The top fantasy relief pitchers entering the '24 season

March 26th, 2024

The excitement continues to build for the 2024 season now that Spring Training is underway. And along with that excitement comes enthusiasm for another season: fantasy baseball season. is breaking down the best fantasy options at each position, tier by tier. Here’s a look at the reliever market.

Get in-depth breakdowns of each position:
Top 300 | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | C | OF | SP

Tier 1: Edwin Díaz, Josh Hader, Emmanuel Clase, Camilo Doval

Díaz missed the entire 2023 season due to a right knee injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic. He underwent surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon and is looking to pick up where he left off in ’22 for the Mets. The right-hander, who turns 30 next month, was overpowering that season, striking out a phenomenal 50.2% of the batters he faced (118 strikeouts) while posting a 1.31 ERA and picking up 32 saves. Opposing batters mustered just a .160 batting average against him.

Tier 1 got thinned out a bit after the Brewers' Devin Williams (back) and the Twins' Jhoan Duran (oblique) went down with injuries during Spring Training. That said, there are still some excellent options to draft after Díaz.

Hader joined the Astros this offseason on a five-year, $95 million contract. The flamethrowing left-hander bounced back from a rough ’22 campaign with a tremendous ’23 performance reminiscent of the best season of his career in ’21. His ERA was 1.28 and he saved 33 games for the Padres last year. He struck out 85 of the 231 batters he faced (36.8%) and he yielded just 32 hits in 56 1/3 innings. His walk rate was a career-high 13%, however.

Nobody has saved more games over the past two seasons than Clase, who notched 86 of them in that span for the Guardians. Remarkably, he pitched the exact same number of innings in both years -- 72 2/3 -- but his ERA nearly doubled year-over-year, from 1.36 to 3.22, and he gave up 25 more hits. His 21.2% strikeout rate was a career low, and his WHIP went from 0.73 to 1.16.

Doval is a rising star in the closer ranks, tying for the NL lead with 39 saves for the Giants last year while posting a 2.93 ERA and fanning 31% of opposing hitters. An All-Star for the first time in 2023, he also threw the exact same number of innings as he did the prior season: 67 2/3.

Tier 2: Raisel Iglesias, Andrés Muñoz, Alexis Díaz, Evan Phillips, David Bednar, Ryan Helsley

Iglesias has been about as consistently excellent as they come -- he posted a 2.75 ERA for Atlanta last season, and he hasn’t had an ERA above that mark in any full season of his career outside a hiccup with the Reds in 2019. He notched 33 saves last year, striking out 29% of batters he faced while walking 6.5%, a relatively low walk rate for relievers.

One of the rising young stars among relief pitchers, Muñoz put together another strong season for the Mariners in 2023, finishing with a 2.94 ERA and a 31.8% strikeout rate over 52 appearances (49 innings). He had a tremendous August, posting a 1.93 ERA to win the AL Reliever of the Month Award.

Díaz, Edwin’s younger brother, has made a name for himself in Cincinnati. While his 2023 campaign wasn’t quite as dominant as ’22, he still had a 3.07 ERA in his first year as the Reds’ full-time closer, saving 37 games and striking out 30% of batters he faced. Those batters hit just .186 against him.

With his 39 saves for the Pirates last year, Bednar tied with Doval for the league lead. His ERA was an even 2.00, and he gave up the same number of earned runs (15) as in the prior year despite pitching 15 2/3 more innings. He would have ranked higher than 10th among closers, but he has been delayed by a right lat strain during Spring Training and is running out of time to be ready for Opening Day.

Tier 3: Pete Fairbanks, Clay Holmes, Jhoan Duran, Jordan Romano, Tanner Scott, Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, Adbert Alzolay

Duran could be an elite closing option when he returns from the oblique strain that will land him on the IL to begin the season. Ditto for Romano, who is dealing with right elbow inflammation.

Since joining the Yankees midseason in 2021, Holmes has been excellent, posting a 2.50 ERA with 44 saves.

Veterans Jansen and Kimbrel have had their ups and downs in recent years, but even in their mid-to-late 30s, they have a track record and the potential to put up strong numbers.

Tier 4: José Alvarado, Paul Sewald, José Leclerc, Alex Lange, Robert Suarez, Mason Miller, Carlos Estévez, Kyle Finnegan

Sewald struggled upon being traded from the Mariners to the D-backs last August, but after a rough first month, he turned things around and helped Arizona win the NL pennant -- he had a 2.25 ERA in September and eight scoreless outings in the first three rounds of the postseason. He was set to enter 2024 as a Top 10 fantasy closer, but he suffered a Grade 2 left oblique strain shortly before Opening Day.

Leclerc had a strong season for the Rangers last year, posting a 2.68 ERA over 57 appearances, but he delivered in a big way during Texas’ postseason run to the first World Series title in franchise history. Manager Bruce Bochy went with the hot hand, and it was Leclerc’s in October, when he picked up four saves with a 3.29 ERA.