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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 7.

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 7 Waiver Wire RP Pickups for Holds

Chad Green, New York Yankees

4 Holds, 2.70 ERA, 20.0 IP, 27 K, 1.05 WHIP

Not quite up to the bar he set last year, Chad Green is still having a great year for the New York Yankees. Green is using his 95.7 mph fastball with his 87.3 mph slider to average over a strikeout per inning this season. Green frequently finds himself in the seventh or eighth inning. While Green is surrendering more hits this year, opponents are still only hitting to a .222 batting average. Green was exceptional last year so a great season this year pales in comparison. Bear in mind, Green occasionally pitches more than an inning of work. He has had mixed results with more than an inning of work lately and it could affect his likelihood for holds. However, this does not diminish his fantasy value. He puts excellent numbers across the board and will be a valuable waiver wire claim.

Shane Carle, Atlanta Braves

6 Holds, 0.87 ERA, 20.2 IP, 17 K, 1.02 WHIP

The Atlanta Braves have surprised many and Shane Carle's season is a pleasant part of that. Mixing up a 94.8 mph fastball, 86.2 mph slider and 87.1 mph changeup; Carle is holding opponents to a .200 batting average this year. Regularly pitching in the seventh and eighth inning, Carle has been used in multiple innings of work once in a while but most of his work is in just an inning of work. As evidenced by his low WHIP, he allows about a baserunner per inning. While he is not striking out more than a batter per inning, he is effective and retains the lead when he exits the game. If your other statistics are comfortably accounted for, Carle is a worthwhile pickup to reduce your ERA and secure holds.

Ryan Pressly, Minnesota Twins

2 Holds, 0.92 ERA, 19.2 IP, 26 K, 1.02 WHIP

The Minnesota Twins have had mostly ineffective relievers but Ryan Pressly is emerging as a stable force. Pressly has not been handed many high leverage situations but the numbers show the Twins may be visiting this possibility soon. In May, Pressly has been used in the seventh and eighth inning and they were scoreless appearances. Pressly is currently striking out more than a batter per inning but expect this to approach a batter per inning, closer to his career average as the season progresses. As long as Pressly continues to pitch this effectively, expect him to get opportunities with the lead.

Michael Feliz, Pittsburgh Pirates

6 Holds, 3.00 ERA, 15.0 IP, 20 K, 1.20 WHIP

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the early race to this point in the season and Michael Feliz is having a strong showing as a setup reliever. Feliz strikes out more than a batter per inning and relies on his 95.3 mph fastball and 84.0 mph slider. Feliz will need to increase his soft contact rate of 19.4 percent and reduce his line drive rate of 38.9 percent if he wants sustained success. Regardless, Feliz has pitched seven consecutive scoreless innings lately and he is a hot pitcher right now. He is a worthwhile waiver wire claim while the Pirates remain surprisingly competitive.

Carl Edwards, Chicago Cubs

8 Holds, 0.53 ERA, 17.0 IP, 30 K, 0.88 WHIP

Carl Edwards is having an outstanding season for the Chicago Cubs. Opponents are hitting a dismal .121 against Edwards this year. Edwards is allowing less than a baserunner per inning and is striking out nearly two batters per inning. With a 94.4 mph fastball and 80.1 mph curveball, Edwards is generating a lot of swinging strikes, even when he pitches in the zone. Edwards is a must-have reliever for more than holds. He is putting up exceptional numbers in every statistic.

 

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