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Relief Pitchers

RP rankings artworkBelow are the rankings of relief pitchers for the 2020 fantasy season. The list was last updated on March 6, 2020.

1. Josh Hader (MIL) The five elite closers entering the 2019 campaign (Jansen, Kimbrel, Chapman, Diaz, and Hader) is no more. There is only one elite-level closer in the game and his name is Josh Hader.

2. Aroldis Chapman (NYY) He’s not the same flamethrower we witnessed routinely hit 104 mph on the gun, but he’s still one of the safest and most consistent ninth-inning pitchers in the game.

3. Kirby Yates (SD) There were some serious questions as to whether Kirby Yates could repeat the great results we saw in 2018. He answered them all and passed the test with flying colors. When you lead the League with 41 saves and post a microscopic 1.19 ERA, you very quickly move to the top of the closer rankings.

4. Brad Hand (CLE) The soon-to-be 30-year-old southpaw has been a model of consistency the past couple of seasons. Just be aware that the fortunes of the Indians this season could dictate a potential deadline deal to be in his future.

5. Roberto Osuna (HOU) Osuna is entering his age-25 season with five years as a closer under his belt. In 2019 he finished second in saves to only Kirby Yates, with 38. The elite strikeout rate dipped a bit last year, but being they were still better than a K per inning is more than acceptable.

6. Taylor Rogers (MIN) In 2019, Rogers moved from the situational southpaw to the closer last season and didn’t skip a beat. He recorded 90 strikeouts in 69 IP. He led all closers with a scant 11 walks allowed. He also quietly finished in the Top-10 with 30 saves last year. There’s a lot to like in Taylor Rogers.

7. Alex Colome (CWS) Colome’s worst ERA since 2016 is 3.24. He also has posted 126 saves over that same period. The White Sox are on the rise and should provide Colome plenty of opportunities to continue to amass solid save totals.

8. Liam Hendriks (OAK) Remember when Blake Treinen was all-world in 2018? The walk rates soared and the K rates fell off the map. The beneficiary of Treinen’s misfortunes was the pride of Australia, Liam Hendriks. The strikeout rates have always been solid. Last year he struck out an amazing 124 batters in 85 IP. That’s just a bit better than solid. The one concern we do have is the heavy workload in 2019. Not only were the 85 IP a career-high, but also a League-high. The A’s do work their closers hard.

9. Craig Kimbrel (CHC) 2019 was an unmitigated disaster. An off-season to regroup and a start to the season that includes Spring Training should bode well for a bounce-back in 2020.

10. Ken Giles (TOR) Giles bounced back rather nicely in 2019, saving 23 games for the Jays while sporting a great 1.87 ERA. Just be aware that he’s in his last season before heading into Free Agency and there is a real possibility that a trade and possibly loss of closer role could occur at the trade deadline.

11. Edwin Diaz (NYM) The velocity wasn’t the issue, but there was one….maybe even a couple? Diaz was hit both harder and more often and the homers allowed soared from five in 2019 to 15 last year. The addition of Dellin Betances to an already strong bullpen means that the patience exercised in 2019 won’t be on display this season.

12. Kenley Jansen (LAD) Over the past three seasons we’ve seen Jansen’s ERA rise from 1.32 to 3.01 to 3.71. There is a reason that the Dodgers went out and signed Blake Treinen in the off-season.

13. Brandon Workman (BOS) You have to love the 104 strikeouts in 71 2/3 IP. You also have to love the fact that new manager Ron Roenicke didn’t waste any time in naming Workman his go-to guy for 2020. Workman allows a few more free passes than we normally like to see (45) but at the same time was virtually unhittable in 2019. How does a pitcher allow only 29 hits and one home run in 71 2/3 IP……and yes, I checked those numbers twice.

14. Jose Leclerc (TEX) He had the job, lost it, and worked hard to regain it in 2019. He won’t have that same problem in 2020.

15. Raisel Iglesias (CIN) We have seen plenty of multiple-inning outings in the past several years and should expect more of the same moving forward. Pairing Iglesias with Michael Lorenzen will maximize those save opportunities in Cincinnati.

16. Hector Neris (PHI) It has been a rocky up and down the world over the past several seasons for Hector Neris, but he should open the season as the closer. It will be interesting to see how much patience new Manager Joe Girardi will exercise. Seranthony Dominguez makes for a solid handcuff in Philly this year.

17. Nick Anderson (TB) There are plenty of options in Tampa Bay, but Anderson also brings off-the-charts strikeout rates to the table. Even if we see a job-share scenario, the total package makes Anderson a most worthy investment.

18. Archie Bradley (ARZ) The former eighth-inning specialist moved into the closer role last season and didn’t skip a beat. Expect more of the same in 2020.

19. Sean Doolittle (WAS) It’s all about the health…..and the fact that Doolittle allowed 11 homers in 60 IP, which was largely responsible for that elevated 4.05 ERA.

20. Will Smith (ATL) Mark Melancon is slotted in to open the season as the Braves closer. Will he finish the season in that role? The Braves signed Will Smith to a three-year $39 million contract and for good cause. Those 34 saves combined with the 96 strikeout outs in 65 1/3 IP last season are hard to ignore.

21. Joe Jimenez (DET) He’s got the job breaking camp, but really has to show a bit better than we’ve seen thus far to hold onto it long-term.

22. Ian Kennedy (KC) There are $16.5 million reasons that Ian Kennedy has remained in Kansas City. That could change at the trade deadline this year, as he heads into Free Agency in 2021.

23. Scott Oberg (COL) Bud Black has named Wade Davis as the Rockies closer. Does anyone believe he’ll have the job by the end of April? At the end of the season, Oberg will have more saves than Wade Davis.

24. Hansel Robles (LAA) Ty Buttrey and former closer Keynan Middleton are both lurking in the shadows.

25. Giovanny Gallegos (STL) Jordan Hicks is on schedule to return after the All-Star break and Carlos Martinez is looking at moving back into the rotation. There is an opportunity to close out games in St. Louis and Gallegos appears to be the favorite to grab the role and run with it.

26. Keone Kela (PIT) Kela should break camp with the job, but the Pirates aren’t going anywhere this year and Kela is heading into Free Agency in 2021. The odds that he gets moved and quite possibly into a setup role are very high.

27. Yoshi Hirano (SEA) You say, Magill. I say, Hirano. A solid Spring will likely close the deal and with Hirano’s background as a closer in Japan, he gets a slight edge.

28. Brandon Kintzler (MIA) Someone has to garner saves in Miami and Kintzler has something the rest of the Miami ‘pen doesn’t possess. A history of working in the ninth inning.

29. Mark Melancon (ATL) Melancon worked in 66 games in 2019, his highest total since 2016. He’ll start the season as the go-to guy in the ninth, but we’re betting that Will Smith finishes the season in that role.

30. Mychal Givens (BAL) A handcuff with Hunter Harvey is the prudent approach.

31. Ryan Pressly (HOU)
32. Blake Treinen (LAD)
33. Michael Lorenzen (CIN)
34. Shaun Anderson (SFG)
35. Daniel Hudson (WAS)
36. Seth Lugo (NYM)
37. Wade Davis (COL)
38. Ryne Stanek (MIA)
39. Hunter Harvey (BAL)
40. Matt Magill (SEA)
41. Tony Watson (SFG)
42. Keynan Middleton (LAA)
43. Aaron Bummer (CWS)
44. Dellin Betances (NYM)
45. Rafael Dolis (TOR)
46. Buck Farmer (DET)
47. Rowan Wick (CHC)
48. Seranthony Dominguez (PHI)
49. Emilio Pagan (SD)
50. Matt Barnes (BOS)
51. Andres Munoz (SD)
52. Joely Rodriguez (TEX)
53. Diego Castilla (TB)
54. Andrew Miller (STL)
55. Drew Pomeranz (SD)
56. Kyle Crick (PIT)
57. Hector Rondon (ARZ)
58. Brent Suter (MIL)
59. Amir Garrett (CIN)
60. Zack Britton (NYY)
61. Yimi Garcia (MIA)
62. Rafael Montero (TEX)
63. Ty Buttrey (LAA)
64. Kevin Ginkel (ARZ)
65. Pedro Baez (LAD)
66. James Karinchak (CLE)
67. Scott Barlow (KC)
68. Jairo Diaz (COL)
69. Will Harris (WAS)
70. Trevor May (MIN)
71. Emmanuel Clase (CLE)
72. Jordan Hicks (STL)
73. Yusmeiro Petit (OAK)
74. Steve Cishek (CWS)
75. Jose Alvarado (TB)
76. Shane Greene (ATL)
77. Carl Edwards Jr. (SEA)
78. Trevor Rosenthal (KC)
79. Corey Knebel (MIL)
80. Brusdar Graterol (LAD)
81. Anthony Bass (TOR)
82. Reyes Moronta (SFG)
83. Richard Rodriguez (PIT)
84. Sergio Romo (MIN)
85. Adam Ottavino (NYY)
86. Nick Wittgren (CLE)
87. Chris Martin (ATL)
88. Justin Wilson (NYM)
89. Luke Jackson (ATL)
90. Jeremy Jeffress (CHC)
91. Joe Smith (HOU)
92. Junior Guerra (ARZ)
93. Sam Tuivailala (SEA)
94. John Brebbia (STL)
95. Adam Morgan (PHI)
96. Michael Feliz (PIT)
97. Joakim Soria (OAK)
98. Marcus Walden (BOS)
99. Kevin McCarthy (KC)
100. Miguel Castro (BAL)

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