Holds Leagues: Waiver Wire & Pickups for Week Six

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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 6 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 6 Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds

Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals

3 Saves, 4 Holds, 2.19 ERA, 12.1 IP, 21 K, 1.05 WHIP

The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be figuring it out. A part of the stabilizing bullpen is former closer Trevor Rosenthal. The former closer appears to have discovered what made him so dominant in the past. Opponents are hitting .213 against him this year with well over a strikeout per inning. Rosenthal discovered more velocity to bring his fastball to 99.0 MPH and his cutter at 88.3 MPH. With three walks in 12.1 innings, Rosenthal is keeping the ball in the strike zone but with the added velocity, Rosenthal is having below average contact on pitches in the zone. Mixed in with many hold opportunities are the occasional save opportunities that make him an excellent waiver wire pickup.

Anthony Swarzak, Chicago White Sox

2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 14.2 IP, 17 K, 0.27 WHIP

Entering the second month of the season, Chicago White Sox reliever Anthony Swarzak continues to sport a spotless ERA. Finding a bit more velocity to his 94.4 MPH fastball to go along with his 86.5 MPH slider, Swarzak is having a great season. Striking out more than a batter per inning, Swarzak is still keeping the ball down, generating a ground ball on 50.0% of batted balls. The 31-year-old Swarzak is getting swinging strikes 22.1% of the time, more than double the league average of 10.2%. He is having a career year to this point so expect him to see high leverage situations and be in line for many holds while he maintains this success.

Alex Wilson, Detroit Tigers

6 Holds, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 9 K, 1.08 WHIP

With former Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez removed from the role and Justin Wilson put in the closer role, the bullpen will need to rebound from the change and keep moving forward. Alex Wilson will likely take on the eighth inning duties. Utilizing a 92.3 MPH two-seam fastball and 87.3 MPH cutter, Wilson does not generate the stuff to strikeout batters, averaging well under a strikeout per inning. Despite the low strikeout rate, Wilson is getting outs as opponents are hitting .200 against him Wilson relies on getting the first pitch strike, as he achieves that 67.3% of the time. Look for him to get holds in the eighth inning of Tigers victories.

Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants

0 Holds, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 14 K, 1.46 WHIP

The San Francisco Giants have had a volatile bullpen this year. With the recent injury to closer Mark Melancon, relievers will have to take on higher leveraged roles. Reliever Hunter Strickland has not been in high leverage situations due to a shaky past but his start to the 2017 season could force his way into situations while Melancon is injured. As long as Strickland can keep the walks down, he has swing-and-miss stuff, including a 95.8 MPH fastball and 82.6 MPH slider. The Giants bullpen needs a stable source in their bullpen and Strickland may provide that.

Matt Albers, Washington Nationals

1 Save, 2 Holds, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 12 K, 0.54 WHIP

With Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley sidelined, Matt Albers will be in the running for save opportunities. If he is not called upon for the save, he will be called on for the hold. The veteran Albers will generate ground balls with his 92.4 MPH sinker. 60.0% of batted balls against Albers have come on the ground. As long as Albers keeps the ball on the ground, he will be an acceptable reliever in the late innings of victories as long as Glover and Kelley remain sidelined.

 

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