Fantasy Baseball 2023 Relief Pitcher Preview: Top-12 rankings, sleepers and draft strategy

How to attack saves varies greatly between specific fantasy leagues, unlike other scoring categories. In leagues that value the close, the top tiers are more likely to be moved to the early rounds of the draft, thanks to a clear trend: More pitchers are making saves, while fewer are reaching 20+ individually.. Again, your league may be different, but Edwin Diaz And Emmanuelle Klass became a regular second/third round fantasy pick in early 2023.

By the ballpark, only about half of the league enters the season with a named closer, and the other half is a complete guessing game (and you can be sure there will be chaos among those currently holding that job).

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It’s fair to say that saves are the most annoying part of fantasy baseball, considering the role is essentially all that matters (IE, Raizel Iglesias went from a top 35 fantasy asset to a dropout solely because he was traded mid-season last year for a setup role). It is worth noting that elite reliefs appear out of nowhere every season and often disappoint the following year. Skill matters when selecting pitchers, but the main goal is to select those with the clearest/safest path to shutting down the job.

Highest level

Edwin Diaz usually the first to approach the board after be historically great last seasonAlthough Emmanuelle Klass not far behind in ADP. Diaz clearly has better peripherals (and Best MLB Opening Song), but it’s hard to object to the results of Clase (and other things). Diaz benefits from one of the best pitching parks in baseball, but also has a five-year pattern of strong and disappointing seasons.

Josh Hader would typically be a top rebounding candidate and could score saves on a predicted Padres team. win the second most games this season. But there is at least slight concern about his deteriorating things.

wild cards

Devin Williams, Milwaukee Brewers: He has the edge to finish as the top fantasy player in 2023 with the departure of Josh Hader as Williams has elite skills and serve for a team that should provide plenty of save opportunities. Health is the only issue when it comes to Williams. He has dealt with numerous hand injuries in the past and throws nasty airbender What could lead to more. Matt Bush the result is a fantasy sleeper.

Ryan Helsley, St. Louis Cardinals: The real deal, but St. Louis has another really high-end alternative in Giovanni Gallegos who shared important situations last season.

Pete Fairbanks, Tampa Bay Rays: He is absolutely filthy and could see most of the TB saves after signing a three year contract. But Fairbanks passed durability issuesand while the Races have shown a willingness to use a stock closer, Tampa Bay has no shortage of dominant bullpen hands to mix and match (there’s an argument that Jason Adam was the AL’s top pitcher last season).

Pete Fairbanks #29 has fantastic value
Pete Fairbanks would have been an easy choice for top fantasy if not for the competition he faced on his own team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

John Durand, Minnesota Twins: He throws even harder this spring after averaging 100.9 mph last year in fastball; ZiPS plans modest Speed ​​14.5K/9. The twins could also win a bunch of games in 2023. But Jorge Lopez looms and is more “installed” as a closer.

[2023 Fantasy Positional Previews: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP]

Scott Barlow, Kansas City Royals: While the first four “wildcards” have a “fantastic close number 1” among their range of outcomes, Barlow probably doesn’t, if only because Kansas City won’t provide as many save opportunities. Otherwise, he’s an elite pitcher whose main fantasy issue – the role – will be recently signed. Aroldis Chapman and his 315 career saves (top 25 of all time) make the final list?

Kenley Jansen, Boston Red Sox: Jansen is a “wild card” for entirely different reasons, as he is clearly locked in as the new Boston closer. But he’s in downturn in his career and may be affected by the new clock rules as one of the slowest pitchers in baseball.

In fact, the new pitch clock rules may affect a number of potential leads.


Carlos Estevez, Los Angeles Angels: His statistics should be treated with a grain of salt promoting his entire career in Coloradobut he won’t have it anymore handle the extreme height of Coors Field this season with the Angels. In LA, the bullpen is wide open (and by that I mean not very good – the Astros and Rays have four different pitchers rated for more WAR than anyone in the LA corral), and Estevez watched his K /9 jumps from 6.3 at home. up to 10.8 on the highway; his xFIP dropped from 5.51 to 3.02 when he didn’t play at Coors Field last season. Now he’s freed from Colorado..

AJ Park, Miami Marlins: Injuries remain a major problem for Park, but Miami reportedly traded him for him. hoping to turn it into the next Josh Hader. Park has been the best starter in the past. things to be lights out closer health must cooperate. Dylan Flower certainly not going to stand in his way, but the manager Skip Shoemaker recently threatened not to use a traditional closer this season.

[2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP]

AJ Minter, Atlanta Braves: Raizel Iglesias must Atlanta’s role is closer to himself this season, but the 33-year-old things fell last season. The Braves are expected to win the most games in MLB and Kenley Jansen went further. Meanwhile, Minter was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year. top five in the war. He has the potential to match any fantasy pitcher in 2023 yet has a 225+ Sportzshala ADP.

Michael King, New York Yankees: Clay “Faithful Castle” Holmes is among the favorites to close in New York with Aroldis Chapman In the countryside. Jonathan Loaisiga And Tommy Kanle (among other things) are also competitors, but King should be New York’s top pitcher by a wide margin if he is really healthy. There is some concern that the Yankees would prefer to use him in a multi-inning role, but there are plenty of fantastic opportunities if King ends up closing out in New York. There are about 60 pitchers ahead of him in the Sportzshala draft right now.

Ranking of the top 12 relief pitchers (as of February 27)

1. Edwin Diaz

2. Emmanuel Klass

3. Josh Hader

4. Ryan Pressly

5. Raizel Iglesias

6. Jordan Romano

7. Devin Williams

8. Ryan Helsley

9. Felix Batista

10. Camilo Doval

11. Kenley Jansen

12. Alexis Diaz


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