Fantasy baseball: Mariners relievers make sense, regardless of role

Whether Paul Sewald closes games for the Seattle Mariners in 2023 might not matter all that much toward his fantasy value. Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball managers still have good reason to ask questions about which pitchers will save games for roughly half of the major league teams this week, and the closing situation with the Seattle Mariners is certainly one of them. Last season, the Mariners boasted one of the better relief corps in the sport, finishing sixth in bullpen ERA, with RHPs Paul Sewald and Andres Munoz leading the way. Not surprisingly, both are among the top 20 relief pitchers in ESPN ADP.

Sewald, 33, saved 20 games and permitted a stingy 32 base hits in 64 innings, good for a .146 batting average against. A league-leading and borderline historic .159 BABIP certainly played a role, but Sewald has now thrived two seasons in a row -- and he should again. Munoz, 24, had the better statistical (though not necessarily fantasy) season, striking out 96 hitters in his 65 innings with a 2.49 ERA, but he had only four saves. He did, however, earn himself 22 holds.