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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.

Let's take a look at three potential closer's in a waiting as well as an SP eligible set up man for Week 7 of the fantasy baseball season.

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Under-the-Radar Relievers to Watch - Week 7

Edubray Ramos, Philadelphia Phillies - 15% owned

Ramos was called upon to finish off the Mets Sunday afternoon and got the job done, allowing just one walk while striking out one. Gabe Kapler downplayed any talk of Hector Neris losing his job as the teams primary closer, saying something to the extent of "we would use the most appropriate reliever in a situation". While Neris has been truly hit or miss this season and Ramos's numbers look nice, it's a little too soon to believe Ramos has taken over the job. Ramos really isn't your typical closer type reliever, featuring a slider almost twice as often as his fastball but gets the job done by inducing soft contact more often than not. I don't see a path for Ramos to fully take over the role, as this is likely to shift more towards a committee if anything, but he is worth a speculative add still for those with a roster spot to burn and are in need of saves.

Bruce Rondon, Chicago White Sox - 6% owned

One of my favorite sleepers heading into the 2017 season, Rondon disappointed in a big way, finishing with an ERA over ten in 15+ innings. He spent most of his time with the Tigers AAA club, where he pitched well, before signing with the White Sox this offseason. He's always had fantastic strikeout stuff, high 90's fastball and a plus slider, but command issues have always been his downfall. While his 4.85 BB/9 is an improvement over last years dreadful numbers, it still needs to be better if he is to have any sort of consistency, whatever role he may be in. Soria and Nate Jones are the only two roadblocks for him, and while both are vulnerable, this is likely another team to avoid if you are scavenging for saves. Still, Rondon is worth a look in deeper leagues, and definitely in leagues that count K/9.

Blake Parker, Los Angeles Angels - 23% owned

With it sounds like Keynan Middleton will miss a significant chunk of time, if not the entire season, with UCL damage, it once again brings up the question of who the Angels closer will be now. Jim Johnson was filling in for Middleton the past two weeks, but wasn't exactly "running away with the job". However, Mike Scioscia should take another look at Blake Parker, who has really turned his season around after a shaky start. He's been missing more bats lately and hasn't allowed a run in his last 6.1 innings, posting nine strikeouts, four hits and two walks over that span. He was one of the most dominant relievers last season and was a popular sleeper pick this draft season because of it so don't be surprised if he gets his job back and holds it for a lengthy amount of time. I'd be adding him over Johnson at this point just because of upside, but for those desperate for the saves, it wouldn't hurt to stash both until we get some more clarity.

Buck Farmer, Detroit Tigers  - 2% owned

One of the better names in baseball, Farmer even had a short run of success and fantasy relevance as a starter last season. It didn't last all too long though (two starts) and we once again forgot about Farmer as a fantasy option. This year though, working exclusively out of the bullpen, Farmer has been excellent with the exception of his first outing of the year. Since then, he's allowed just three earned runs over 18.1 innings of work to go with a K/9 just over 9. His velocity is up three MPH with the move to the bullpen, which has also led to a 3% rise in his SwStr%, which now sits at a very respectable 14.9%. He's also up to six holds now (four of which came in the last week) and is worth looking at for those in hold formats given his SP eligibility, making him somewhat of a poor mans Brad Peacock.

 

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