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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Playoffs Week 2

An unexpected first two rounds of the playoffs have us (almost) at the League Championship Series with an All-Texas ALCS and an NLCS made up of the last seed to snake into the playoffs (get it?) and a Phillies team that just doesn't seem willing to lose in the playoffs.

Some big arms are out of the playoffs and the pool is getting smaller and smaller, but there are still some strong relievers around who can provide DFS value or make some noise in those super specialized playoffs-only fantasy leagues. Let's take a look at who is still around!

Be sure to also keep an eye on our Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Charts for saves, holds, and bullpens. They will be updated daily or sometimes even more often throughout the 2023 baseball season. 

Be sure to check all of our preseason fantasy baseball rankings for Roto, Points, H2H, dynasty, best ball, prospects and more:

 

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros - Playoff Bullpen News

The Texas Rangers will form one half of the All-Texas American League Championship Series, taking on the Houston Astros in what people will probably call (or maybe have already started calling?) the I-45 Series or something. While the teams play their home games less than a four-hour drive away from each other, their bullpens are certainly different.

The Rangers bullpen usage so far in the postseason has shown that Jose Leclerc is the most likely candidate for saves. He has one in five outings, pitching five innings while allowing one run on four hits and a walk, striking out six. Aroldis Chapman has been an adventure like usual, pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, but allowing one hit and four walks along the way. William Smith rounds out the Rangers' leverage arms, but he's only had one playoff outing so far, recording just one out but earning a hold for his efforts.

A bit south in Houston, the Astros bullpen has been led by closer Ryan Pressly. Pressly has pitched twice, throwing two innings and earning two saves, all without allowing any base runners to reach and striking out five of the six batters he's faced. Pressly has looked almost unhittable so far.

Ahead of him are Bryan Abreu and Hector Neris. Abreu has two holds in 3 1/3 playoff innings. He's allowed two hits but no walks and has seven strikeouts. Neris has pitched twice, recording a hold in one outing, but struggling in the other. In his two playoff innings, he's allowed four runs on three hits and a walk, including two home runs. He does have five strikeouts though!

Saves: Jose Leclerc, Ryan Pressly

Holds: Aroldis Chapman, William Smith, Bryan Abreu, Hector Neris

 

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Playoff Bullpen News

The Arizona Diamondbacks surprised seemingly everyone except themselves by buzzing through the Brewers and then sweeping the Dodgers in the National League Division Series. Much of their success is thanks to their offense, but their pitching has also been outstanding and that includes the bullpen. Paul Sewald leads all of baseball in playoff saves this season with four.

He's pitched four times, earning a save every time while allowing two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Kevin Ginkel, the main setup man for Arizona, leads all of baseball in playoff holds with four. His four outings have all earned him a hold, and he's allowed four hits and two walks while striking out eight. Ryan Thompson and Andrew Saalfrank each have three holds apiece, although Thompson has tossed five full innings while Saalfrank has just 1 1/3 under his belt so far.

Over on the Phillies side, an exciting Division Series win over the 104-win Braves has them in their second straight NLCS. The Phillies bullpen is a little more fluid than the others left in contention. Craig Kimbrel is the closest to a traditional closer in Philly, but he's closer to a fireman really, as we saw in Game 4 of the NLDS when he came into the seventh inning in a huge spot and wrapped up the inning without allowing a run.

Jose Alvarado has four holds so far and hasn't allowed a postseason run yet. Kimbrel is still the best bet to earn a save for the Phillies, but Alvarado, Gregory Soto, and even Seranthony Dominguez or Matt Strahm could find themselves in a ninth-inning depending on how earlier innings go.

Saves: Paul Sewald, Craig Kimbrel
Holds: Kevin Ginkel, Ryan Thompson, Andrew Saalfrank, Jose Alvarado, Gregory Soto



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