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Holds Leagues: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12

What Appears In This Article? hide

While holds are even tougher to predict than saves, the players we’ll highlight today include some elite setup men.

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.

Here are five relief pitchers to target in week 11 if you play in fantasy baseball leagues that count holds.


Carter Capps, Miami Marlins

3 holds, 1.20 ERA, 15.0 innings, 28 strikeouts, 0.73 WHIP

Unusual delivery aside, the power-pitching Carter Capps has the stuff to be a future closer. Pairing a fastball that averages 97.8 MPH with a biting slider that averages 84.0 MPH, Capps is finding success in the setup role for the Miami Marlins. Opponents don't have time to process the hop in Capps' delivery with the fastball coming at that speed but the .160 opponent batting average shows that batters are not getting to the 24-year-old. He generates 45.5% ground ball rate and with the spacious Marlins Park, a 31.8% fly ball rate is not a batted ball rate to be concerned with. As long as A.J. Ramos is doing his job, Capps will not step into the closer's role. Capps clearly has the stuff to be a future closer but as of now, he is a powerful setup man that can be counted on for holds.


Joe Thatcher, Houston Astros

4 holds, 1.88 ERA, 14.1 innings (24 games), 18 strikeouts, 1.19 WHIP

Could the Houston Astros be real? For now, the answer is yes. Beyond the all-or-nothing power, another noticeable change to the American League West-leading Astros is a fortified bullpen. Along with a pair of veteran right-handed relievers, left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher has been a core member of the bullpen. The lefty specialist is holding left-handed opponents to a .219 batting average. The 33-year-old veteran does not rely on power, with a fastball that does not average 85 MPH and a slider that averages around 77.0 MPH. In baseball, a good contrast of power arms to finesse seems to beneficial to Thatcher. He generates ground balls on 45.7% of batted balls and is capable of striking out opponents as he has more than a strikeout than games (24) appeared in. The Astros success is hard to believe but when you see numbers like Joe Thatcher has put up, sometimes that is all you need to start to believe.


Jason Frasor, Kansas City Royals

2 holds, 0.44 ERA, 20.1 innings, 14 strikeouts, 1.57 WHIP

The veteran Jason Frasor continues to be a reliable reliever in baseball. On the Kansas City Royals, Jason Frasor turns to his low 90s fastball less while he increased his use of his slider and splitter. Frasor will not overpower opponents, hitting to a .260 batting average, but what he is doing is getting the ball put in play on the ground. Of the balls put in play, 50% come on the ground. With the stellar Royals defense, Jason Frasor will find success if he can keep the batted balls in the ballpark. The minuscule ERA indicates he is not letting the batters that reach score. He will not catch your eye but reliability sometimes slips by the eye test.


Matt Belisle, St. Louis Cardinals

7 holds, 2.25 ERA, 28.0 innings, 24 strikeouts, 1.46 WHIP

When you are on the best team in the league, holds will find their way to the relievers. Matt Belisle has been the beneficiary of so many wins by the St. Louis Cardinals. Without overpowering stuff, Belisle makes up for it with weak contact. Like Frasor, Belisle keeps the ball down with a 49.4% ground ball rate. The two-pitch pitcher relies on a low 90s fastball and a mid 80s slider. After average success in Colorado, Belisle is getting his best chance with a constant contender. So far, he has made the most of it. Expect him to continue this with all the opportunities he will have on the National League Central-leading Cardinals.


Justin Grimm, Chicago Cubs

5 holds, 1.20 ERA, 15.0 innings, 23 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

Once a starter, Justin Grimm appears to have found success with a Chicago Cubs team determined to break the curse. The 26-year-old Justin Grimm continues to add to his velocity now that he's a staple of the Cubs bullpen. In addition to velocity, with a fastball that averages 94.5 MPH, with a curve and slider in the low-to-mid 80s, Grimm keeps opponents from getting the ball in the air. So far this year, Justin Grimm has batted balls on the ground 53.6% of the time. Opponents are being kept to a .173 batting average. The Cubs could have the look of a contender and players like Grimm will be important to success.


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