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Holds Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds for Week 18

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 18.

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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Relief Pitcher Waiver Wire - Week 18 Pickups

Wily Peralta, Kansas City Royals

5 Saves, 1 Hold, 3.65 ERA, 12.1 IP, 13 K, 1.46 WHIP

The Kansas City Royals are in a rebuild and Wily Peralta has an opportunity at saves. Opponents are hitting .205 against the best candidate for saves in Kansas City. Peralta has been effective lately, recording a save in his last three appearances. Armed with a 96.6 mph fastball and 83.4 mph slider, Peralta is averaging about a strikeout per inning. The 29-year-old Peralta comes with some volatility though, averaging nearly two baserunners per inning too. The Royals intend to find out what they have in Peralta and he will likely see save opportunities for the remainder of the season.

Justin Anderson, Los Angeles Angels

4 Saves, 13 Holds, 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 46 K, 1.45 WHIP

The Los Angeles Angels may be committing to a disappointing season so Justin Anderson will move up the pecking order in their bullpen. The 25-year-old Anderson is averaging more than a strikeout per inning. Opponents are hitting .226 against Anderson but he also walks too many batters. The base-on-balls pile up for Anderson when he is not sharp so his bad outings are the reason for his inflated statistics. Anderson counts on a 86.1 mph slider and 97.6 mph fastball to get a ground ball on 44.2 percent of batted balls. Primarily in the seventh or eighth inning, Anderson possesses the pitching to succeed.

Richard Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates

4 Holds, 2.29 ERA, 39.1 IP, 50 K, 1.04 WHIP

The Pittsburgh Pirates are fighting to stay alive in the postseason race. The Pirates have received a significant boost in their bullpen from Richard Rodriguez. The 28-year-old Rodriguez has seen most of his appearances come in the sixth inning but he remains a force in the bullpen. Rodriguez is averaging over a strikeout per inning and allows about one base runner per inning. With a 92.9 mph fastball and 80.9 mph slider, Rodriguez is holding batters to a .228 batting average. The 51.1 percent fly ball rate on batted balls is alarming but he has only allowed three home runs in his 39.1 innings of work this season. His success is likely going to garner him more higher leverage opportunities before the season is over.

Robert Gsellman, New York Mets

5 Saves, 10 Holds, 4.03 ERA, 58.0 IP, 53 K, 1.29 WHIP

Once a starter, Robert Gsellman appears to be the strongest candidate for saves on the New York Mets with Jeurys Familia being traded. Still recovering from a rough June, 6.59 ERA over 13.2 innings, Gsellman will be pushed from setup reliever to closer. Poor results of late could scare many away from putting a claim on him. However, a 51.5 percent ground ball rate is a positive quality in a closer. Strikeout numbers have diminished of late but his value remains high as the likely closer for the remainder of the season.

Craig Stammen, San Diego Padres

16 Holds, 2.70 ERA, 50.0 IP, 57 K, 1.12 WHIP

The San Diego Padres are rebuilding by presenting strong relievers to trade for, including Craig Stammen. While opponents are hitting .242 against Stammen, the 34-year-old is striking out more than a batter per inning. With a 91.6 mph sinker and 86.7 mph slider, Stammen generates ground balls on 51.9 percent of batted balls. With Brad Hand dealt, Kirby Yates will slot into the save opportunities but Stammen will also move up to the eighth inning role as the Padres field trade proposals for their strong relievers. Reap the benefits of the advertising and claim Stammen.


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