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Saves and Steals: Dominant Devin

Bautista striking out opponents at high rate
Felix Bautista has been one of the most valuable pitchers in fantasy in 2023 while contributing to the Orioles' leaping up the standings.

Devin Williams continues to dominate, making the case for best reliever in since the All-Star break. Camilo Doval has looked lost on the mound, crumbling this week with three blown saves. And Kyle Finnegan had a busy week, leading the league with four saves. In the steals department, Julio Rodríguez is running wild through his blistering stretch at the dish. Brice Turang and Brenton Doyle are intriguing options for those looking to supplement some speed in deep leagues.

Tier 1: Untouchable

Felix Bautista - Baltimore Orioles

Bautista made a couple of brief outings, pitching a clean inning on Saturday to earn the win against the A’s, then tossing a perfect frame on Tuesday against the Blue Jays. He remains at 32 saves with a 1.52 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 109 strikeouts across 59 1/3 innings.

Tier 2: The Elite

Devin Williams - Milwaukee Brewers
Alexis Díaz - Cincinnati Reds
Josh Hader - San Diego Padres
Camilo Doval - San Francisco Giants

Williams added two more saves to his total, giving him an even 30 this season with a 1.49 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 72 strikeouts across 48 1/3 innings. He’s allowed just one run since the All-Star break while striking out 47.2 percent of the batters he’s faced. While Bautista has had the better overall season with his high strikeout total, Williams has been the better reliever in the second half.

Díaz picked up a win and a save with a pair of clean outings. He leads baseball with 34 saves. Hader went without a save chance this week. Though he did strike out the side in his last two appearances. He’s converted only two saves this month, to no fault of his own. And Doval is making it difficult to justify keeping him here. He’s had a rough go of it, blowing three save chances this week.

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Tier 3: The Solid Options

Ryan Pressly - Houston Astros
Emmanuel Clase - Cleveland Guardians
Paul Sewald - Arizona Diamondbacks
Jordan Romano - Toronto Blue Jays
Raisel Iglesias - Atlanta Braves
Jhoan Duran - Minnesota Twins
Andrés Muñoz - Seattle Mariners
David Bednar - Pittsburgh Pirates

Pressly made a pair of scoreless appearances, but didn’t see a save chance this week. He remains at 28 with a 2.77 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts across 55 1/3 innings.

Clase picked up his American League-leading 33rd save on Friday against the Tigers. While his strikeouts haven’t seen the uptick we’ve been hoping for, he’s shown elite control, walking only one batter since the All-Star break.

Sewald continues to prove a worthy addition to the Diamondbacks. He converted a pair of saves, giving him 27 for the season and six with Arizona. And Romano has performed well since returning from the injured list with a back issue. He recorded two saves, including a clean outing with two strikeouts against the Orioles on Tuesday. Iglesias also added two saves while making three scoreless appearances. The three outings bring his ERA to under 3.00 for the first time this season, posting a 2.88 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts across 40 2/3 innings.

Duran added his 23rd save on Sunday but took the loss on Wednesday after giving up a pair of runs in the 10th inning against the Brewers. Still, he’s been excellent, posting a 2.68 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts across 50 1/3 innings. In Seattle, Muñoz bounced back from his rough week for two saves and a hold. He’s up to eight saves with a 2.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 46 strikeouts across 34 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, Bednar gave up a run against the Twins on Saturday but held on for the save. He added another on Tuesday against the Cardinals, bringing him to 27.

Tier 4: There’s Upside Here

Adbert Alzolay - Chicago Cubs
Pete Fairbanks - Tampa Bay Rays
Kenley Jansen - Boston Red Sox
Evan Phillips - Los Angeles Dodgers
Craig Kimbrel - Philadelphia Phillies
Will Smith/Aroldis Chapman - Texas Rangers
Kyle Finnegan - Washington Nationals

Alzolay continues to impress and raise his stock for 2024. He locked down three saves in five days, giving him 19 with a 2.70 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts across 56 2/3 innings.

Fairbanks picked up two wins this week, the first coming against the Angels on Friday. He then tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on Wednesday. And Jansen recorded a save against the Yankees on Sunday. Jansen did leave Wednesday’s game against the Astros in the ninth inning with an apparent injury, so his status will be one to monitor. Should he be unavailable, Chris Martin would likely be next in line for saves.

Phillips recorded two saves this week, bringing his total to 19. He’s been excellent this season, posting a 2.49 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts across 47 innings. Meanwhile, Kimbrel made two appearances, picking up a win after a scoreless innings on Tuesday before taking a loss on Wednesday with three runs allowed in the tenth against the Giants.

Smith has struggled on the mound over the last couple of weeks, giving up runs in five of his last seven outings. He gave up three runs in a non-save situation on Sunday against the Brewers. Chapman got the save chance on Monday but blew the lead on a solo homer. Both can factor into the ninth inning going forward.

Finnegan gets a bump into this tier after a busy week. He converted four saves in six days for the Nationals. He’s up to 22 on the season with a strong 2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 54 strikeouts across 55 1/3 innings.

Tier 5: Just Getting By

Carlos Estévez - Los Angeles Angels
Clay Holmes - New York Yankees
David Robertson - Miami Marlins
Giovanny Gallegos/Jojo Romero - St. Louis Cardinals
Alex Lange/Jason Foley - Detroit Tigers
Brooks Raley/Adam Ottavino - New York Mets

Estévez took a loss in his lone appearance against the Rays on Friday. He’s had a rough month, posting a 14.14 ERA in August. Reynaldo Lopez picked up a save on Saturday, but Estévez should remain in line for the next save chance. Holmes has also been shaky, taking the loss in two of his last three outings.

Robertson converted one-of-two save chances this week, blowing an opportunity on Saturday before recording his 18th of the season on Tuesday.

In St. Louis, Romero converted the lone save chance for the Cardinals this week, giving up one run with three strikeouts over two innings on Wednesday against the Pirates. Meanwhile, the committee of Foley and Lange each recorded two saves for the Tigers. And neither Ottavino nor Raley got a save chance this week, with Trevor Gott locking down the team’s only save.

Tier 6: If You Must

Trevor May - Oakland A’s
Justin Lawrence - Colorado Rockies
Carlos Hernandez - Kansas City Royals
Gregory Santos - Chicago White Sox


Liam Hendriks - Right Elbow Inflammation
Hunter Harvey - Right Elbow Strain
Ryan Helsley - Right Forearm Strain

Steals Department

It was wheels up for Julio Rodríguez. He led baseball with six steals this week amidst his incredible run at the plate. The 22-year-old outfielder is now hitting .277/.337/.461 with 21 homers, 80 RBI, and 34 steals across 566 plate appearances. Brewers second baseman Brice Turang stole three bases this week. He’s been playing every day for Milwaukee and hitting better of late, with a .259 batting average since the All-Star break. Turang is widely available in fantasy leagues for teams in deeper leagues looking for speed. Rockies center fielder Brenton Doyle is also widely available. The 25-year-old rookie stole two bases this week. He’s up to 17 with eight homers while slashing .190/.248/.313 across 311 plate appearances. He won’t help in batting average, but Doyle has been playing every day. And the Rockies will be playing at home for three of the final five weeks.