Holds Leagues: Waiver Wire & Pickups for Week 11

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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 for Week 11 of the fantasy baseball season.

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 11 Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds

Juan Nicasio, Pittsburgh Pirates

12 Holds, 1.23 ERA, 29.1 IP, 30 K, 1.06 WHIP

Due to an ineffective Tony Watson, the Pittsburgh Pirates will mix-and-match to finish off their games. Alongside lefty Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio will see his share of save opportunities. While Rivero may have the better stats, Nicasio is no pushover. Armed with a 95.1 mph fastball and 88.3 mph slider, Nicasio strikes out just over a batter per inning. Nicasio generates a ground ball 44.7 percent of the time. As long as Nicasio continues generating contact out of the zone, he should fair well in his seventh and eighth inning duties, securing holds that make him a strong waiver wire pickup candidate.

Mychal Givens, Baltimore Orioles

10 Holds, 2.76 ERA, 32.2 IP, 32 K, 1.19 WHIP

The big arms of the Baltimore Orioles bullpen have been ravaged by injuries, but when one goes down, another steps up and the most recent name is Mychal Givens. With Darren O'Day and Zach Britton sidelined, Brad Brach will see the majority of the save opportunities, opening the setup duties for Givens. As a pitcher who has seen success in the past, Givens will hold his own in the higher leveraged role. Opponents are batting .228 against Givens this year thanks to his ability to generate a ground ball 42.9 percent of the time. Armed with a 95.2 mph fastball and 87.3 mph slider, Givens averages just shy of a strikeout per inning, but he can be counted on for many hold opportunities in a competitive East division, making him a quality waiver wire pickup candidate in holds leagues.

Pedro Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers

9 Holds, 0.94 ERA, 28.2 IP, 29 K, 1.08 WHIP

The Los Angeles Dodgers are deep in a competitive West division and Pedro Baez is a vital part of bridging wins to saves. The power-pitching Baez continues putting up excellent numbers this year. Despite walking nearly double his career average, opponents are still hitting just .175 against him. With his power two-seam fastball at 97.0 mph and a slider at 87.3 mph, Baez gets above-league-average swings but below-league-average contact. The Dodgers will need every win they can muster with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies remaining in the fight two and a half months through the season. Baez has extremely high value for holds leagues as he has proven to be one of the most reliable arms in the Dodgers bullpen.

Kyle Barraclough, Miami Marlins

6 Holds, 3.49 ERA, 28.1 IP, 30 K, 1.59 WHIP

Miami Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough is not pitching up to the high standards he created in past years, but he remains effective nonetheless. Opponents are hitting .217 against him this year, much unlike his career numbers. He maintains his 95.3 mph fastball and 81.6 mph slider so his pitches have not lost effectiveness this year. In addition, he has a career-worst walks per nine innings along with a career-worst strikeout per nine innings. If Barraclough can discover what made his pitches swing-and-miss like previous years, he will be as dominant as he was in the past, increasing his value in holds leagues.

Ryan Tepera, Toronto Blue Jays

1 Save, 4 Holds, 2.86 ERA, 34.2 IP, 36 K, 0.98 WHIP

The Toronto Blue Jays have begun to look healthier lately and the AL East division is tightening up. Tepera is generating above-league-average swings with below league average contact. With a 94.7 mph fastball and 88.3 mph cutter, Tepera is averaging over a strikeout per inning and he keeps the opponents to a .172 batting average. And the hits he does allow, stay in the ballpark, with just one home run allowed in his 34 2/3 innings. Pitching primarily in the seventh inning, Tepera will see his share of holds as the Blue Jays regain their players. Tepera will secure holds over the course of the season in his highly competitive division.

 

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