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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 16.

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 16 Waiver Wire RP Pickups for Holds

Dan Winkler, Atlanta Braves

1 Save, 17 Holds, 2.92 ERA, 37.0 IP, 47 K, 1.00 WHIP

The Atlanta Braves have always boasted a strong pitching staff and Dan Winkler is another successful find. The 28-year-old Winkler has been an eighth inning reliever most of the season with a small window of opportunity as closer. With Arodys Vizcaino back, Winkler has returned to his original role of holding leads. With a 90.7 mph cutter and 93.4 mph fastball, Winkler is striking out over a batter per inning. Opponents are hitting .199 against Winkler this year. He's generating a ground ball on 40.4 percent of batted balls. Dan Winkler is having a strong season, generating above league average swings with below league average contact. He is providing good contributions across the board and is a worthwhile waiver wire claim in holds leagues.

Drew Steckenrider, Miami Marlins

1 Save, 12 Holds, 3.46 ERA, 41.2 IP, 49 K, 1.27 WHIP

The Miami Marlins may not have a winning season but reliever Drew Steckenrider is putting together a solid season in his role and as he possibly auditions for contenders seeking a strong reliever. Do not let recent bad outings by Steckenrider become a red flag. Weather the small storm and pick up Steckenrider. He is striking out more than a batter per inning this year. With a 94.7 mph fastball complemented by a 87.9 mph cutter, opponents are hitting .217 against Steckenrider. As long as the 27-year-old can get it by a few more batters, he is a strong holds candidate who could see more on a postseason contender by the end of the month.

Victor Arano, Philadelphia Phillies

3 Saves, 4 Holds, 2.45 ERA, 33.0 IP, 36 K, 1.12 WHIP

The Philadelphia Phillies have an uncertain closing situation in the back of their bullpen so reliever Victor Arano is a candidate for both holds and saves. With just over a strikeout per inning, Arano has been a reliable reliever. Opponents are hitting .210 against Arano this year. With an 84.1 mph slider and a 93.5 mph fastball, Arano is getting above league average swings out of the zone with well below league average contact outside of the zone. His ability to start the opposition with a strike and generate lot of swinging strikes is making him furthermore reliable. Whether he secures holds or saves, Arano is a strong candidate for a waiver wire claim.

Erik Goeddel, Los Angeles Dodgers

5 Holds, 2.86 ERA, 28.1 IP, 35 K, 1.34 WHIP

The Los Angeles Dodgers are searching for a stable bridge and Erik Goeddel has emerged. With a 92.1 mph fastball and 95.1 mph splitter, opponents are hitting .212 against Goeddel. The 29-year-old Goeddel has had a pair of bad outings that bloated his ERA but he has mostly been a success for the Dodgers. Goeddel is averaging more than a strikeout per inning and is keeping the ball on the ground, 44.8 percent of batted balls have been ground balls. As of late, Goeddel has been used in the seventh inning and looks to be in a good place for holds.

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants

3 Saves, 5 Holds, 0.95 ERA, 28.1 IP, 38 K, 0.67 WHIP

The San Francisco Giants are looking for a stable force in the back of the bullpen and Will Smith is providing that. After starting the season in the middle of the game, Smith progressed to the back third of the game, holding leads and presently saving games. Opponents are hitting .129 against Smith this year. With a 92.6 mph fastball and 81.3 mph slider, Smith is striking out more than a batter per inning. Despite starting as a specialist, Smith is handling right-handed batters (.082) better than left-handed batters (.182). Smith may not need to relinquish the closer role unless he is acquired by a playoff contender.

 

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