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Relief Pitchers Deeper Dive - Week 15

Today and every Tuesday moving forward throughout the 2018 MLB season, we will take a deep dive into some of the lesser-owned relief pitchers on the market that are worth keeping tabs on.

This can be a good tool for those in deeper holds leagues, although any pitcher in a position to make a move on their respective team's closer job will get priority.

Below are my relief pitchers to target for Week 15 of the fantasy baseball season. Let's get to it.

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Under-the-Radar Relievers to Watch - Week 15

Victor Arano, Philadelphia Phillies - 15% owned

While Seranthony Dominguez continues to far and away be the Phillies best reliever, it's been Victor Arano working the 9th inning during the Phillies past few save chances. The first time Dominguez was shut down for the game after pitching the previous two days while during this last save for Arano we saw Dominguez work the 8th. It could be because the Pirates had the middle of the order up in the 8th and the lineup due up in the 9th struggles with breaking stuff (Arano's a slider specialist) but either way the fact Gabe Kapler trusts Arano to finish off games puts him on the radar in all leagues. While he doesn't throw as hard as Dominguez, his fastball sits around 94-95 and is his secondary offering as he features a slider over 51% of the time. He gets a ton of swings a misses because of it (15.5 SwStr%) and his 3.89 K/BB ratio plus 2.28 FIP indicate he can help in other categories as well.

James Pazos, Seattle Mariners - 3% owned

The one consistent cog in the Mariners bullpen outside of the dominant Edwin Diaz this season has been lefty James Pazos. Despite a dip in K% (10.9 in 2017, 7.76 in 2018) Pazos has been much more effecient this season by limiting walks and controling the strike zone. The biggest chance has been his fastball usage, which is up to over 91% this season after 74% and 65% the past two years. He's just pitching to contact and it's working out wonderfully for him as he now has 15 holds on the season, which ranks 15th in baseball currently. He's likely 3rd or 4th on the save depth chart at best, but the one true left handed reliever currently on the Mariners roster should remain a viable deep league option in holds leagues.

Neil Ramirez, Cleveland Indians - 1% owned

Injuries to the Indians top two set up men from last season has given Ramirez a chance to earn a valuable set up role in front of closer Cody Allen the past month, and he in turn has been fairly productive (outside of Saturdays outing). A bit of a journeyman, Ramirez has seen a 2 MPH boost to his fastball/slider combo this season, and it's made quite the difference in his numbers. He has a career high 15.5 SwStr% is more than two percentage points higher than any season since 2014, and his 4.00 K/BB ratio is also a career high. The 2.45 BB rate is also a career high and especially impressive considering he is throwing his slider the most he ever has, which is 39% of the time. Even with Andrew Miller likely to come off the DL in the coming weeks, Ramirez should still be in the holds mix working in a role similar to how the team used Bryan Shaw the past couple of seasons.


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