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MX News Update 2024


Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings & Spacing Rules (Week 7)

We haven’t had many further developments over the past two weeks, but this was not the case this week. One of the best closers ended up on the injured list (IL), while one of the best teams in the National League crowned a new closer. Two elite closers return from the IL. We have a lot to discuss.

With that in mind, let’s dive into this week’s bullpen news.

Saves + holds rankings and distance rules (week 7)

Closer situations to look at

These are bullpens we should keep an eye on.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Sewald made his long-awaited return on Tuesday, entering the ninth inning with a five-run lead. We believe he will return to closer duties, with Kevin Ginkel returning to a regular role. Arizona likely won’t be in this section next week unless Ginkel gets the next save opportunity.

Chicago Cubs

This is also likely the last week for the Cubs. Adbert Alzolay lost this job a few weeks ago to Hector Neris, who has six saves and a win to his name in his last eight appearances. He racked up more than 25 saves in two seasons with the Phillies. You stumbled upon a gem when you took it off the waiver wire.

Chicago WhiteSox

The worst teams in baseball are always the hardest to figure out because they don’t get many save opportunities. That’s what we’ve seen from the White Sox, who managed just nine wins. They only have five saves as a team, with Michael Kopech picking up three. We assume he’s the guy, but no one on this team is likely to make 20 saves, so it’s a situation worth avoiding.

Colorado Rockies

It’s funny that we have these teams back to back, because these are the two worst teams in baseball by a significant margin. The situation in Colorado has been just as murky, but it’s even tougher because they have the worst ERA and WHIP in the league. Justin Lawrence appears to be the go-to guy, with two saves and a win in his last five appearances. If you’re desperate for saves, Lawrence is your best bet for saves and is likely available in your league.

Detroit Tigers

We didn’t expect to see the Tigers back in this section, but here we are. Alex Lange picked up the team’s most recent save and found itself with a four-run lead in the ninth inning on Tuesday. That’s usually where you see the closer, but Jason Foley has allowed nine hits and four runs over his last four outings. Lange was the closer last season and could steal this job if Foley doesn’t step down soon. It may already be too late, so catch Lange before more people realize that this hierarchy is changing again.

Angels from Los Angeles

Carlos Estevez led the team with 31 saves last season and has all six saves this year. However, he had an ERA of 11.57 over his last five appearances, making two saves in that span. We expect Estevez to get the next opportunity, but those are rare considering how poorly Los Angeles is playing right now. This is a situation we advise you to stay away from.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Evan Phillips is one of the best closers in baseball, but he will be on the IL for the next two weeks due to a hamstring injury. That should leave a few saves on the table for the best team in the National League. Daniel Hudson appears to be next in line, but we saw Alex Vesia get the first chance. That was a platoon thing against lefties, so make this a committee until Phillips is ready to return in two weeks.

Milwaukee Brewers

This team is already down three closers. Abner Uribe picked up the first three saves, but is in Triple-A after a nightmarish run. Joel Payamps was next in line, but Trevor Megill has had two saves since coming from the IL. We believe Megill will get the next chance as he is only allowed one run this year. At least we know it’s only between Payamps and Megill.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jose Alvarado is the de facto closer, but this team likes to go with everyone. Alvarado leads the team with seven saves, but three other guys have two saves each: Jeff Hoffman, Gregory Soto and Orion Kerkering. We expect Alvarado to get the bulk of the saves going forward. If he gets the next few chances, we can eliminate Philadelphia from this section.

Tampa Bay Rays

Pete Fairbanks ended up on the IL a few weeks ago due to nerve issues, but he’s starting a rehab assignment this week. That means he could be in action when the next article is published, but we wouldn’t be so quick to drop Jason Adam. Last year he had 12 saves and 11 holds, making two saves and two wins in his last six appearances. He’s also posted a 2.15 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over the last three years and should be all over the list regardless. Depending on how Fairbanks looks early on, don’t be surprised if he has the job for the rest of the season.

My Save/Holds rankings

Enlighteners on the rise

Trevor Megill (MIL)

Milwaukee has been trying to find a better role for Devin Williams all season, and it looks like they have found their man. Trevor Megill started the season on the IL, but he has allowed just one run in 7.2 innings since returning. He also has two saves to his name in his last three appearances and has the nastiest stuff in this pen.

Alex Lange (DET)

Jason Foley is starting to falter and Alex Lange has been mowing down hitters at will. Lange has allowed just one run this year, posting a 0.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 11.5 K/9. He also picked up the team’s most recent save, appearing in the ninth inning on Tuesday with a four-run lead. Last year he led the team in saves and was able to take this job back.

Potential closers on the IL

Felix Bautista (BAL): The O’s closer is out for a year after Tommy John surgery.

Devin Williams (MIL): Williams is expected to miss at least another month due to his back injury.

Pete Fairbanks (TB): Fairbanks ended up on the IL due to a nerve issue, but resumed a rehab assignment on Tuesday. He should be back by the time our next article is published.

Evan Phillips (LAD): The Dodgers closer will be on the IL for the next two weeks due to a hammy strain. However, this isn’t expected to be a long-term issue as Phillips is expected to return when he first becomes eligible.

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Joel Bartilotta is a writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.