Mariners Paul Sewald: Fantasy Baseball advice for the 2023 season

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Ever since coming to Seattle, Paul Sewald has been really good. Putting up marks of 135 and 139 for his ERA+, he's been the leading force in the Mariners bullpen as their veteran leader. He's been more than just great for the Mariners... he's been good in the fantasy baseball world as well.

Relievers are a fickle beast, and it can be hard to trust them year-to-year if you are playing in a standard W/S/K/WHIP/ERA league. A lucky stretch from a reliever who gets 3 wins in a month can greatly inflate their season ranking. However, if you catch them for that stretch, it can make a world of difference in a fantasy win that week.

I bring that up because Sewald has 15 wins over the last two seasons, 10 of which came in 2021. He moved into more of a closer role in 2022, notching 20 saves and 5 wins. With a K/9 rate of 12.3 over that time and a WHIP of 0.894, Sewald has been a great piece to have on your fantasy team.

How good? According to Yahoo, pretty dang good.

He finished 12th in reliever rankings in 2022, and 11th in 2021, at 82 and 80 overall. There is too much variance in the position to take him that high, though. He's currently the 21st RP, sitting at 178 overall. ESPN has him 197 overall and 17 for RP, while FantasyPros has him 170th and 18th. So, most places have him in the same ballpark.

170th. That's getting close to the end of a baseball draft depending on the size of your league. If you punt on relievers (punting is when you ignore a position), then don't even entertain taking him. If you go reliever heavy, take him in the 14th round of a ten-team and be happy with it. In a 12-team, don't fret if you want to take him in the 12th round.

Part of the reliever game in fantasy is betting on a guy to do well. Paul Sewald has massively overperformed his preseason rankings since getting to Seattle. If you think he is going to put up similar lines to the prior seasons, take him early. Shoot, the 10-11th round in a ten team or the 8-9th round in a 12 team will be early, but he's still going to overperform that draft slot.

It's a big risk-reward though. He gets you a good combo of wins+saves, with a great K rate and a low WHIP. He does give up a lot of HR though, with 10 in each season with the Mariners. This is the one position that I always would suggest going with your heart on, mixing in your own personal strategy. If you think he will be good, grab him. If you don't like taking one of the top shelf closers, Sewald is a good option. With another great season in 2023, Paul Sewald could help any fantasy baseball team out.