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Holds Leagues: Waiver Wire Pickups For Week Five

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. Based on current ownership percentages, all of these relief  pitchers are probably still available on your league's waiver wire as of May 2nd, 2015.


Yoervis Medina, Seattle Mariners

3 holds, 2.70 ERA, 10.0 innings, 8 strikeouts, 1.60 WHIP

The Seattle Mariners have high expectations to contend and their powerful bullpen is a tremendous strength. One of the prominent members of the bullpen is righty Yoervis Medina. The 26-year-old Medina is a two-pitch pitcher that relies on a fastball that sits around 92 mph and a slider around 83 mph. Medina regularly finds himself pitching in the back third of the game. He has already notched three holds and the first month of the season is almost over. The pitcher-friendly Safeco Field has made the 40.6% fly ball rate tolerable. The Mariners are expected to contend and Medina will help their cause if he continues to pitch with the success he has seen so far.


Tony Sipp , Houston Astros

3 holds, 0.87 ERA, 10.1 innings, 8 strikeouts, 0.68 WHIP

The Houston Astros are the American League West division leaders. Hard to believe that huh? Well, the strong offense and very effective pitching has helped them surprise the world through the first month of the season. The 31-year-old Tony Sipp has been a key cog of the Astros bullpen. Sipp is the primary lefty out of the bullpen and he has kept left-handed batters to a .167 batting average. The three-pitch pitcher goes with a low 90 MPH fastball, a slider around the low 80s and a changeup near the high 70s. He calls a very hitter-friendly ballpark home so reducing his 40.7% fly ball rate will help him flourish. He has succeeded to this point at keeping the fly ball from hurting him, as seen by his numbers above. The 44.4% ground ball rate has helped him significantly. There is no telling if the Astros can actually maintain this pace but expect Sipp to see big situations when the Astros are trying to ensure their victory.


Kevin Siegrist, St. Louis Cardinals

3 holds, 2.08 ERA, 8.2 innings, 11 strikeouts, 1.04 WHIP

Despite the severe injury news, the St. Louis Cardinals hold the National League Central division lead through the first month of the season. The 25-year-old Siegrist has been very effective, striking out at least one batter in every appearance but one this season. He minimizes the ground ball rate but could do better by reducing his 30.0% line drive rate. Siegrist relies on a fastball in the low 90s with a changeup in the low 80s and a slider just under 80 MPH. Despite being a lefty, Siegrist has not been used in a specialty style. Lefties (.250) are hitting better than righties (.167) but as a whole, opponents are hitting .200 against Siegrist.


Paco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Dodgers

4 holds, 1.69 ERA, 5.1 innings, 5 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

Paco Rodriguez is one of two effective lefty relievers in the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen. Left-handed batters are hitting only .182 against the 24-year-old Rodriguez. An impressive quality about Paco Rodriguez is the diverse selection of pitches he turns to. His primary pitch is not the fastball but a sweeping slider that does not break 78 MPH. His fastball approaches 88 MPH with a cutter approaching 85 MPH and a changeup around 84 MPH. It is rare to see a reliever rely on four pitches to get his work done and even more rare from a lefty. In an early strong sample size, Rodriguez has generated a remarkable 61.5% ground ball rate. For comparison, the fly ball rate on batted balls against Paco Rodriguez is 7.7%. It is very unlikely he will maintain this rate on balls put in play but he could be a valuable asset to have from a consistently contending Dodgers team.


Chris Martin, New York Yankees

2 holds, 2.45 ERA, 11.0 innings, 13 strikeouts, 0.82 WHIP

The New York Yankees have had a very strong bullpen through the first month of the season. While there are some names in the bullpen that standout among the rest, righty Chris Martin has been a surprising presence in the bullpen. A giant among more Giants; the 28-year-old Chris Martin has kept opponents to a .167 batting average. He relies on three pitches, a fastball approaching 94 MPH, a cutter approaching 89 MPH and a slider just over 81 MPH. An impressive number for the tall righty is the 55.2% ground ball rate. In the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, keeping the ball out of the air will go a long way in preventing an opponent from taking advantage of the short porch. The bullpen has been one of the more stable features of the new-look Yankees and Martin is a reliable presence that will bridge games to victory.


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