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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 8.

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 8 Waiver Wire RP Pickups for Holds

Amir Garrett, Cincinnati Reds

5 Holds, 1.40 ERA, 25.2 IP, 30 K, 0.94 WHIP

The Cincinnati Reds are not the best team by any means but Amir Garrett has been a shut down set up reliever. Armed with a 94.5 mph fastball and 82.4 mph slider, Garrett is striking out more than a batter per inning this season. Lefty Garrett has slightly better splits against right-handed batters this year, but batters in general are hitting .191 against him. In a pinch, Garrett will be asked for multiple innings of work but he is primarily used in the sixth and seventh inning. He allows less than a baserunner per inning. The Reds are not a proficient scoring team so when they do have a lead, it will be slim and Garrett will be called upon frequently to hold it down.

Dan Winkler, Atlanta Braves

7 Holds, 0.98 ERA, 18.1 IP, 27 K, 0.66 WHIP

The Atlanta Braves continue producing outstanding relievers and Dan Winkler is the latest example. The 26-year-old Winkler is dominating with a 93.2 mph fastball and 90.1 mph cutter. Winkler is striking out well over a batter per inning. He regularly finds himself in the eighth inning. Opponents are hitting .115 against Winkler this year and has not given up a run in a month. The Atlanta Braves have been exceeding expectations so look to Winkler as a waiver wire claim. Not only is he a strong holds candidate, he fills in all the statistics to help any fantasy team.

Bryan Shaw, Colorado Rockies

9 Holds, 4.95 ERA, 20.0 IP, 21 K, 1.60 WHIP

The Colorado Rockies invested in their bullpen and Bryan Shaw is beginning to pay dividends. After a rough April that saw Shaw pitch to a 6.75 ERA, May has been spotless in six appearances. The 33-year-old Shaw will still need to get acclimated to pitching in Colorado, where he currently pitches to a 9.35 in 8.2 innings. On the road, Shaw has a 1.59 ERA over 11.1 innings. Shaw is currently progressing and will continue being counted on in hold situations as the season moves along.

Ryan Tepera, Toronto Blue Jays

7 Holds, 3.20 ERA, 19.2 IP, 23 K, 1.17 WHIP

With the recent off the field issues for closer Roberto Osuna, relievers like Ryan Tepera will step up into higher leverage roles for the Toronto Blue Jays. Tepera has struggled of late but the circumstances require him to improve quickly. With his 95.3 mph sinker and 89.4 mph cutter, Tepera generates ground balls on 45.7 percent of batted balls. As long as he continues throwing swing-and-miss pitches out of the zone, Tepera will be a strong force in the eighth inning, bridging to the likes of Seung-Hwan Oh and Tyler Clippard. He may also notch saves on occasion as they piece together their last third of the game.

Cam Bedrosian, Los Angeles Angels

1 Save, 3 Holds, 3.38 ERA, 18.2 IP, 14 K, 1.50 WHIP

With the Los Angeles Angels down a reliever in Keynan Middleton, Cam Bedrosian will need to discover what brought him success in the past. Bedrosian has been good lately, four total scoreless innings in his last six appearances. Bedrosian has been dealt some unfortunate luck to this point of the year. Opponents are hitting to a .284 batting average but a .313 BABIP indicates his numbers do not reflect his quality of work. He has allowed a significantly higher amount of baserunners to reach this year on average and is striking out less than a batter per inning. Both of these numbers should not keep up so do not be surprised if Bedrosian turns around his current season soon. He is a worthwhile waiver wire claim for both holds and saves as the division-contending Angels sort out their bullpen situation.

 

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