Relief pitching gives you the opportunity to earn more points per start than your average batter while keeping your games started total (if your league caps games started per week by pitchers) low. Having one or two solid relief pitchers can make a world of difference for the long haul of the Fantasy Baseball season. Here are the top relief pitchers still available in most leagues (per ESPN).
1. Jaime Barria – Angels
One of the factors keeping Barria from being highly owned in most leagues is that he is listed as a starting pitcher first, relief pitcher second. However, looking at most of his outings, he’s only going 2-3 innings and averaging 8.5 points per game. At just 0.3% rostered across ESPN leagues, he’s a hidden gem that can provide instant value.
2. Aaron Ashby – Brewers
Ashby has seen some actual starts mixed in with his relief duties for Milwaukee. The big left hander is averaging 8.1 points per start and still has some solid relief work mixed in with his workload. Even when Ashby gets the call to start he’s been effective – averaging 20 points in his last two starts. Definitely play the matchups with Ashby if he is starting, but he’s a solid option to leave in the lineup for relief appearances.
3. Ryan Helsley – Cardinals
Helsley has seen exclusively relief duties this season but is still earning owners an average of 6.1 points per game. He has 3 saves and his ERA and WHIP are both 0.48. He’s fanned 28 batters. ESPN has him listed as the 16th overall relief pitcher at the moment, but he is only owned in 25.5% of leagues. This is definitely a buy and hold type of move as Helsley is poised to pay dividends all season.
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