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While holds are even tougher to predict than saves, the players we’ll highlight today include some elite setup men to target off the waiver wire for Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season.

The more likely an MLB team is to win, the more likely these pitchers will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

Let's get to it.

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Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds

Justin Wilson, Detroit Tigers

1 Save, 6 Holds, 1.54 ERA, 11.2 IP, 19 K, 0.60 WHIP

The power-lefty Justin Wilson has been dominant through the first month of the 2017 season. Through 12 plate appearances by lefties, only one has reached base and it was by a walk. Righties are not doing much better, with three hits in 31 plate appearances to the tune of a .107 batting average. Once thought of as a specialist, Wilson has established himself as dominant force as a setup man for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Averaging well over a strikeout per inning, Wilson is throwing swing-and-miss stuff that adds more value as a waiver wire pickup in holds leagues.

Luis Avilan, Los Angeles Dodgers

5 Holds, 1.93 ERA, 9.1 IP, 10 K, 1.39 WHIP

Unlike Wilson, Luis Avilan is a specialist for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Appearing in 14 games, Avilan will get the big lefty matchup and he has done well this year. Left-handed batters are hitting .150 against Avilan this year. Averaging about a strikeout per inning, Avilan thrives out of the zone with his 84.1 MPH changeup and 93.3 MPH fastball. The appeal of a specialist on the waiver wire lies in how frequent the reliever will see time in multiple games.

Mychal Givens, Baltimore Orioles

5 Holds, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP, 13 K, 0.98 WHIP

The Baltimore Orioles have a loaded bullpen and relief pitcher Mychal Givens deserves the praise. The power-pitching Givens incorporates a 94.7 MPH fastball with an 86.9 MPH slider. Givens propensity to pound the strike zone is a solid strategy as opponents are hitting .204 against him. He strikes out just under a batter per inning but weak contact makes him a viable waiver wire acquisition for holds leagues.

Hector Rondon, Chicago Cubs

4 Holds, 0.87 ERA, 10.1 IP, 12 K, 0.88 WHIP

Former closer Hector Rondon maintains his effectiveness as the bridge to Chicago Clubs closer Wade Davis. Rondon throws his fastball at 95.4 MPH and his slider at 84.0 MPH. Rondon is generating some swing-and-miss pitches as he averages just over a strikeout per inning but the .125 opponent batting average shows he is generating weak contact that has not come back to haunt him. The Cubs are expected to be contenders, if not potential champions, so Rondon will see opportunities for holds. His strong pitching will make him a very acceptable waiver wire claim in holds leagues.

Jose Leclerc, Texas Rangers

1 Save, 2 Holds, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 17 K, 0.73 WHIP

The young Jose Leclerc has been a notable presence in the Texas Rangers highly questionable bullpen. Leclerc had one opportunity at a save and there should be more opportunities for him in the future if he continues to produce at the rate he has this season. Mixing his 95.9 MPH fastball with his 85.0 MPH changeup, Leclerc has well over a strikeout per inning. Leclerc is averaging twice the swinging strike rate (23.7%) as the league average (10.3%). Leclerc is a dominant force in a shaky bullpen. The rookie will get plenty of holds with stuff like that and if veteran relievers continue squandering opportunities, Leclerc can even receive more save opportunities for the Rangers.


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