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Fantasy Baseball Saves + Holds Rankings and Waiver Wire Targets (Week 15)

We talked about it last week, but there will be almost nothing happening with these pens this month. These teams are sitting idle in the final month before the trade deadline because they're trying to figure out where they stand. The good news is that there are some significant changes coming and a handful of teams are likely to switch their closers as we approach that date. That's still a few weeks away, but we'll have to keep an eye on these pens to know what to expect.

Now let’s get started and take a look at some of this week’s developments.

Saves + Holds Rankings and Waiver Wire Targets (Week 15)

Closer situations to observe

These are bullpens we need to keep an eye on.

Chicago Cubs

The Rockies have the worst bullpen in baseball, but the Cubs are trying to catch up. After Adbert Alzolay was demoted, Hector Neris took over as closer. He has 11 saves this season despite posting an 11.12 ERA and 2.19 WHIP over the last four weeks. Chicago said Neris would remain their closer after that terrible stretch. He responded with three consecutive scoreless performances. We can remove Chicago from this stretch if he has another clean week.

Chicago White Sox

It's funny that both Chicago teams are here, but the White Sox have more to worry about than just their bullpen. They have the worst record in baseball, with Michael Kopech recording just seven saves as the team's closer. He's also blown four saves, giving them a 5.19 ERA and 1.46 WHIP since mid-April. They have no other options, so it's a situation to avoid.

Colorado Rockies

We just discussed wanting to blank the White Sox bullpen, but you need to stay even further away from the Rockies. Amazingly, they gave Tyler Kinley save opportunities just last week, even though the reliever posted an 8.02 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. Jalen Beeks also has six saves, but none since late May. That led to Colorado going to Nick Mears for a save on Tuesday, and my jaw dropped when I saw that. He squandered that opportunity, posting a 6.28 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. When you line up a Rockies reliever, you're playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

Philadelphia Phillies

This Phillies bulldog has been fantastic all season. Jeff Hoffman and Jose Alvarado have been excellent at times, but we never really know who the closer is. Last month, it looked like Alvarado, but Hoffman was able to record saves on Monday and Tuesday. That's seven saves for Hoffman, while Alvarado has collected 12. He's only recorded one since June 11, so that's a situation to keep an eye on. Both guys are players who belong on the roster until we know more.

Pittsburgh Pirates

David Bednar is a beast, but he's out of action with an oblique issue. The good news is that he's now able to throw a bullpen session, meaning he could be back before our next article is published. Aroldis Chapman has been the closer during his absence, but will return to a set-up role once Bednar is fully healthy. Keep Chapman quiet until Bednar is activated.

Seattle Mariners

It's annoying that Seattle has one of the best relievers in baseball but doesn't use him exclusively for saves. That's a smart move in baseball, but for fantasy, it's a frustrating development. That guy is Andres Munoz, who leads the team with 13 saves. Since May 31, however, he has only one save, while Ryne Stanek has also recorded seven saves. Munoz should lead the club from here on out, but Stanek will share some opportunities as well.

Toronto Blue Jays

Jordan Romano suffered his third setback last week while rehabbing, which could be the last straw. He's one of the best closers in baseball, but recurring elbow problems are a disaster, so he underwent surgery this week and was sidelined for up to eight weeks. Yimi Garcia was able to make saves during his absence, but is also on the injured list (IL). Garcia is expected back next week, and with both players out, Chad Green will get his chance.

My Saves/Holds Rankings

Relievers on the rise

Chad Green (TOR)

Chad Green got his first chance to make a save on Tuesday and made it. With Romano and Garcia both on the injured list, Green should get every opportunity going forward and could win the job outright if he's effective.

Yimi Garcia (TOR)

Yimi Garcia took over as Toronto's closer when Romano first got hurt, but landed on the injured list shortly after. We still like Green as the guy, but don't be surprised if Garcia steals the job from him once he's off the injured list next week.

Specialists for potential stopping points

JoJo Romero, Hunter Harvey, Ryan Pressly, David Robertson, Scott Barlow, Matt Moore, Bryan Abreu, Yennier Cano.

Potential closers on the IL

Felix Bautista (BAL): The O's closer will be out for the rest of the year after Tommy John surgery.

Devin Williams (MIL): Devin Williams has completed several bullpen sessions and is expected to return after the All-Star break.

Jordan Romano (GOAL): Jordan Romano suffered his third setback due to an elbow issue and had to undergo elbow surgery. His season may be over, but the schedule still has eight weeks left.

David Bednar (PIT): David Bednar is making “progress” on his oblique issue. There is talk that he will get a bullpen session in the next few days, and if that goes well, the closer could be back sometime next week.

Edwin Diaz (NYM): Edwin Diaz's suspension ends on Friday and he will resume his role as the team's closer.


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