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Updated Relief Pitcher Rankings - 5x5 Roto (Mixed Leagues)

We're back up on the bump for this edition of our mixed rankings analysis, and not a moment too soon. The 2019 baseball season is already here! RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, JB Branson, Bill Dubiel, Pierre Camus, and Scott Engel want to make sure you are prepared for last-minute drafts, so they have given their preseason rankings a final update. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for a current list any time.

Relief pitching may not be one of your first priorities on draft day, as there can be a pretty significant drop-off after the first few true studs. That doesn't mean there aren't great values to be found in later rounds--in fact, if you decide to wait on relief pitcher there are enough mid-tier options to round out a pretty competitive staff.

To check out our starting pitcher rankings, click here. Now, without any more delay, let's break down the 2019 relief pitcher rankings for March.

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Relief Pitcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill JB Scott
1 1 Edwin Diaz RP 53 61 48 47 57
2 1 Blake Treinen RP 61 73 67 52 65
3 2 Kenley Jansen RP 82 77 90 77 73
4 2 Aroldis Chapman RP 100 72 98 84 89
5 2 Roberto Osuna RP 95 74 92 104 91
6 2 Brad Hand RP 109 95 108 99 95
7 3 Sean Doolittle RP 99 127 95 129 76
8 3 Craig Kimbrel RP 104 164 50 94 117
9 3 Felipe Vazquez RP 110 111 118 109 96
10 3 Josh Hader RP 121 138 110 121 130
11 3 Raisel Iglesias RP 160 78 119 140 129
12 3 Jose Leclerc RP 122 112 161 117 131
13 3 Corey Knebel RP 120 146 153 124 133
14 3 Ken Giles RP 151 109 142 142 144
15 3 Kirby Yates RP 119 210 128 119 126
16 3 Wade Davis RP 138 125 160 147 148
17 4 Cody Allen RP 159 298 207 201 160
18 4 David Robertson RP 189 360 217 164 150
19 4 Andrew Miller RP 223 285 200 223 166
20 4 Jordan Hicks RP 208 276 252 234 204
21 4 Alex Colome RP 213 362 172 214 221
22 4 Will Smith RP 255 299 279 166 185
23 4 Dellin Betances RP 193 323 198 291 183
24 4 Archie Bradley RP 224 237 339 206 211
25 4 Mychal Givens RP 238 277 256 195 256
26 4 Seranthony Dominguez RP 310 252 223 191 286
27 5 Jose Alvarado RP 199 371 355 171 178
28 5 Alex Reyes SP/RP 275 442 94 212 #N/A
29 5 Arodys Vizcaino RP 234 347 349 216 208
30 5 A.J. Minter RP 303 318 208 284 242
31 5 Trevor May RP 198 325 383 250 226
32 5 Zack Britton RP 294 284 219 383 #N/A
33 5 Adam Ottavino RP 308 361 216 318 #N/A
34 5 Drew Steckenrider RP 332 327 315 269 265
35 5 Brandon Morrow RP 337 444 235 272 263
36 5 Shane Greene RP 274 446 334 253 262
37 5 Pedro Strop RP 292 448 354 275 214
38 6 Matt Barnes RP 284 460 #N/A 345 205
39 6 Ryan Brasier RP 327 257 408 335 #N/A
40 6 Jeremy Jeffress RP 362 466 261 302 276
41 6 Joe Jimenez RP 341 310 324 385 #N/A
42 6 Seth Lugo SP/RP 317 336 311 407 #N/A
43 6 Hunter Strickland RP 288 517 #N/A 358 210
44 6 Brad Peacock RP/SP 249 479 400 323 #N/A
45 6 Matt Strahm RP/SP 311 487 298 360 #N/A
46 6 Chad Green RP 321 468 328 341 #N/A
47 6 Jeurys Familia RP 400 352 341 394 #N/A
48 7 Corbin Burnes SP/RP 422 412 381 322 #N/A
49 7 Kelvin Herrera RP 483 300 456 342 #N/A
50 7 Brad Boxberger RP 272 470 610 363 267
51 7 Mark Melancon RP 346 490 345 415 #N/A
52 7 Yoshihisa Hirano RP 489 380 327 403 #N/A
53 7 Ty Buttrey RP 410 504 288 441 #N/A
54 7 Diego Castillo RP/SP 383 #N/A 396 456 #N/A
55 7 Sergio Romo RP 461 549 #N/A 422 234
56 7 Wily Peralta SP/RP 533 537 429 397 239
57 7 Blake Parker RP 445 464 473 329 #N/A
58 7 Ryan Pressly RP 378 493 427 435 #N/A
59 7 Taylor Rogers RP 462 #N/A 440 437 #N/A
60 7 Trevor Rosenthal RP 428 #N/A 524 418 #N/A
61 7 Keone Kela RP 499 484 554 402 #N/A
62 7 Craig Stammen RP 452 #N/A 475 537 #N/A
63 7 Jared Hughes RP 454 #N/A 399 614 #N/A
64 7 Adam Conley SP/RP 519 384 484 571 #N/A
65 7 Justin Miller RP 522 #N/A 492 #N/A #N/A
66 7 Hector Neris RP 611 326 612 487 #N/A
67 7 Lou Trivino RP 514 542 502 482 #N/A
68 7 Yusmeiro Petit RP 511 546 483 #N/A #N/A
69 7 Chris Devenski SP/RP 482 516 449 610 #N/A
70 7 Joe Kelly RP 420 590 448 608 #N/A
71 7 Justin Anderson RP 532 #N/A 501 #N/A #N/A
72 7 Greg Holland RP 524 528 606 409 #N/A
73 7 Anthony Swarzak RP 558 #N/A #N/A 476 #N/A
74 7 Steve Cishek RP 510 574 481 506 #N/A
75 7 Felix Pena RP/SP 509 #N/A 442 615 #N/A
76 7 Carl Edwards Jr. RP 485 555 463 600 #N/A
77 7 Seunghwan Oh RP 501 #N/A 498 587 #N/A
78 7 David Hernandez RP 559 #N/A 506 #N/A #N/A
79 7 Dakota Hudson RP 502 562 478 589 #N/A
80 7 Will Harris RP 527 580 493 #N/A #N/A
81 8 Kyle Crick RP 476 #N/A 499 667 #N/A
82 8 Dylan Floro SP/RP 580 #N/A 519 #N/A #N/A
83 8 Trevor Hildenberger RP #N/A 594 #N/A 507 #N/A
84 8 Pat Neshek RP 572 #N/A 529 #N/A #N/A
85 8 Nate Jones RP 578 564 534 548 #N/A
86 8 Kyle Barraclough RP #N/A 637 441 590 #N/A
87 8 Reyes Moronta RP 498 #N/A 528 645 #N/A
88 8 Cam Bedrosian RP #N/A 559 #N/A #N/A #N/A
89 8 Robert Gsellman SP/RP 542 616 510 603 #N/A
90 8 Shawn Armstrong RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 568 #N/A
91 8 Tony Watson RP 521 #N/A 599 588 #N/A
92 8 Jesse Chavez RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 572 #N/A
93 8 Caleb Ferguson RP 566 581 560 599 #N/A
94 8 Adam Cimber RP 588 #N/A 565 #N/A #N/A
95 8 Bud Norris RP 643 628 557 481 #N/A
96 8 Joakim Soria RP 619 #N/A 604 515 #N/A
97 8 Jace Fry RP 633 597 629 475 #N/A
98 8 Mike Montgomery SP/RP 589 601 532 613 #N/A
99 9 Nick Goody RP 601 #N/A 568 #N/A #N/A
100 9 Clayton Richard RP 562 644 553 #N/A #N/A
101 9 Richard Rodriguez RP #N/A #N/A 488 689 #N/A
102 9 Hector Rondon RP 609 593 577 586 #N/A
103 9 Brad Brach RP 561 #N/A 521 698 #N/A
104 9 Luke Gregerson RP 637 523 625 #N/A #N/A
105 9 Andrew Cashner RP/SP 612 #N/A 584 #N/A #N/A
106 9 Ryne Stanek RP 560 595 #N/A 643 #N/A
107 9 Jeff Hoffman RP 587 #N/A 623 #N/A #N/A
108 9 Fernando Rodney RP 616 520 590 694 #N/A
109 9 Addison Reed RP 606 547 572 696 #N/A
110 9 Ray Black RP 534 #N/A #N/A 680 #N/A
111 9 Ryan Tepera RP 638 602 #N/A 583 #N/A
112 9 Jose Castillo RP 598 #N/A 595 632 #N/A
113 9 Joe Biagini SP/RP 636 #N/A 597 #N/A #N/A
114 9 Ryan Madson RP #N/A 619 #N/A #N/A #N/A
115 9 Matt Bush RP 628 #N/A 611 #N/A #N/A
116 9 Sam Dyson RP #N/A 625 #N/A #N/A #N/A
117 9 Ty Blach RP 634 649 593 #N/A #N/A
118 9 Jacob Barnes RP 632 #N/A 621 #N/A #N/A
119 9 Taylor Cole RP 639 #N/A 626 #N/A #N/A
120 9 Josh Fields RP 641 #N/A 627 #N/A #N/A
121 9 Chaz Roe RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 637 #N/A
122 9 Shawn Kelley RP #N/A 651 #N/A #N/A #N/A
123 9 Frankie Montas SP/RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 659 #N/A
124 9 Tanner Scott RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 675 #N/A
125 9 Tyler Thornburg RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 682 #N/A


Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

Edwin Diaz burst onto the scene last year with one of the more eye-popping seasons that a closer has ever had. Diaz slammed the door a league-leading 57 times while striking out an ungodly 124 hitters in just 73.1 IP, and he tacked on a shiny 1.96 ERA to boot. Diaz is still the top dog and it's not particularly close for me, even if he does regress a bit to the mean (which is all but guaranteed). He likely won't have the same amount of save opportunities given that he's now on the Mets instead of the Mariners, but there's a decent chance that the Mets middling offense has a healthy number of close games. His strikeout ratio shouldn't go anywhere even if he gets touched up a bit more, making him one of the highest-floor and ceiling RPs you'll find on draft day.

Sure the saves are impressive, but Blake "The Witch" Treinen looks upon Diaz's ERA and scoffs. A mainstay on Pitching Ninja's gif-heavy Twitter account, Treinen's 100MPH+ sinker is one of the nastiest single pitches of all-time, and due to that he was (and is) nigh-unhittable. He allowed just two homers all year, and while he likely won't finish as the top RP due to a lack of save opportunities, Treinen is perhaps the safest bet you can make at the position in 2019.

Tier Two

If anyone can challenge Diaz for the saves crown, it might be Brad Hand. The former Padre should have plenty of save opportunities closing games out for one of the AL's juggernauts, and Hand has been one of the most underrated relievers in baseball for two years now. We've got him ranked inside the top 100, and I think that's appropriate given his potential for saves and strikeouts--he's posted a K% of 30.0 or better in each of the last three seasons.

Tier Three

Speaking of underrated relievers, did you know that Kirby Yates had a 2.14 ERA last season and a microscopic 0.921 WHIP across 63 innings? I sure didn't. The unsung hero of the Padres bullpen should be afforded the opportunity to close with Brad Hand no longer in the mix and nobody else in the 'pen that approaches his level of dominance. We've got him just inside our second tier, and I think there's a chance that he jumps into the top tier if and ONLY IF the Padres are able to win more than 75 games this year.

Jose LeClerc was quietly unreal last year. While the Rangers reliever only notched 12 saves in 2018, he was an animal all season--he allowed just 10 earned runs across 57.2 innings of work, and backed it up with a 0.850 WHIP and 85 strikeouts. I'm lowest among our group on him, but not by a large margin. My thinking is that he has to regress at least a little bit, but now that he's been anointed the Rangers closer, a top-10 finish is within his grasp.


Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Four

I really want Seranthony Dominguez to be given a full shot at the closer's role, but with David Robertson making his way to Philly, I fear Dominguez may once again be relegated to a hybrid setup/sometimes closer role. He was excellent in his 54 innings last year, mowing down 74 hitters and posting a 0.931 WHIP along with a solid-yet-unspectacular 2.95 ERA. He certainly had his meltdown moments, but all-told he was remarkable for a true rookie. I have him at the very end of my top 150, but I fear I might be overly optimistic given Robertson's presence. If you're in a saves+holds league, Dominguez is a great cheap option.

Mychal Givens should be given the first crack at the Orioles closer job with Brad Brach now a Chicago Cub, but I'm not sure how much value comes with that position. Givens is coming off of a sub-par 2018 in which he posted the highest ERA of his career, due largely to a depressed strikeout rate. Assuming he keeps the job now that he's got it, we're looking at what--25 saves on a really bad Orioles team? The risk outweighs the potential reward here; I won't be owning Givens anywhere this year.

Tier Five

I had A.J. Minter on my watch list for the spring, as he could quickly turn into a high-value closer should he win the closer job. Unfortunately, he suffered a minor injury setback, and he'll open the season rehabbing in AAA Gwinnett. In the meantime, Arodys Vizcaino will hold down the closer job, and he quietly had a solid 2018 when he was healthy (16 saves, 2.11 ERA across 38.1 IP). Minter was holding it down in his absence though, notching 15 saves of his own and flashing decent ratios despite being hittable at times. I think we could be in for a similar save split this season, meaning it'll be tough to trust Minter right away--but he makes for a great IL stash right now if you've got room.


Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Six

Matt Strahm has some upside this late in most drafts thanks to his dual eligibility--he's going to open the season in the Padres starting rotation, and he's got some talent to flash. A plus fastball combined with a terrific curveball as a put-away pitch helped Strahm to an impressive first run with the Padres last year. He tossed a 2.05 ERA across 61.1 innings, including five starts, and in that time frame, he boasted an impressive 28.2 K%. Strahm is one of those late-round fliers that you should not hesitate to take on draft day, and if you've drafted already keep a very close eye on the waiver wire for him.

Tier Seven

With the league's aforementioned top closer now on the Mets, it's unlikely Jeurys Familia sees any save opportunities outside of when Diaz needs a breather or if he gets injured. Still, at just 28 years of age, there is plenty left in the tank for a reliever who led the MLB in saves in 2016 (51). He's coming off a season in which he posted the highest strikeout rate of his career, although his 3.13 ERA was average for a closer. Familia likely won't be of much use if you're not in any saves+holds leagues, but he'd be an immediate add should Edwin Diaz experience any kind of injury. You can keep Familia around in the meantime to help out your ratios.

More Fantasy Baseball Rankings Analysis


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As the NFL Scouting Combine looms on the horizon, anticipation reaches a fever pitch among fantasy football enthusiasts. This annual event serves as a crucial battleground where college prospects showcase their athletic prowess, mental acuity, and raw potential in front of scouts, coaches, and general managers from across the league. For fantasy football managers, the... Read More

Breece Hall - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Biggest Fantasy Football Running Back Breakouts of 2023

In the high-stakes world of fantasy football, the running back position is the cornerstone of many winning strategies. Whether it's securing crucial yardage, making key receptions (in PPR formats), or finding the end zone, their multifaceted contributions can make or break a fantasy team's fortunes. Yet, what truly sets the running back position apart is... Read More

Drake Maye - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, QB, NFL Draft Sleepers

Coach Knows Ball: Drake Maye 2024 NFL Draft Film Breakdown Of North Carolina QB

Welcome to Coach Knows Ball, an NFL Draft series analyzing the top prospects in the 2024 class. I'm a college football coach with nine years of NCAA experience, and have been scouting NFL Draft prospects for over 15 years. This series will give a deep dive into the film of some of the top players... Read More