Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Fantasy Baseball Reliever Report: Relievers Who Win

Cam takes a look at three relievers who are racking up a coveted fantasy baseball stat: wins!

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 14: Relief pitcher Luke Weaver #30 of the New York Yankees pitches during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on April 14, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Guardians defeated the Yankees 8-7 in the 10th inning. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

From the first day you began playing sports to the last day you ever stepped foot on a field, pitch, court, or rink, you were taught to win. Regardless of whether you were scoring goals in hockey or soccer, scoring points in football or basketball, or scoring runs in baseball, you wanted your team to amass more than your opponent to win.

Teams are constructed to achieve that end result in one way or another. Usually, this involves different parts of a team having different roles. Obviously, a football team doesn’t rely on their defense to score, and hockey defensemen aren’t integral to scoring (Bobby Orr, notwithstanding). Even when pitchers could hit, before the DH, they weren’t expected to do anything at the plate. When those things happened, they were a bonus to a team.

You certainly can’t build a game plan around expecting to score a defensive TD. And you could never expect a pitcher to hit a bomb. And, although the game of baseball has changed dramatically and starting pitchers are getting fewer and fewer wins, they still throw the most innings, make the most money, and are expected to get the most wins.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

However, from a fantasy baseball perspective, we don’t care who gets us the win as long as we get them. And sometimes we can target specific relievers in order to get Ws. Although it can seem random, some pitchers are put in situations by their managers to be in line for a win more often. With starters going fewer innings, any starter who can’t get through the fifth inning is ineligible, guaranteeing that a reliever will win, and this happens on some teams more than others. As much as relievers are usually relied upon for saves and, more recently, holds, there isn’t much more satisfying than when one of your relievers gets you a W.

This is a perfect time of year to see if any trends are forming in this regard. So far this season there are nine pitchers who have three wins. Only six are starters. The other three are relievers. And of the 58 pitchers who have at least two wins, 16 of them are relievers. Over 25% of all pitchers with at least two wins aren’t starting. Yet, leading up to the draft, how many of us spend any time looking at relievers as targets for wins? Not many. Because of that, these pitchers are almost guaranteed to be available in your leagues.

Here are the three non-starters who have three wins so far this season:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Luke Weaver, New York Yankees

Weaver has won three games out of his five appearances and manager Aaron Boone is putting him in game situations where he stands to accumulate many more wins.

Shelby Miller, Detroit Tigers

Miller has won half of his appearances for the Tigers. In 8.1 innings, he’s only given up one hit, and his ERA is a minuscule 1.08. And Miller is one of the main reasons the Tigers have started the season over .500.

Elvis Peguero, Milwaukee Brewers

Peguero is only rostered in about 5% of leagues, but that amount should be 50%+. He’s made five appearances and thrown eight innings, with nine Ks. He has a solid 1.00 WHIP and a 2.25 ERA.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

These pitchers are all on pace to win over 20 games this year … of course, they won’t, but double-digit wins aren’t out of the question. And in a league where just about every No. 4 or No. 5 starter struggles to get through five innings and keep their ERAs under 5.00, looking at these relievers is a fantastic alternative.