him to a team that doesn’t use him in the ninth. It’s unlikely, but possible given Pittsburgh’s lot. Osuna is humming right along, though only 40 K’s in 38 ⅔ IP is surprising. Doolittle’s metrics have slipped since last season (1.95 SIERA in ‘18, up to 3.80 in ‘19) but he went from a career-low .196 BABIP last year to a career-high .351 thus far.

You’re likely most intrigued by Kimbrel, who has only logged five appearances in the majors through July 14. Two of the first three resulted in a combined five earned runs as he shakes off the rust, but he’s had a clean last two appearances for saves. Expecting peak Kimbrel right out of the gate is silly, but Craig has yet to post a SIERA south of 2.93 or strikeout rate below 36% in his career. Take whatever discount you can get here.

Tier Three

Giles is working through nerve inflammation in his right elbow, but remember Hader’s elite marks from before? Well, Mr. Ken’s 2.07 SIERA, 43.4% K rate and 36.1% K-BB mark are second only to Hader out of qualified relievers. Giles is a likely trade candidate and I’d knock him up to Tier Two if he retains a closing role.

Will Smith is all but gone at the Trade Deadline, so your gamble will be on whether the southpaw takes the eighth or the ninth on his new squad. Neris is a volatile arm that rides or dies with his splitter command, but most other options that Philly entered the year with are injured.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Four

An unfortunate facet of the RP ranks going last in the article rotation is that bullpens are the most volatile. You could subtract 100 from Hendriks for me and add it to Blake Treinen, putting him into Tier Three. I love what we’re seeing from Liam while Treinen simply doesn’t inspire any confidence right now.

Shane Greene and Alex Colome aren’t as strong a trade candidate as Will Smith, but they’re close. Wade Davis must deal with Coors and has quite the rocky season to date, while Jose LeClerc may never see the ninth this year. We still have to respect his top-10 abilities when on, but he seems to blow it whenever he nears the ninth.

Tier Five

It appears Carlos Martinez should hold onto the closer’s job in 2019, what with his 2.18 ERA/0.97 WHIP over 20 ⅔ IP. After posting an elevated 11.5% walk rate in ‘18, it’s nice to see an early 8.8% mark in ‘19. Jordan Hicks isn’t coming back this season and CarMart makes a nice RP2/3 in 12-team formats.

With Jose Alvarado on the shelf for roughly six weeks, Emilio Pagan could be on many first-place teams, though I think Diego Castillo works back into a 50/50 split. Both should be owned in most leagues.

I’m done speculating on Jeremy Jeffress -- it looks like any hopes of a split like last season are six feet under. Hunter Strickland is also nearing dump territory thanks to a setback already in the books on top of the lengthy injury. He’ll then need to show he’s game-ready again.

Tier Six

Kelley is the clear favorite for me in this group, with my feelings illustrated with Jose LeClerc’s tepid blurb. Lorenzen is the other name that can get you some saves, though he’s clearly still the 1B to Raisel Iglesias’ 1A at the back-end. Meanwhile, A.J. Minter has scooped some saves when Luke Jackson is resting, but Minter won’t produce enough value on his own to warrant playing without a regular closing role.

Since our ranks got put in, it was made fairly clear that Daniel Hudson has leapfrogged Joe Biagini as the heir apparent to Ken Giles’ ninth should a trade go down. Joe Jimenez has also looked better of late and warrants top-300 consideration for sure.

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Seven

Obviously, you’re burying Alvarado in the ranks here. These are mostly dart throws that would require an injury, demotion or miraculous recovery to hit it big. Most require more than one of those. Rehabbers include Philly’s David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez, the Cubbies’ Brandon Morrow and the Yanks’ Dellin Betances - who was recently cleared to start throwing.

Mark Melancon could be one of the last men standing in San Francisco after Will Smith, Sam Dyson and Tony Watson potentially fetch some prospects. I still think Moronta is the one to own, but the Giants may do their darndest to give Melancon and his awful contract some trade value.

The best value in this tier likely comes from Boston's Brandon Workman, but his .169 BABIP underscores the 4.06 SIERA behind the 1.74 ERA. Tread carefully.

Tiers Eight & Nine

If the dart throws came earlier than these are the weighted darts that will take even more effort to hit any sort of bullseye with. In fact, you should consider yourself lucky if you score any points with them at all.

Folks such as Yoshihisa Hirano could take the D-backs role from Greg Holland, though Yoan Lopez is impressing in the eighth. Corbin Burnes could reenter the rotation at some point, but we can’t lean on him until he curbs the longball issue. Fernando Rodney is Fernando Rodney, but Washington is desperate for bullpen help and their crumminess means Rodney is already Doolittle’s backup. Doolittle is great but is not known for his durability.

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Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 6

This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More