fbpx
Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

join-us-button
Mannequin Pussy performs at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI on May 8th, 2024. Photo / Ana Wagen
Concert Review | Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo at The Majestic Theatre (Madison, WI)
Ana Wagen, Video Editor/Co-Host of Thee Hourz O' Power • July 3, 2024
View All
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
Jason Kandel, General Assignment Reporter • July 20, 2024
View All
join-us-button
Mannequin Pussy performs at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI on May 8th, 2024. Photo / Ana Wagen
Concert Review | Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo at The Majestic Theatre (Madison, WI)
Ana Wagen, Video Editor/Co-Host of Thee Hourz O' Power • July 3, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The State Logo
The State – 04/19/24
April 19, 2024
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
Jason Kandel, General Assignment Reporter • July 20, 2024
View All
join-us-button
Mannequin Pussy performs at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI on May 8th, 2024. Photo / Ana Wagen
Concert Review | Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo at The Majestic Theatre (Madison, WI)
Ana Wagen, Video Editor/Co-Host of Thee Hourz O' Power • July 3, 2024
View All
Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
2024 East Lansing Art Festival Q&A
Samantha Ku, Writer/Volunteer • May 18, 2024

Heather Majano is the Art Festival & Arts Initiative Coordinator under the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts department, she...

The State Logo
The State – 04/19/24
April 19, 2024
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Change is Brewin
Jason Kandel, General Assignment Reporter • July 20, 2024
View All

OPINION: MLB bullpen power rankings

OPINION: MLB bullpen power rankings

 

EAST LANSING- After taking a look at the top-10 hitters and starting pitchers in the league so far this season for the last few weeks, we’re switching it up this weekend and ranking the top-10 bullpens in baseball through this point in the season (all stats used are recorded as of the end of play on June 20).

 

 

1. Cleveland Guardians

 

The Guardians have had the best bullpen in the league from top to bottom all season long. The first place team in the central has the highest bullpen WAR according to Fangraphs, and is the only team with a bullpen ERA less than 3.00, currently at 2.36. It all starts with Cleveland’s closer Emmanuel Clase, whose ERA is 0.96 and is leading the league in saves and games finished so far this season. Clase isn’t the only one having an amazing season, Hunter Gaddis, Cade Smith, and Tim Herrin are all Cleveland relievers with an ERA sub 2.00, with Scott Barlow leading the bullpen in strikeouts with 41.  Cleveland’s bullpen has been a difference-maker all season long and if they want to win the Central and make some noise in the playoffs this year, that will need to continue. 

 

2. Philadelphia Phillies

 

The Philadelphia Phillies have the best record in the National League so far this season, and their bullpen has been a massive reason why. Highlighted by players like José Alvarado, Matt Strahm, and Jeff Hoffman, the Phillies bullpen currently ranks second in WAR according to Fangraphs, as well as second in FIP and K/9 as well. They are eighth in the league in bullpen ERA, helped by two guys in Strahm and Hoffman who are pitching to a sub-1.00 ERA this season, having pitched 30 games or more. The Phillies bullpen has pitched the second-least amount of innings of any team in the league this year, a testament to their starting pitching, but their back end has been incredibly solid and has made the Phillies even more balanced and dominant. 

 

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

 

The Dodgers seem to find quality arms to pitch out of their bullpen year in and year out and this season has been no different thus far. Los Angeles is second in bullpen ERA so far this season, as well as first in BABIP, and second in FIP as well. Their primary closer for most of this season has been Evan Phillips, who has been great even though he’s only pitched 20 innings so far. They have gotten strong contributions from many pitchers including Alex Vesia, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Yarborough, Blake Treinin, and Yohan Ramírez. After losing a few regulars such as Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier, the L.A. bullpen has not missed a beat and has been a major reason why the Dodgers are once again one of the best teams in the National League. 

 

4. Baltimore Orioles

 

Everyone knew the Orioles were going to be very good again this season, and to nobody’s surprise, they are. Their bullpen is probably the most underrated aspect of their stacked squad, as they rank top-five in the league in categories such as ERA, FIP, ground-ball percentage, and BABIP, and they rank seventh in WAR according to Fangraphs. Craig Kimbrel has been excellent for the Orioles as their closer, but they have had excellent contributions up and down the line, as Keegan Akin, Yennier Cano, Dillon Tate, and Jacob Webb have all had outstanding seasons as well. The Orioles have had a few injuries up and down their pitching staff so having a solid bullpen as they do has led them to the second-best record in the American League, and take two out of three from the Yankees in the Bronx earlier this week. 

 

5. Cincinnati Reds

 

The Reds are a team who have been up and down all season to this point, but the most consistent aspect of their team thus far has been their bullpen. The Reds have the fifth-best WAR of any bullpen according to Fangraphs, and rank top-10 in categories such as ERA, FIP, K/9, and left on-base percentage. Fernando Cruz, Buck Farmer, and Brent Suter have all been solid pieces out of the bullpen for Cincy, and their most talented reliever has not even pitched to his full potential thus far. Reds closer Alexis Díaz has struggled at times so far this year, as his H/9, K/9, and walks-to-strikeout ratio are all higher than last season when he was an All-Star. If he can find more consistency, it makes an already dangerous bullpen even better. 

 

6. Milwaukee Brewers

 

The Brewers have had one of the best pitching staffs in the league for the better part of a decade now, and that is no different this year, especially in their bullpen. The Brewers are tied for fourth in bullpen WAR according to Fangraphs, and top-five in other categories such as ERA and left on-base percentage. An interesting note about the Brewers bullpen is that their average velocity on four-seam fastballs is lower than any other bullpen in the league despite their success this season. Trevor Megill, Bryan Hudson, and Elvis Peguero have all put together excellent campaigns so far, and have been a huge reason why the Brewers are in first place in the N.L. Central at this point in the season. 

 

7. Atlanta Braves

 

The Atlanta Braves have had one of the best overall pitching staffs in the league for the past few years and that is no different this year, especially with their bullpen. Their relievers have had some ups and downs throughout the year but they still rank top-five in bullpen ERA and left on-base percentage, and top-10 in FIP and expected FIP. Despite an injury from AJ Minter, many guys have stepped up in the Atlanta bullpen such as Joe Jiménez, Aaron Bummer, Dylan Lee, and Jesse Chavez. Rasiel Iglesias has also been excellent as the closer role for the Braves, as the 34-year-old RHP has been as advertised in his second full season with Atlanta. Once the Braves get Minter back in the next month or so, expect them to take it to the next level and continue to trend up.  

 

8. Boston Red Sox

 

The Boston Red Sox have been one of the more surprising teams so far this year, as they are currently five games over .500 and only one game out of the third American League Wild Card spot. Their bullpen has been one of the best parts of their team so far this season and it starts from the top down, as they have had a resurgent Kenley Jansen as their closer this year, who has put up impressive numbers that align with his career averages. They are also getting major contributions from unexpected pitchers such as Greg Weissert, Brennan Bernardino, and Justin Slater. The Sox rank third in bullpen WAR according to Fangraphs, and top-10 in ERA, and FIP, and perhaps most impressively they are eighth in innings pitched, so they are producing while getting more opportunities than most relievers. 

 

9. New York Yankees

 

The Yankees have been stumbling a bit more as of late and so has their bullpen, but they have been just good enough to be featured on the list this week. New York’s bullpen is still ranking top-10 in the league in left on-base percentage, ERA, and ground-ball percentage. They have been struggling much more as of late, starting from the top where closer Clay Holmes has given up runs in each of his last three outings, but when the Yankees have had a lead late in games this season the bullpen has gotten it done, as the Yankees have only lost two-games when leading after seven-innings. The Yankees are a team who will be looking to add bullpen arms during the trade deadline, as they look to gear up for another postseason run this year. 

 

10. Oakland Athletics

 

The Oakland A’s are once again having a disappointing season both on and off the field, but their bullpen has been one of their bright spots so far this year. Mason Miller has been one of the most electrifying pitchers in all of baseball so far this season in the closer role for the Athletics and is a guy that Oakland could part with at the deadline if they are blown away by a team’s offer. Miller hasn’t been the only bright spot for the Athletics bullpen, as Michael Kelly, T.J McFarland, and Austin Adams have all put together impressive numbers so far this season. The A’s rank top-10 in the league in left on-base percentage, ground-ball percentage, and ERA. Expect to see a few of the arms in this bullpen to be traded to contenders at the deadline.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest