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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 in Week 10.

One-inning middle relievers are the constant sources for holds and specialists can manage to secure a hold even with one out. However, while specialists can get many holds, their fantasy value is limited to how effective they are in their specific role. Long relievers are not a strong source of holds, they are often used in emergency or mop-up roles; reducing their likelihood to enter a game with the lead. The strongest setup relievers can even be eligible for saves on occasion.

Bottom line: 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 10 Waiver Wire RP Pickups for Holds

Robert Gsellman, New York Mets

2 Saves, 5 Holds, 34.2 IP, 31 K, 1.33 WHIP

Jeurys Familia has been effective as the New York Mets closer but Robert Gsellman recently secured a save and remains a strong candidate for holds. Unconventionally, Gsellman uses four pitches; a 93.4 mph fastball, 88.8 mph slider, 81.5 mph curveball and 86.5 mph changeup. Opponents are hitting .244 against Gsellman this year. His primary sinking fastball has generated a ground ball on 56.3 percent of batted balls. The starter turned reliever looks like he is becoming more of a one inning pitcher. With a strikeout rate near one batter per inning, Gsellman is a strong waiver wire claim across all fantasy leagues.

Jose Alvarado, Tampa Bay Rays

1 Save, 12 Holds, 2.78 ERA, 22.2 IP, 24 K, 1.02 WHIP

With Alex Colome traded, the Tampa Bay Rays will look internally for a new closer and Jose Alvarado is the first in line. Alvarado has struck out more than a batter per inning. Opponents are hitting .171 this year and batted balls are going on the ground at a great 63.0 rate. The opposition cannot handle the 98.0 mph fastball that Alvarado possesses. Along with an 87.5 mph slider and 83.8 mph curveball, the 23-year-old gets above average swings with below average contact. He has mostly pitched in the seventh inning but he has progressed his way to the eighth and is likely for save situations for the remainder of this season.

Pedro Strop, Chicago Cubs

3 Holds, 1.59 ERA, 22.2 IP, 21 K, 1.02 WHIP

With Carl Edwards briefly sidelined, the Chicago Cubs will turn to veteran Pedro Strop for higher leverage roles. With a 94.5 mph sinker, 87.8 mph cutter and 83.1 mph slider; opponents are hitting .210 against Strop. Early on Strop was used in the seventh inning but the Edwards injury will elevate him to the eighth inning. He is generating above league average swinging strikes. With all the movement on his pitches, Strop gets a large amount of swings outside of the zone and well below league average contact on those swings. Strop should be a strong candidate for holds for the foreseeable future.

Dan Altavilla, Seattle Mariners

5 Holds, 2.89 ERA, 18.2 IP, 21 K, 1.29 WHIP

As a strong source for holds, Nick Vincent going down with an injury will elevate others on the Seattle Mariners' pecking order. There will be more asked of reliever Dan Altavilla. The 25-year-old Altavilla is striking out more than a batter per inning. Opponents are hitting to a .161 batting average this year. With a fastball and slider, Altavilla is generating a similar share of fly balls (45.0 percent) and ground balls (40.0 percent) on batted balls but he pitches in a pitcher-friendly home ballpark. As evidence by the high number of Vincent secured, Altavilla should be a worthwhile waiver wire claim as he will get many opportunities with the Mariners.

Mike Dunn, Colorado Rockies

5 Holds, 6.14 ERA, 14.2 IP, 11 K, 1.91 WHIP

Like others, the Colorado Rockies will call upon others to compensate for an absence through injury. The injury to Adam Ottavino will require relievers like Mike Dunn to take on a more vital role. The 33-year-old Dunn is seeing full innings of work despite having better numbers against left-handed batters (.238 vs. .313). The Rockies clearly are comfortable with his ability to get all batters out. His bloated ERA can be tied to a rough three-game stretch to end April, where he allowed seven runs over three innings. Dunn may not be must-have waiver wire claim but he is worth consideration.

 

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