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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 25.

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.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!

 

Relief Pitcher Waiver Wire - Week 25 Pickups

Ty Buttrey, Los Angeles Angels

2 Saves, 5 Holds, 0.77 ERA, 11.2 IP, 11 K, 0.94 WHIP

The Los Angeles Angels have been searching for a reliable closer and Ty Buttrey may have emerged. The 25-year-old Buttrey began his 2018 campaign as a middle reliever but quickly proved he could handle the high leverage situations as he became a late-game reliever this month. Opponents are hitting .195 against Buttrey and he is generating a ground ball on 58.1 percent of batted balls. He is currently striking out a batter per inning with opponents reaching base at about the same rate. The Angels have been through a number of relievers in search of a reliable closer and it looks like Buttrey could be reliable for the remainder of the season.

Seung Hwan Oh, Colorado Rockies

3 Saves, 6 Holds, 2.78 ERA, 64.2 IP, 74 K, 1.05 WHIP

The Colorado Rockies are deep in the fight for a postseason spot and the acquisition of Seunghwan Oh has been paying off. Striking out more than a batter per inning, Oh appears to have regained the form that made him a force to reckon with in his first year in the major leagues. Armed with a 91.7 mph fastball and 84.0 mph slider, opponents are hitting .215 against Oh. His stability has thrust him right into the eighth inning with the Rockies and he has brought more good than bad. While the rest of the bullpen becomes what the Rockies paid for, Oh, the solid acquisition, is securing significant holds in crucial situations. He is a worthwhile holds candidate on a strong division contender.

Yoshihisa Hirano, Arizona Diamondbacks

1 Save, 32 Holds, 2.15 ERA, 62.2 IP, 55 K, 1.05 WHIP

With closer Brad Boxberger struggling, Yoshihisa Hirano received first opportunities as every win is necessary in the tight postseason race for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unconventional, the veteran import from Japan is not blowing away batters with his 91.4 mph fastball and 83.3 mph split-finger fastball. He averages well under a strikeoutper inning but opponents are hitting .207 against Hirano. A 48.8 percent ground ball rate has been a strong case to support his use in high leverage situations. He struggled in his latest opportunity but a solid rookie campaign will garner him a little more length on his leash. Regardless of his role, Hirano will find himself in tough situations and he has answered positively. If strikeouts are not a necessity, Hirano is a worthwhile claim while the Diamondbacks fight for their spot in the postseason.

Lou Trivino, Oakland Athletics

4 Saves, 23 Holds, 2.18 ERA, 70.1 IP, 78 K, 1.10 WHIP

The Oakland Athletics are making a strong push for the first Wild Card spot or more and their rich, with talent, bullpen features rookie reliever Lou Trivino. The rookie Trivino has been a force in his first taste of the majors. Along with striking out more than a batter per inning, opponents are hitting .190 against Trivino. With a 97.6 mph fastball and 92.4 mph cutter, Trivino is also generating a ground ball on 47.9 of batted balls. The A's have added a number of veterans to fortify their bullpen but Trivino remains a dependable late-inning reliever.

Dan Winkler, Atlanta Braves

2 Saves, 22 Holds, 3.07 ERA, 56.2 IP, 69 K, 1.09 WHIP

The Atlanta Braves have a strong lead in their division and Dan Winkler has been a part of numerous victories. Opponents are hitting .218 against Winkler this year. Relying heavily on a 90.4 mph cutter, Winkler is striking out well over a batter per inning with a baserunner per inning. He has had a rough go of it lately, allowing five runs, four in one appearance. With above league average swings with below league average contact, Winkler will reclaim more success as the regular season wraps up. A.J. Minter is the first candidate for closing but Winkler is right behind him.

 

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