LOOGY Holds: Sipp, Scrabble, and Byrdak

Holds leagues are always tricky, and holds leagues that have innings limits are even trickier. Finding relievers who are in line for high hold-to-innings pitched ratios are often undervalued in these types of leagues, like ottoneu, and can be found for cheap while providing respectable value. These are not world beaters or team savers, but they can boost points totals efficiently and effectively over the course of the year for an extremely cheap cost. Here are three LOOGY’s who have done so thus far and should continue to the rest of the season.

Tony Sipp

As an owner of Sipp in ottoneu, I have seen his value first hand. With just 9.2 innings pitched and with ten strikeouts to two walks, Sipp has been worth 62.43 points. His six holds in just those 9.2 innings has made him very valuable, and in a league that accounts for innings limits and uses holds, he is an undervalued commodity. He is certainly not a team saver, but he is an efficient point getter in this format. In ERA leagues, he looks like a terrible addition, due to his 8.38 ERA, but that number should come down rather rapidly. If you are looking for a cheap source of holds in a limited amount of innings with what should be solid strikeout and rate stats going forward, Sipp is worth a look in certain formats.

Tim Byrdak

Byrdak has been extremely good this year, with a 2.33 FIP and 13.03 K/9 to 2.79 BB/9, along with seven holds in 9.2 innings. Byrdak had just eight holds last season, so the jump in this level is at least somewhat surprising. His career high is 11 from two years ago and in 2005, which means he should be in line for a career high mark this year. Byrdak’s situation is similar to Sipp’s in that his ERA does not quite match his FIP, but his difference is not nearly as drastic. With a 3.72 ERA, Byrdak has been playable to date in ERA leagues and if he continues to strikeout as many as he has and walk as few, he should see that number drop.

Marc Rzepczynski

Scrabble has four holds in 13 appearances spanning 10 innings, with a nice 8-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 28 games last season he netted 8 holds in 22.2 innings, so this is a nice trend that has continued in his Cardinal tenure. A total of 12 holds in 32.2 innings is pretty respectable and valuable in certain formats. ZiPS has him with a 3.60 ERA and 3.61 FIP going forward, but his sub-3.00 FIP in the NL points to the projection being a bit high. He won’t continue to receive a .179 BABIP, so his 1.80 ERA should certainly rise, but his command has been solid thus far which is nice to see from a pitcher with a career walk per nine rate above 4.00. Again, in leagues where you can take advantage of holds and have innings limits, Rzepcynski is a solid add if the roster space is available.

We hoped you liked reading LOOGY Holds: Sipp, Scrabble, and Byrdak by Ben Duronio!

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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

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I especially like Byrdak because the Mets are using him for 1 batter in a lot of cases. I always like having holds guys with that sort of usage because 1) they usually face batters that they have a handedness advantage over 2) no chance for a catastrophic blowup facing only a batter or two most times 3) they can pitch nearly every day, and can rack up the holds…exactly what Byrdak has done this year.