The MLB season is less than two weeks old, but it’s never too early to get a good handle on which bullpens are performing best and worst. With each passing season, relief pitching takes on greater importance.
I tend to lean on my bullpen ratings more than ever nowadays, as I believe the change to placing a runner on second base in extra innings has enhanced the importance of having pitchers who can get hitters out — and in dominant fashion. As such, I have placed even more emphasis on the strikeouts-per-nine-innings calculations.
Before I unveil my current bullpen rankings and a few highlights from my study, it’s important to note that the power ratings I have used are the same ones that go into creating the daily strength ratings and projections you’ll find on VSiN.com all season. They are devised from statistics, performance and perception in the betting markets. I also use ballpark factors in adjusting the stats to accurately reflect the conditions in which a pitcher operates.
Why do I find bullpen handicapping so important? Easy. Look at the results from my ratings for the shortened 20202 season: