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Fantasy baseball rankings: Top 31 relief pitchers for 2023 MLB season

We go over the top relief pitchers for the 2023 fantasy baseball season.

Emmanuel Clase #48 of the Cleveland Guardians in action against the New York Yankees during game two of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 14, 2022 in New York, New York. The Guardians defeated the Yankees 4-2 in ten innings. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Fantasy baseball is around the corner, with MLB Opening Day set for Thursday, March 30. We are doing a series of articles on positional rankings, and this edition will focus on relief pitchers. This is a tough position to figure out, and it greatly depends on your league settings for the best strategy.

The first thing to figure out is how pitchers, in general, are handled. If you do a random league on ESPN, you will need to start nine pitchers, but they can be starters or relievers. Other leagues could have you starting five starting pitchers and then three relievers, it really just depends. In the first example, you technically wouldn't even have to draft any relievers, but you would obviously not get to win the save or hold categories or get points for them.

Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase is our top-ranked reliever. He plays in a very winnable division that typically leads to save opportunities. Clase led the league with 42 saves last season and added 77 strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched. Devin Williams and his “Airbender” pitch should take over as the closer for the Brew Crew with Josh Hader in San Diego now.

When it comes to strategy, if the draft doesn’t fall for you to get Clase late in the fifth, you could start your relievers with Williams in the sixth. Depending on your league settings, you likely are going to go with either guy who comes into the game in the eighth inning to set up the closer and try and get a hold or just draft the closer. If your league is only concerned with saves, lean into closers who are on teams that have power-heavy lineups.

Relief pitchers I like in later rounds of drafts include David Robertson, Paul Sewald, Daniel Hudson and Jose Leclerc.

2023 fantasy baseball rankings: Top 31 relief pitchers

2023 Fantasy Baseball Top 31 Relief Pitcher Rankings

Rank Player Name Position Team
Rank Player Name Position Team
1 Emmanuel Clase RP CLE
2 Devin Williams RP MIL
3 Josh Hader RP SD
4 Jordan Romano RP TOR
5 Ryan Pressly RP HOU
6 Kenley Jansen RP BOS
7 Ryan Helsley RP STL
8 Felix Bautista RP BAL
9 Camilo Duval RP SF
10 Raisel Iglesias RP ATL
11 Alexis Diaz RP CIN
12 Clay Holmes RP NYY
13 Scott Barlow RP KC
14 David Bednar RP PIT
15 Jhoan Duran RP MIN
16 Andres Munoz RP SEA
17 Paul Sewald RP SEA
18 Daniel Bard RP COL
19 David Robertson RP NYM
20 Jose Leclerc RP TEX
21 Jorge Lopez RP MIN
22 Daniel Hudson RP LAD
23 Seranthony Dominguez RP PHI
24 Garrett Whitlock RP/SP BOS
25 Alex Lange RP DET
26 Evan Phillips RP LAD
27 Nick Martinez RP/SP SD
28 Craig Kimbrel RP PHI
29 Gregory Soto RP PHI
30 Brad Boxberger RP CHC
31 AJ Minter RP ATL