Every two weeks, we'll do one that's all about fantasy relievers and bullpens. This is that piece. If you don't like what you see here, come back in two weeks, I guess.
The save sirens are singing, the bullpens are mad, the relievers are fickle. These are notions that we already take for granted. And as every league is different, the advice given here will mean different things to different managers. One size does not fit all. Season to taste, please.
five relievers who are dominating
Yenier Canoe, Orioles
This is one of my favorite annual hacks: look at the K/BB ratio at the beginning of the year and chase anyone who is off to a bullish start, no matter what they showed earlier. Cano's background made him impractical in March — he had 18 dreadful MLB innings on his resume before 2023. But this year their figures are from a backyard wiffle ball game: 21.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 25 K. The Orioles will give him a high-leverage assignment up front, and he already has a win and three saves.
No one is that good, but Cano looks like someone who has staying power.
David Bedner, The Pirate
Given the controversy surrounding Pittsburgh's waterlogged NL Central, Bedner's potential trade exposure is diminished. The numbers jump off the page: 16 innings, one run, one walk, 21 strikeouts. His ground-ball rate has skyrocketed this year, and his line-drive rate is microscopic. Some close-ups can be viewed in peace, but Bednar is an exception to that rule. no stress.
Josh Hader, Padres
Last year's bottlenecks have been removed; He's dominant again, despite a slight drop in velocity. The strikeout rate has also dropped a bit, but Hader is still in the top four percent of the league, so why worry? Sometimes it's hard to take a 1.00 ERA seriously, but Hader's expected ERA is just a shade higher at 1.35.
Now, if only his teammates would start playing a little better.
Jordan Romano, Blue Jays
His ratio is a tick higher than last season, but he is still the automatic button push in the ninth for a competitive team, a very valuable commodity in fantasy. Oddly, all six of Romano's allowed runs have come on the road; He has toasted nine bagels in Toronto. New Dimensions hasn't increased crime in YYZ, not anyway.
Alexis Diaz, Reds
He's been lucky not to have allowed a homer yet, but with a slight decrease in walks and a big increase in strikeouts, Diaz is making his own luck. Diaz has been throwing more sliders this season, and it has turned into a wipeout pitch for him.
Five Potential Reliever Pickups
Nick Anderson, Braves (9% roster at Yahoo)
We had a good time with Anderson in 2019 and 2020, even though Luck ran out in the playoffs. He's been derailed by injuries since, but he's healthy again and putting up juicy stats (21 K, 3 BB, 0.82 WHIP) for the best team in the National League. If Raisel Iglesias Can't be right (more on that below), Anderson is a safe sleeper for atlanta. But even if Iglesias smooths out the ride over, Anderson figures to be exposed to high-leverage assignments and potential wins. He already has a couple, plus one left.
Edbert Alzole, Cubs (7% at Yahoo)
I still think he's the best reliever in the Chicago bullpen. we know Michael Fulmer (7.50/1.56) cannot be trusted, and Brad's Boxburger Wasn't much better before getting on the injured list. Mark Leiter jr. It was saved last week but burst on Wednesday. Maybe Aljole (1.99/0.84) should stick to the fireman role more often, but if the Cubs give him a chance in the ninth, I think he'll get away with it.
Hector Neris, Astros (18% in Yahoo)
The onus is on the Contenders to find reliable relievers and hammer their quality numbers, no matter what innings they come from. Neris has a great strikeout rate of 1.40 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, two wins and two saves. Houston as a team has been a mild disappointment to this point, but they are still the clear favorites in the AL West. They've already got a leg up in the playoffs.
Brian Baker, Orioles (14% at Yahoo)
If you missed Canoe, Baker makes a nice consolation prize. 26 strikeouts in 20.1 innings nets you, and he's working in key spots, already going on three wins and eight holds. Baltimore might be the second best team in the American League. Go where there is victory.
Matt Moore, Angels (16% at Yahoo)
Yes, he is still in the league. Lefty specialists are non-existent in the current game given the rules of facing multiple batsmen. No problem for Moore; Righties are batting .115 against him. He has thrown 95 innings since the start of last year to the tune of 1.80 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 9.8 K/9.
three relievers i worry about
Kenley Johnson, Red Sox
He blew a few saves of the weekend against the Cardinals, is in his age-35 season and his walk rate (5/9) is up. okay he runs up against a wilson contrerasThe moment of sportsmanship at Fenway Park, that was kind of bogus. But Jansen has always been a pitcher who needed regular downtime; He has crossed 70 innings only once in the last nine years.
Raisel Iglesias, Brave
Perhaps Wednesday's savings would let him go, and one of his blown savings was a matter of putting him to death; It looked worse in the box score than on the screen. But Iglesias has also missed six weeks with a shoulder problem and his velocity is down a tick, so he's not out of the woods yet.
Ryan Helsley, Cardinals
His stats have taken a slight step back, nothing too alarming, though with three saves. Giovanni Gallegos maybe the double-digit path saves itself, and Chris Stratton Has been effective as a bridge for these people. The Cardinals probably won't live and die with an automatic stopper.