With every holds update we reiterate how much change there is at the top of the board, but there are plenty of familiar faces this week.
Tyler Clippard, our No. 1 last update, is still here, but he’s not in the top five.
We’ve upgraded the holds rankings this week, affecting Clippard’s ranking a bit. Let’s start by explaining that.
With each player is a ranking number that factors in holds over the last week, month and season. Overall performance (K/9, ERA and WHIP) is also factored in, but being that this is a holds update, greater weight was given to holds.
The number in parentheses is the player’s ranking in the last update:
1. Mike Adams, 5 (6) — The top setup man right now, Adams is at least tied for first in holds in the last week, month and this season. His ERA and WHIP are miniscule.
2. Luke Gregerson, 7 (5) — Has more strikeout value than Adams, a lower ERA and a lower WHIP. You could make an argument for owning Gregerson first. I own him in one league and Adams is available.
3. Arthur Rhodes, 9 (8) — Maintaining a 9.00 K/9, Rhodes hasn’t allowed an earned run in the last month, has a 0.50 WHIP and a win over the same stretch.
4. Joba Chamberlain, 16 (NR) — With one of the highest K/9 rates in this update and recent hold success, Chamberlain is a must-own.
5. Hong-Chih Kuo, 21 (NR) — Started the season on the DL with a sore elbow, but Kuo has six holds in the last month, three in the last week and he’s got 8 Ks in 6.2 IP. Picked Kuo up off waivers in a league where Adams was still available.
6. Joel Hanrahan, 23 (NR) — The first cautionary pick on the list. Hanrahan has been getting holds by the bucketful (two in the last week, a fourth-best seven in the last month) and has a 13+ K/9. However, his ERA is closer to six than it is to five and his WHIP is 1.30.
7. Tyler Clippard, 27 (1) — Our top setup man last update, Clippard cooled off a bit in the last week in the holds department, hurting his ranking here. However, looking forward, his K rate, ERA and WHIP point to continued help for your fantasy squad. The holds will eventually return.
8. Ryan Perry, 30 (NR) — Has two holds in the last week (tied for third) and seven this season. He just missed out on our players to watch last update. His WHIP looks more like Hanrahan’s than anybody else on this list so far, so Perry presents opposing batters with more opportunities than he should.
9. Kevin Jepsen, 32 (3) — Our No. 1 a few weeks ago has been fighting back against his 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB debacle on May 4. Since that game, Jepsen’s pitched 2.2 shutout innings, struck out four and notched a hold.
10. Scott Downs, 33 (NR) — Suffered a stretch of two losses in four days, but since then has been very effective. Since those bad outings, he has four holds, a win and has lowered his season ERA from 6.23 to 3.12. He is the only pitcher mentioned in every holds update so far.
11. Daniel Bard, 35 (NR) — He gets holds and his 13.17 K/9 is the highest on this list. However, he alternates dominating games with games where he allows too many baserunners. To get the Ks and holds, you might have to deal with a disaster or two down the road.
12. Darren O’Day, 35 (NR) — Made the list because of his six holds in the last month and his good overall pitching performance. O’Day has a 0.64 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP this season.
13. Brad Zeigler, 35 (NR) — Six holds in the last month gets Zeigler on here, but he’s not nearly as effective as O’Day. He allowed three hits and a walk in his last outing, two days after giving up two earned runs in a blown save.
14. Todd Coffey, 49 (NR) — Has allowed 22 baserunners in 16.1 innings, including three baserunners (one walk) in a hold May 9. He’s been a much better pitcher since moving from Cincinnati to Milwaukee in 2008, but his 1.35 WHIP is much closer to what it was with the Reds than what it was last season. He hasn’t had a hold in the last week, but notched holds in consecutive appearances on May 5, 7 and 9.
Knocked out since the last update: Joel Zumaya (4th), Carlos Villanueva (7th), Fernando Nieve (9th) and LaTroy Hawkins (10th).
Some players to keep an eye on for the next update:
Nick Masset — It’s going to take a while for his decimals to even out, but he has lowered his ERA from 12.54 to 7.00 and hasn’t allowed a run since May 2. He has three holds — two in the last seven days — and a win in May to go with 29 Ks and only 10 walks. His BAA is still at .311 and his WHIP is at 1.83, both dastardly numbers. But like his other numbers, he has lowered them considerably this month.
Clay Hensley — Has allowed one run since April 24. That was on a home run in a two-inning outing where he struck out four batters. In 3.2 innings since May 10, Clensley allowed one hit, no runs has two holds and two Ks. He’s got 28 Ks to 6 BBs in 20.2 innings this season.
Jose Contreras — With Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson both ailing, Contreras picked up his first save of the season today. He also has two holds and a pair of wins to go with a 0.68 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. He’s struck out 18 and walked two in 13.1 innings. Opponents are batting just .156 against him.
Who else deserves to be on the watch list? Let us know in the comments.