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Holds Leagues: Waiver Wire Pickups For Week Three

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 pitchers are probably still available in your league.

Ryan Madson, Kansas City Royals

2015 Statistics: 1 hold, 0.00 ERA, 2.2 innings, 3 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

The 34-year-old Madson has not pitched on a major league mound since 2011. Recovering from Tommy John surgery, Madson was unsuccessful with the Reds and the Angels before signing on with the Royals. While he is not a part of the three-headed monster at the back end of the Royals' bullpen, Madson is effective in his own right. The velocity of his fastball and changeup are down two mph. The Royals are off to a good start. Madson could be a big part of the team's future success.

Al Alburquerque, Detroit Tigers

2015 Statistics: 2 holds, 3.86 ERA, 2.1 innings, 2 strikeouts, 0.86 WHIP

The 28-year-old Al Alburquerque continues to be a strong presence in the Tigers bullpen. The two-pitch pitcher for the Tigers will need to find the 45% ground ball rate that produced his 2.51 ERA last year. While his strikeout total went down to just over a strikeout per inning, he cut his walks per inning by nearly half. With Joe Nathan down with an injury, Joakim Soria will move into the closer's role so Alburquerque will be called upon for higher leverage innings for a team expected to contend for the division title and more.

Kevin Jepsen, Tampa Rays

2015 Statistics: 2 holds, 4.0 innings, 0.00 ERA, 5 strikeouts, 0.50 WHIP

The Tampa Bay Rays are in an interesting situation in regards to their bullpen. With incumbent closer Jake McGee currently injured, the bullpen has not officially labeled a closer. Through the five wins, three different relievers recorded a save. Brad Boxberger appears to get the majority of the saves, notching three so far, so relievers like Ernesto Frieri and Kevin Jepsen, though experienced, will be in setup roles behind Boxberger and McGee when he returns. If Jepsen can find the ground ball rate he had during his seven-year tenure with the Angels, expect him to continue his success in any role the Rays need from him.

Fernando Abad, Oakland Athletics

2015 Statistics: 1 hold, 4.1 innings, 2.08 ERA, 3 strikeouts, 1.38 WHIP

The Oakland Athletics are without closer Sean Doolittle so Tyler Clippard will step into the closer's role and others will have to step into other roles. The 29-year-old Fernando Abad is one of two lefty relievers in the A's bullpen that will take on an important role with the A's. Abad turns to a low 90s fastball and a curveball to get outs. Early in the season, Abad is getting a solid 46% ground ball rate. He may not be the best lefty in the bullpen but he could be the first pitcher out of the bullpen, looking to take advantage of an advantageous lefty vs. lefty matchup.

Boone Logan, Colorado Rockies

2015 Statistics: 5 holds, 5.0 innings, 1.80 ERA, 4 strikeouts, 0.60 WHIP

The 30-year-old Boone Logan has pitched well in his second full year with the Colorado Rockies. After a brief first year with the Rockies riddled with injuries, Boone Logan is healthy and contributing a power lefty arm in the bullpen.  Relying on a fastball in the low 90s and a slider in the low 80s. In 2013, his last healthy season, lefties hit .221, better than the .254 that righties hit against the 30-year-old. Despite pitching in the high elevation of Colorado, Logan has kept a remarkable 57% ground ball rate in his short time with the Rockies. While it is unlikely for him to keep this rate up, this lefty is an important part of the bullpen.



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