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Relief Pitchers to Target in 2019

With fewer and fewer true closers left, who should you target out of the bullpen in fantasy this season?

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Oh what a relief it is... that we are finally to our last position for targets. Opening Day is right around the corner. Luckily, all the big name free agents are signed, right? It's not like the active leader in all time saves is still a free agent or anything...

Brad Hand

My Rank: 6
Expert Consensus Rank: 8

The Indians might be worse in 2019 but they still have one of the best starting rotations in baseball which lends itself to close games. Close games mean save opportunities. With Cody Allen and Andrew Miller elsewhere, Brad Hand is in a prime position to reap the rewards. Hand has a 2.62 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 12 K/9 over the past three years, so he's no slouch either.

Jose Leclerc

My Rank: 11
Expert Consensus Rank: 15

Leclerc had a breakout season in 2018. Over 57.2 innings, he posted a 1.56 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 13.3 K/9. His FIP was under 2 as well, so his season seems legit. He enters 2019 as the Rangers closer. Barring a trade, Leclerc is in line to be a top-10 closer.

Pedro Strop

My Rank: 28
Expert Consensus Rank: 35

Strop will begin the season as the Cubs closer while Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow surgery. He finished 2018 in the same spot and did a fine job at it. What if he keep the job all season? The strikeout numbers are a bit low compared to other options, but Strop could be a sneaky pick for 20+ saves while going outside the top-30 at the position.

Matt Barnes

My Rank: 49
Expert Consensus Rank: 46

Ryan Brasier

My Rank: 50
Expert Consensus Rank: 51

One of these two will be seeing save opportunities for the reigning World Series Champions. As long as Craig Kimbrel doesn't re-sign with the Red Sox, both of these relievers deserve a look and they are virtually free on draft day.