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Holds Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds for Week 24


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 24.

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 24 Pickups

Jose Alvarado, Tampa Bay Rays

7 Saves, 28 Holds, 2.18 ERA, 57.2 IP, 65 K, 1.13 WHIP

The Tampa Bay Rays have been using a variety of relievers to close out wins and Jose Alvarado has been great this year. Alvarado is holding opponents to a .184 batting average. The 23-year-old lefty has been used in a variety of situations but he is a force on the mound. Alvarado is striking out more than a batter per inning. He relies on a 97.3 mph fastball and generates a ground ball on 55.2 percent of batted balls. Lately, Alvarado pitches in the eighth inning to secure holds but he will occasionally slide into the ninth inning and close out games if the situation calls for it. Despite this, his value is not strictly to holds leagues. He has great value in all categories and is a valuable waiver wire claim.

Justin Miller, Washington Nationals

2 Saves, 9 Holds, 3.83 ERA, 47.0 IP, 53 K, 1.11 WHIP

The Washington Nationals are figuring out who will close out games. While Koda Glover and Greg Holland are doing well, Justin Miller is having a resurgent year with the Nationals. The 31-year-old Miller came back to the majors after missing it in 2017 and he made a splash. With more than a strikeout per inning and opponents hitting .216, Miller has been a force this year. Spending most of his season securing holds, Miller has secured his two saves of this season in the last two weeks. He has put together a successful return to the majors and that will be capped off with more save opportunities in the last month of the regular season.

Jace Fry, Chicago White Sox

4 Saves, 14 Holds, 3.86 ERA, 44.1 IP, 62 K, 0.93 WHIP

Jace Fry has become a strong force in a rebuilding Chicago White Sox bullpen. With a strong strikeout rate, Fry is generating below league average swings but even lower contact. Mixing together a 92.8 mph fastball, 88.4 mph slider and 76.9 mph curveball, opponents are swinging and missing at an above-league-average rate. Opponents are hitting .179 against Fry this year. He has progressed up the depth chart in the White Sox bullpen, from the seventh and eighth inning to the eighth and ninth inning. Fry has experienced more success than failure in his first full season at the major league level.

Brad Brach, Atlanta Braves

11 Saves, 10 Holds, 3.62 ERA, 54.2 IP, 53 K, 1.65 WHIP

The Atlanta Braves acquired Brad Brach from the Baltimore Orioles to fortify their bullpen and he is doing just that. The 32-year-old has secured seven of his 10 holds since joining the Braves. In 15.2 innings with the Braves, opponents are hitting .226 with a 0.57 ERA. Put right into the setup role, Brach has been dazzling, with half of the runs to score against him unearned. With a 47.1 percent ground ball rate, Brach is getting above league average swings with below league average contact. Despite the swing-and-miss quality to his pitches, Brach is still surrendering hits at a high rate when he falls behind batters. Regardless, Brach will be necessary in the stretch run for this postseason contender.

Scott Alexander, Los Angeles Dodgers

2 Saves, 18 Holds, 3.58 ERA, 60.1 IP, 50 K, 1.28 WHIP

The Los Angeles Dodgers will begin an important series in Colorado without the elite Kenley Jansen for any games. The Dodgers will have to search within to close out wins and Scott Alexander will be the first in line for the opportunities. With a remarkable 71.7 percent ground ball rate, Alexander is not a conventional reliever in this era. He does not strike out batters at a high rate with less than a batter per inning. He leans heavily on his 93.2 mph sinker to keep his opponent to a .236 batting average. Used frequently in the eighth inning, Alexander will slide into the ninth inning during the series in Colorado.

 

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