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Holds Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds for Week 23


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 23.

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 23 Pickups

Greg Holland, Washington Nationals

1 Save, 3 Holds, 5.97 ERA, 34.2 IP, 33 K, 1.85 WHIP

The Washington Nationals are in search of any reliever that can nail down saves and stay healthy so they are taking a chance with Greg Holland. The 32-year-old former closer had struggled with his first team of 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals, but he has shined in a small sample size since joining the Nationals. Since joining the Nationals, Holland has recorded one hold and one save. Utilizing an 86.5 mph slider and a 93.0 mph fastball, Holland is striking out nearly a batter per inning If he can elevate his 38.0 percent ground ball rate, he will finish strong and possibly finish off the season as the Nationals closer.

Jace Fry, Chicago White Sox

4 Saves, 14 Holds, 3.71 ERA, 43.2 IP, 62 K, 0.99 WHIP

The Chicago White Sox are determining who is a part of their future and Jace Fry has put together a strong showing. Opponents are hitting .176 against Fry. With a 92.6 mph sinker, Fry generates on 45.3 percent of batted balls. Fry has swing-and-miss stuff, striking out well over a batter per inning. The closer committee situation at the back of the White Sox bullpen has set Fry up both to secure holds and saves, depending on the situation. Fry has significant waiver wire value in a holds league but his potential for closing and strikeout capability gives him worthwhile value across all leagues.

Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies

10 Saves, 1 Hold, 5.45 ERA, 38.0 IP, 59 K, 1.32 WHIP

The Philadelphia Phillies would likely not disrupt the consistency in their bullpen but Hector Neris is back in the majors and is making an impact. In the month of August, Neris has 18 strikeouts in eight innings of work. With an 86.0 mph split-finger and 94.4 mph fastball, Neris is dominating since returning to the majors. He is getting above league average swings with well below league average contact. As of late, Neris is pitching in the sixth inning or later. While he may not secure saves, holds could be in his near future as a refreshed reliever for the stretch run of the season.

Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants

3 Saves, 6 Holds, 2.83 ERA, 28.2 IP, 24 K, 1.47 WHIP

The San Francisco Giants have elevated Mark Melancon to closing opportunities. Melancon recently recorded two saves and a hold in his last three appearances. Heavily leaning on his 91.1 mph cutter, the 33-year-old Melancon generates a ground ball on 51.6 percent of batted balls. Melancon does not strikeout a lot of batters but his prior experience as a closer at the major league level has earned him good faith and a chance at closing games again. If he is not currently owned in your league, put a waiver wire claim on him and count on him for saves.

Adam Conley, Miami Marlins

2 Saves, 12 Holds, 4.65 ERA, 40.2 IP, 40 K, 1.18 WHIP

The closing situation for the Miami Marlins is in constant chaos so Adam Conley continues to be a candidate for both holds and saves. Opponents are hitting .215 against Conley this year. With a strong 46.2 ground ball rate, opponents are not getting on top of his 95.0 mph fastball. Lately, he has been pitching in the seventh or eighth inning as he secures both holds and saves. Conley has been having a rough August, allowing 10 runs over 11.1 innings, but the Marlins will not shy away from sending Conley back out into late game situations. The Marlins have a lot of options for late in the game, Conley is a strong option to put a waiver wire claim on.

 

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