clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Top fantasy baseball relief pitcher waiver pickups for Week 20

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball waiver wire targets at reliever going into the week of Sunday, August 6, including JoJo Romero and Seranthony Dominguez.

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher JoJo Romero and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras celebrate their victory during a game between the Minnesota Twins and the St. Louis Cardinals on August 02, 2023, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis MO Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a dizzying few days, we’re finally starting to recover from the chaos of the 2023 trade deadline. The landscape of the league has shifted dramatically over the last few days: Justin Verlander is an Astro; Max Scherzer (and Jordan Montgomery) is a Ranger; the Dodgers, Rays and Orioles all found themselves a starting pitcher, while the Reds didn’t. The Angels (and Cubs) are all the way in, the Mets are all the way out, and the Twins and Yankees ... apparently did not have cell reception on Tuesday afternoon.

Of course, the real-life game isn’t the only thing that’s been flipped upside down. As it does every year, the trade deadline will have fantasy baseball ramifications that will be felt for the rest of the season, leaving managers with plenty to keep track of as they get their rosters ready for the stretch run. Luckily, our weekly waiver wire recommendations are here to help, with position-by-position looks are players you should consider snagging off the waiver wire as the deadline dust settles. Next up: relief pitchers.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 20 relief pitcher targets

JoJo Romero, RP, St. Louis Cardinals

Roster percentage: 0.5%

Much to everyone’s surprise, it’s been the lefty Romero — not Giovanny Gallegos — who’s handled the ninth inning for the Cardinals most often since closer Jordan Hicks was traded away. He nailed down a save on July 30, then protected a four-run lead in a win on August 2. Gallegos, meanwhile, hasn’t appeared in a game this month, and hasn’t pitched the ninth since July 20. Romero is a lefty, so the team might want to move him around a bit, but he’s been very good this year with a 3.08 FIP and 22 strikeouts in 21.2 innings. St. Louis is punting on the rest of the season, but there’s still more than enough talent to give whoever earns the closer’s role plenty of opportunities.

Seranthony Dominguez, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

Roster percentage: 2.4%

Craig Kimbrel coughed up another save last week in Miami, and has looked awfully shaky of late amid reports that he’s tipping his pitches. Dominguez has been throwing the ball well since coming off the IL in late July, and with Gregory Soto hard to trust and Jose Alvarado still on the shelf, the hard-throwing righty will be the only real option in the ninth should Kimbrel falter enough to lose his grip on the job.

Erik Swanson, RP, Toronto Blue Jays

Roster percentage: 12.6%

It appears that Toronto wants to use the newly-acquired Hicks in more of a high-leverage role, moving him around based on matchups. It was Swanson who got the team’s first post-trade deadline save opportunity, converting with a clean inning and two strikeouts earlier this week. Jordan Romano should be back at some point this month, but back trouble can also be very tricky, and Toronto figures to not want to push him before he’s 100%. Swanson has the strikeout stuff associated with the ninth inning, and the Jays liked him enough to acquire him for Teoscar Hernandez over the winter.

Carlos Hernandez, SP/RP, Kansas City Royals

Roster percentage: 2.7%

Scott Barlow was Kansas City’s closer, but the team’s best reliever of late had been Hernandez, who has a 1.33 ERA over 19 appearances dating back to June 18. With Barlow now serving as Josh Hader’s set-up man in San Diego, this job is unquestionably Hernandez’s for the rest of the year, and the Royals’ lineup has been surprisingly frisky of late. Worst case, he’ll help smooth out your ratios while serving as a steady source of strikeouts.