With the final days of the fantasy baseball season approaching, owners are looking for any advantage they can get. Here are 3 relief pitchers to add.
The last weekend of the 2016 fantasy baseball season is upon. While some leagues finished up last week to avoid players resting, other leagues play until the final day. Those owners that are still playing, they need every advantage they can get to win their championship. Here are three relief pitchers worth adding to help your pitching staff.
1. Koji Uehara, Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox clinched the American League East, but that does not mean they will stop trying to win their remaining games. Current closer Craig Kimbrel has struggled recently, giving up five runs in his last two appearances including the walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.
Uehara, on the other hand, hasn’t given up a run since July 8. He did miss all of August, though. He does have seven saves and 14 holds this season. Uehara hasn’t allowed multiple base runners in a game since July 4. With that kind of ball control, he is still a top relief pitcher.
Uehara is owned in just 10.6 percent of ESPN leagues, up 4.1 percent over the last week. With his recent performance, fantasy owners are looking for the hot hands. If Kimbrel continues to struggle, he may even see a save opportunity over the weekend.
2. Brad Hand, San Diego Padres
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Padres. However, Hand is doing whatever he can to help his team. He has a 2.77 ERA, a big improvement from his 5.30 ERA last season with the Miami Marlins.
According to Baseball Reference, Hand spent most of this season pitching in middle relief. Which means, the likelihood of a save is small. That and the fact he only has two saves throughout his career.
In September, 16 appearances, Hand has a 1.10 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and a 24:3 K:BB ratio. Those numbers look good enough to add to your team. Yet, he is only owned in 8.1 percent of leagues. If he can keep opposing batters off base, and the numbers show he can, Hand is someone who can help you win your championship.
3. Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies
Ottavino is the most owned of the three, but only at 30.3 percent. If you need saves, he is going to be your best option. He has four saves in five opportunities with a 1.69 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and a 9:1 K:BB ratio.
The only downside I can see in Ottavino is the lack off innings pitched. I know relief pitchers don’t rack up the crazy totals like starters, but only 5.1 innings eight games is not a lot. He pitched in less than an inning in half of those games.
Still, the multi-strikeout games and limited walks make him a solid option. He is cemented as the Rockies closer, so the save chances go his way if the situation arises.
There are plenty of other relief pitchers worth adding. Sergio Romo, Andrew Bailey and Tony Watson are three more that I’ve talked about in the past, but still available in over 40 percent of leagues. Relief pitchers are good to have if you need help with your ratio stats or you reached your starts cap and still need to fill your roster.