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Rest of Season Relief Pitcher Rankings - May Update

We are more than six weeks deep into the 2019 MLB season, so we're whipping it around the horn for a Rest-of-Season update of our mixed rankings analysis. RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Bill Dubiel and Scott Engel want you to crush the competition and know that rankings can't end on draft day.

After the first month and a half of the season, most of the top relievers have remained where expected or drafted. There have naturally been some changes in a few roles, but the best guys have not been usurped or lost, making owners feel better about their reliever picks so far. In the middle and lower rungs of the ladder, though, there have been some alterations that may be even more reflected when we do this exercise again in June. So far, though, for the most part, if you spent up on a closer before the season began, you are content that you did so.

Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the latest and greatest ranks at any time.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Relief Pitcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (May)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill Scott Composite
1 1 Edwin Diaz RP 51 47 49 57 51.000
2 1 Blake Treinen RP 60 73 61 68 65.500
3 2 Kenley Jansen RP 76 78 81 77 78.000
4 2 Brad Hand RP 91 87 105 81 91.000
5 2 Aroldis Chapman RP 98 81 98 102 94.750
6 2 Josh Hader RP 103 79 116 83 95.250
7 3 Kirby Yates RP 79 111 109 88 96.750
8 3 Roberto Osuna RP 94 105 96 104 99.750
9 3 Felipe Vazquez RP 101 106 108 93 102.000
10 3 Sean Doolittle RP 107 128 97 110 110.500
11 3 Jordan Hicks RP 164 115 92 121 123.000
12 3 Ken Giles RP 119 137 142 160 139.500
13 3 Wade Davis RP 117 143 125 177 140.500
14 3 Jose Leclerc RP 157 126 121 262 166.500
15 3 Shane Greene RP 182 152 222 131 171.750
16 3 Greg Holland RP 217 192 171 116 174.000
17 4 Craig Kimbrel RP 236 174 122 169 175.250
18 4 Raisel Iglesias RP 216 119 227 150 178.000
19 4 Jose Alvarado RP 200 227 156 192 193.750
20 4 Will Smith RP 222 166 294 125 201.750
21 4 Alex Colome RP 201 230 254 208 223.250
22 4 Pedro Strop RP 246 225 202 233 226.500
23 4 David Robertson RP 284 264 154 225 231.750
24 4 Brad Peacock RP/SP 311 222 235 171 234.750
25 4 Hector Neris RP 306 194 257 191 237.000
26 4 A.J. Minter RP 241 217 312 181 237.750
27 5 Ryan Brasier RP 226 187 382 170 241.250
28 5 Blake Parker RP 231 218 285 235 242.250
29 5 Shawn Kelley RP 340 245 242 193 255.000
30 5 Matt Barnes RP 234 238 272 276 255.000
31 5 Andrew Miller RP 243 307 244 286 270.000
32 5 Ty Buttrey RP 269 322 236 258 271.250
33 5 Nick Anderson RP 242 #N/A 306 #N/A 274.000
34 5 Hansel Robles RP 299 272 286 254 277.750
35 5 Archie Bradley RP 327 335 193 #N/A 285.000
36 5 Matt Strahm RP/SP 286 228 358 #N/A 290.667
37 5 Frankie Montas SP/RP 314 349 #N/A 215 292.667
38 6 Mychal Givens RP 336 316 291 263 301.500
39 6 Sergio Romo RP 423 271 275 247 304.000
40 6 Jeremy Jeffress RP 244 303 416 270 308.250
41 6 Ryan Pressly RP 232 296 417 #N/A 315.000
42 6 Emilio Pagan RP 282 #N/A 351 #N/A 316.500
43 6 Adam Ottavino RP 277 321 354 #N/A 317.333
44 6 Dellin Betances RP 304 314 336 #N/A 318.000
45 6 Diego Castillo RP/SP 225 326 450 287 322.000
46 6 Anthony Swarzak RP 418 297 360 259 333.500
47 6 Lou Trivino RP 272 234 495 #N/A 333.667
48 7 Seranthony Dominguez RP 298 336 368 #N/A 334.000
49 7 Carlos Martinez SP/RP 439 294 282 #N/A 338.333
50 7 Trevor May RP #N/A 385 293 #N/A 339.000
51 7 Roenis Elias RP 285 393 #N/A #N/A 339.000
52 7 Cody Allen RP 415 306 387 271 344.750
53 7 Joe Jimenez RP 308 363 392 #N/A 354.333
54 7 Dakota Hudson RP #N/A 394 333 #N/A 363.500
55 7 Corbin Burnes SP/RP 402 325 374 #N/A 367.000
56 7 Taylor Rogers RP 328 295 491 #N/A 371.333
57 7 Chad Green RP #N/A 368 381 #N/A 374.500
58 7 Zack Britton RP 300 472 369 #N/A 380.333
59 7 Drew Steckenrider RP #N/A 340 426 #N/A 383.000
60 7 Brad Boxberger RP #N/A 408 363 #N/A 385.500
61 7 Alex Reyes SP/RP 474 370 321 #N/A 388.333
62 7 Marcus Walden RP 390 #N/A #N/A #N/A 390.000
63 7 Luke Jackson RP 364 #N/A 441 #N/A 402.500
64 7 Keone Kela RP 397 364 470 #N/A 410.333
65 7 Reyes Moronta RP 301 438 497 #N/A 412.000
66 7 Mark Melancon RP 366 467 432 #N/A 421.667
67 7 Seth Lugo SP/RP 475 #N/A 372 #N/A 423.500
68 7 Kelvin Herrera RP 411 366 494 #N/A 423.667
69 7 Hunter Strickland RP 446 #N/A 412 #N/A 429.000
70 7 Felix Pena RP/SP 430 #N/A 451 #N/A 440.500
71 7 Kyle Crick RP 435 410 482 #N/A 442.333
72 7 Joe Kelly RP #N/A 451 436 #N/A 443.500
73 7 Yoshihisa Hirano RP #N/A 411 487 #N/A 449.000
74 7 John Brebbia RP #N/A 450 #N/A #N/A 450.000
75 7 Steve Cishek RP #N/A 421 489 #N/A 455.000
76 7 Brandon Morrow RP 434 447 485 #N/A 455.333
77 7 Jared Hughes RP #N/A 427 484 #N/A 455.500
78 7 Carl Edwards Jr. RP #N/A 418 496 #N/A 457.000
79 7 Chris Devenski SP/RP #N/A 428 492 #N/A 460.000
80 7 Wily Peralta SP/RP #N/A 425 498 #N/A 461.500
81 8 Adam Conley SP/RP 419 #N/A 510 #N/A 464.500
82 8 Trevor Rosenthal RP #N/A #N/A 468 #N/A 468.000
83 8 Joakim Soria RP #N/A 384 555 #N/A 469.500
84 8 Will Harris RP #N/A 437 515 #N/A 476.000
85 8 Jeurys Familia RP #N/A 496 458 #N/A 477.000
86 8 Craig Stammen RP #N/A 471 483 #N/A 477.000
87 8 Seunghwan Oh RP #N/A #N/A 503 #N/A 503.000
88 8 Yusmeiro Petit RP #N/A #N/A 506 #N/A 506.000
89 8 Nate Jones RP #N/A 499 516 #N/A 507.500
90 8 Ray Black RP #N/A #N/A 511 #N/A 511.000
91 8 Robert Gsellman SP/RP #N/A 500 525 #N/A 512.500
92 8 Tony Watson RP #N/A #N/A 513 #N/A 513.000
93 8 Justin Miller RP #N/A #N/A 514 #N/A 514.000
94 8 Justin Anderson RP #N/A #N/A 519 #N/A 519.000
95 8 Pat Neshek RP #N/A #N/A 524 #N/A 524.000
96 8 Adam Cimber RP #N/A #N/A 526 #N/A 526.000
97 8 David Hernandez RP #N/A #N/A 535 #N/A 535.000
98 8 Brad Brach RP #N/A #N/A 538 #N/A 538.000
99 9 Dylan Floro SP/RP #N/A #N/A 541 #N/A 541.000
100 9 Hector Rondon RP #N/A #N/A 544 #N/A 544.000
101 9 Jose Castillo RP #N/A #N/A 545 #N/A 545.000
102 9 Nick Goody RP #N/A #N/A 548 #N/A 548.000
103 9 Addison Reed RP #N/A #N/A 552 #N/A 552.000
104 9 Fernando Rodney RP #N/A #N/A 553 #N/A 553.000
105 9 Matt Bush RP #N/A #N/A 558 #N/A 558.000
106 9 Jacob Barnes RP #N/A #N/A 560 #N/A 560.000
107 9 Jace Fry RP #N/A #N/A 562 #N/A 562.000
108 9 Luke Gregerson RP #N/A #N/A 565 #N/A 565.000
109 9 Ryan Tepera RP #N/A #N/A 569 #N/A 569.000
110 9 Bud Norris RP #N/A #N/A 571 #N/A 571.000


Rankings Analysis – Top Tiers

Tier One

This is a two-man club consisting of Edwin Diaz and Blake Treinen. In his first season in the National League, Diaz has remained the premier closer in the fantasy game even though his overall numbers are slightly down from last season. He has not blown any saves, but he has allowed an occasional HR in some key non-save situations. The ERA is up to 2.30 from 1.96 and his K and BB rates have been down a bit, but there is no major cause for concern. Treinen is a bit more concerning, as he has already blown two saves while his ERA has shot up to 2.70 from last season’s 0.78. He is not looking as dominant as he did last season, with a lowered K rate and a BB rate that has gone up to 4.95. Maybe that is why Pierre is the one to have him outside of his overall Top 70. Treinen could soon fall out of this tier and leave it to Diaz by himself.

Tier Two

Kenley Jansen is still racking up the strikeouts, but a 56.5 percent strand rate has led to a 4.42 ERA. His xFIP of 3.37 points to hope ahead and none of our experts have seemingly started to panic about him yet. Brad Hand has been perfect in 11 save chances and has a 1.53 ERA while stranding 89 percent of the runners on base. But Bill is not quite convinced on his dominance as everyone else, as he is the only one ranking Hand outside of the Top 100 overall. Maybe Hand’s 3.19 xFIP is the reason. Aroldis Chapman has the same ERA as last year (2.45) but he has also cut his walk rate to 1.84. Pierre holds him in higher regard than the rest of the staffers, 17 overall spots ahead of any other analyst. He is also highest on Josh Hader, who now has an unreal 19.09 K/9.

Tier Three

Nick and I are highest on Kirby Yates, who has converted 16 of 17 save chances to lead the majors so far. He has his K rate up to 16.65 per nine and his 1.35 ERA is backed up by a 1.84 xFIP. He could see himself in the next tier in June. Roberto Osuna has a 0.52 ERA so far even though he is striking out less than eight batters per game again this season. Felipe Vazquez is also off to a great ERA start at 0.48 and I may consider him more of a Tier Two starter than the others. Both Osuna and Vazquez will see ERA regression, but it may hit Osuna a bit more than Vazquez. Jordan Hicks has arrived as hoped, with a 1.88 ERA and nine saves in 10 chances. Bill is most sold on him with an overall rank just outside the Top 90 overall. Jose Leclerc fashioned a 7.27 ERA and lost his job. I seem to be the only one who believes he will not get it back any time soon. Shane Greene may be in this tier based on reputation only, as he leads the AL with 15 saves and has trimmed nearly four runs off his ERA. His advanced stats point to Greene being a true breakout closer rather than a fluke. Bill is not convinced though, ranking him outside of the Top 220 overall. Greg Holland has revived himself yet again to slip into the bottom of this tier.


Rankings Analysis – Middle Tiers

Tier Four

Craig Kimbrel leads this tier as some analysts have hope he will swoop in and reclaim his fireman role for a closer-needy team, but at this point, he may not be as effective if and when he returns. Rasiel Iglesias has openly complained about being used in non-save situations as he has endured some bumpy outings recently. Pierre strongly believes he will remain reliable, ranking him over 30 spots ahead of the next analyst. Will Smith is somewhat underrated and has already been perfect in 10 save opportunities. He could lose the job via trade later in the year, though. Alex Colome has converted all eight of his save chances, but they seem to be occasional more than consistent. He nearly went two weeks without a save in April. Hector Neris is the guy in Philly right now, but that could change at any time.

Tier Five

Here is where we start to see a drop-off in the quality of closers. Blake Parker has been the best guy in the Minnesota pen, with six saves and three holds. Ryan Brasier has emerged as the preferred closing option in Boston over Matt Barnes. Ty Buttrey was expected to move into the closer’s job when Cody Allen went down, but Hansel Robles has recently taken over the job and has been very effective so far, whereas he was very shaky as a setup guy and middle reliever in the past. Buttrey has been a top setup man with eight holds. Bill is much higher than the rest on Archie Bradley, but he is also second-highest on Holland, so his evaluation is apparently not based on him expecting Bradley to necessarily take over the closer’s job.

Tier Six

After a horrific spring, Mychal Givens has re-emerged to claim the sporadic save opportunities in Baltimore. Sergio Romo has become the same type of infrequent save guy in Miami. Ryan Pressly has yet to allow an earned run in 18 IP and has totaled eight holds. Adam Ottavino has eight holds as well with a 1.77 ERA. Diego Castillo has been a real model of versatility, tying for the league lead in holds with nine, adding four saves and fashioning a 1.71 ERA.


Rankings Analysis – Lower Tiers

Tier Seven

Seranthony Dominguez and Roenis Elias are hanging around as possible desperation closer types for the Phillies and Mariners, respectively. Trevor May was expected to contend for a closer’s job, but has performed well enough with five holds and a 2.37 ERA. Joe Jimenez has eight holds and 26 Ks in 16.1 IP, so his 4.41 ERA should drop soon. Chad Green has been such a disappointment so far the numbers are too ugly to even include here. Perhaps a recent stint in the minors will get him back into 2018 form. Luke Jackson has emerged as Atlanta’s new fireman and will be much higher in this space next month. Kyle Crick has been a pretty good bridge to Vazquez when needed, with six holds so far. John Brebbia may continue to rise, as he has 25 Ks in 22.2 IP and seven holds with a 1.99 ERA.

Tiers Eight and Nine

Wily Peralta was a frontrunner for the Kansas City closer’s job as the season opened, but it has become apparent you cannot trust anyone at the end of the Royals pen. Has anyone noticed Craig Stammen is tied for the league lead with 12 holds? Well, he also has four blown saves, so that is holding him down here. Tony Watson has been solid with seven holds and a 2.57 ERA, and you have to wonder if he would get some save chances if Will Smith is dealt. David Hernandez still continues to perform respectably in Cincinnati, with 23 Ks in 19.2 IP and six holds.

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