Reliever Roundup and Bullpen Bonanza, Episode 7 — Week 8 Rankings

A mosaic of the top six in the Week 8 Reliever Rankings by Sport Relay.
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher Yimi Garcia (93) on the mound during the regular season MLB game between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays on April 10, 2024 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Clay Holmes #35 of the New York Yankees in action against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on May 04, 2024 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 5-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Bottom Row, L to R: MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 12: Matt Strahm #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during a game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on May 12, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images) MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 01: Bryan Hudson #52 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at American Family Field on May 01, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 08: Robert Suarez #75 of the San Diego Padres celebrates the final out to defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 at Wrigley Field on May 08, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Reliever Roundup & Bullpen Bonanza — Week 8 (May 20 to 26) Individual Rankings

We are in Week Eight of the 2024 season, and it is time for another Episode of Reliever Roundup & Bullpen Bonanza! These rankings take it to a different level than the other reliever rankings you’ve seen. We will separate our rankings by closers, setup men, and middle relievers. (We’re not going to worry about ranking long relievers but will lump them in with the middle relievers.)

Statistics are up to the end of play on Sunday, May 19 and exclude position pitchers. To qualify for the leaderboards, a pitcher must have at least 10 relief appearances.

We have created a convenient new glossary page. If a stat name is linked, click/tap it to see, in a new tab, the definition of that stat.

Click/tap here to see the ranking method.

League averages:

AL — 1.256 WHIP, 2.4 HR%, 13.4 K–BB%, 72.8 ScOtg% (ER), 3.2 GE/BE, 2.6 GE, 31.5 IS%.
NL — 1.313 WHIP, 2.4 HR%, 13.7 K–BB%, 71.5 ScOtg% (ER), 3.2 GE/BE, 2.3 GE, 36.9 IS%.

Week 8 Individual Reliever Rankings

AL Middle Relievers

Middle Relievers (AL), top ten, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Cade Smith, Cleveland Guardians (36.8)
Last place (of 61 qualifiers): Erik Swanson, Toronto Blue Jays (–69.3)

Smith takes over first place in the Week 8 AL middle reliever rankings, surpassing teammate Nick Sandlin. In 20 1/3 innings across 20 GR, he has a 0.984 WHIP, no home runs allowed, 25.6 K–BB%, an 85.0 ScOtg%, and a 12.5 IS%.

Swanson has the lowest score of any qualifier for the second straight week. Only five of his twelve appearances were scoreless (41.7%). He has allowed 13 ER across 9 1/3 IP with a 2.036 WHIP, 8.3 HR%, and 6.3 K–BB%.

AL Setup Men

Setup Men (AL), top ten, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Yimi Garcia, Toronto Blue Jays (167.5)
Last place (of 34 qualifiers): Deivi Garcia, Chicago White Sox (–48.4)

Yimi Garcia snatches first place away from Kansas City Royals setup man John Schreiber, who falls to ninth. He has a perfect 9–0 GE–BE in his 17 appearances. Additionally, he has allowed one earned run in 18 innings. That came in a mop-up appearance back on April 8, a solo home run by Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford. Garcia has mowed through opposing hitters en route to a 0.611 WHIP, a 24.6 K–BB%, and a 94.1 ScOtg%. He has also stranded all nine runners he has inherited.

The lowest score of qualifying AL setup men goes to another Garcia, Deivi Garcia, whom the Chicago White Sox outrighted to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on May 2. During his major-league stint, he gave up earned runs in 5 of his 14 appearances (64.3 ScOtg%). In 14 innings, he had a 2.000 WHIP, 2.9 HR%, 4.4 K–BB%, and a 50.0 IS%.

AL Closers

Closers (AL), top five, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Clay Holmes, New York Yankees (202.6)
Last place (of 15 qualifiers): Carlos Estevez, Los Angeles Angels (1.9)

Yes, Clay Holmes had a nightmare of an outing Monday night, but these rankings and stats stop at the end of play Sunday. Holmes, prior to Monday, had a perfect 16–0 GE–BE. In 20 innings across 20 appearances, he had yet to give up an earned run, although he did allow 3 of 9 (33.3%) inherited runners to score. Additionally, he had a 0.950 WHIP, no homers allowed, and a 23.8 K–BB%.

Estevez sits in last place among the 15 qualifying AL closers. His WHIP (1.023) is excellent, as is his K–BB% (28.1%). However, he has a pedestrian 71.4 ScOtg% along with 1.3 GE/BE (4–3) and a 5.3 HR% in 14 2/3 innings across 14 appearances.

NL Middle Relievers

Middle Relievers (NL), top ten, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Matt Strahm, Philadelphia Phillies (56.4)
Last place (of 64 qualifiers): Tanner Rainey, Washington Nationals (–63.2)

Strahm finds himself atop the NL middle reliever rankings for the third straight week. In 17 1/3 innings across 18 appearances, he has a 94.4 ScOtg%, having only allowed a run in one appearance. He also has a 0.808 WHIP, no homers allowed, and a mind-boggling 41.5 K–BB%.

Rainey has a 46.2 ScOtg% in 13 appearances. He has allowed 15 earned runs in 13 innings, carrying a 2.615 WHIP, 5.4 HR%, and –5.4 K–BB% (9 K, 13 BB).

NL Setup Men

Setup Men (NL), top ten, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Bryan Hudson, Milwaukee Brewers (146.5)
Last place (of 32 qualifiers): Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs (–17.6)

The NL Setup Men board has a new leader: Bryan Hudson of the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a perfect 6–0 GE–BE in his 17 appearances. In 25 1/3 innings, he has allowed two earned runs, has 15 scoreless outings, and has an 88.2 ScOtg% (ER). Additionally, he has a 0.750 WHIP, 1.1 HR%, 23.7 K–BB%, and 11.1 IS% (1-of-9).

Adbert Alzolay of the Chicago Cubs, who has been on the 15-day IL since May 13 with a flexor strain, has the lowest score of qualifying NL setup men. He has given up earned runs in 6 of his 18 appearances (66.7 ScOtg%) and has a well-below-average 4–4 GE–BE (1.0 GE/BE). His 16.7 IS% (1-of-6) is fine, but in 17 1/3 innings, he has a 1.442 WHIP, 8.0 HR%, 9.3 K–BB%.

NL Closers

Closers (NL), top five, through end of play May 20. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Robert Suarez, San Diego Padres (171.8)
Last place (of 13 qualifiers): Alexis Diaz, Cincinnati Reds (15.3)

A perfect 10–0 GE–BE combined with a stingy 94.4 ScOtg% — 17 ScOtg out of 18 GR, 1 ER in 19 1/3 IP — has Robert Suarez atop the NL Closer rankings. He also has a 0.672 WHIP, 1.5 HR%, and 20.6 K–BB%.

Diaz has an average 3.0 GE/BE (6–2) in his 18 appearances. His 66.7 ScOtg% is below average, and when it has rained, it has poured, with Diaz allowing 13 ER in 16 2/3 IP. Home runs are not the problem, as he has a 1.3 HR%. The problem is baserunners, especially walks: he has a 1.680 WHIP and 5.0 K–BB%.

Week Eight (May 20 to 26) Team Reliever and Bullpen Rankings — Active Rosters Only

Team overall leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 19. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.

The Ridiculous Outlier

1. Chicago Cubs (100.9, 1st in NL)
196.3 Clutch, 10.5 Run Prevention, -1.6 Baserunners, -14.2 Command

The Outlier

2. Tampa Bay Rays (65.2, 1st in AL)
128.0 Clutch, 3.4 Run Prevention, 2.2 Baserunners, -4.3 Command

The Elites

3. New York Yankees (44.9, 2nd in AL)
82.4 Clutch, 9.8 Run Prevention, 7.5 Baserunners, -9.7 Command
4. Cleveland Guardians (40.3, 3rd in AL)
60.8 Clutch, 16.8 Run Prevention, 18.5 Baserunners, 44.6 Command

Better Take an Early Lead…

5. Oakland Athletics (32.5, 4th in AL)
63.8 Clutch, -2.8 Run Prevention, 4.6 Baserunners, 22.3 Command
6. Milwaukee Brewers (28.9, 2nd in NL)
53.5 Clutch, 2.9 Run Prevention, 4.5 Baserunners, 13.1 Command

The Good

7. Philadelphia Phillies (7.1, 3rd in NL)
8.3 Clutch, 5.2 Run Prevention, 2.4 Baserunners, 17.4 Command
8.Pittsburgh Pirates (6.98, Rounded to 7.0, 4th in NL)
14.9 Clutch, -1.6 Run Prevention, -0.5 Baserunners, 3.3 Command
9. St Louis Cardinals (6.96, Rounded to 7.0, 5th in NL)
8.6 Clutch, 1.2 Run Prevention, 10.3 Baserunners, 24.8 Command
10. Washington Nationals (5.4, 6th in NL)
11.6 Clutch, 4.2 Run Prevention, -8.3 Baserunners, -19.8 Command

Slightly above Average

11. New York Mets (4.7, 7th in NL)
1.6 Clutch, 7.5 Run Prevention, 3.0 Baserunners, 18.9 Command
12. Detroit Tigers (3.2, 5th in AL)
1.8 Clutch, 7.6 Run Prevention, 1.7 Baserunners, -10.5 Command
13. Seattle Mariners (2.7, 6th in AL)
3.3 Clutch, -0.4 Run Prevention, 3.7 Baserunners, 16.0 Command

The Average

14. Boston Red Sox (1.7, 7th in AL)
-4.7 Clutch, 8.0 Run Prevention, 6.2 Baserunners, 13.2 Command
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (1.6, 8th in NL)
9.8 Clutch, -4.7 Run Prevention, -3.4 Baserunners, -26.8 Command
16. Atlanta Braves (–0.7, 9th in NL)
-10.9 Clutch, 10.9 Run Prevention, 5.6 Baserunners, 7.8 Command
17. San Diego Padres (–1.2, 10th in NL)
-4.9 Clutch, 2.0 Run Prevention, 4.7 Baserunners, 1.1 Command

Slightly below Average

18. Colorado Rockies (–3.1, 11th in NL)
8.9 Clutch, -7.1 Run Prevention, -23.1 Baserunners, -54.8 Command
19. Kansas City Royals (–3.5, 8th in AL)
-1.8 Clutch, 2.7 Run Prevention, -17.7 Baserunners, -36.0 Command
20. Los Angeles Dodgers (–3.7, 12th in NL)
-22.4 Clutch, 12.2 Run Prevention, 25.9 Baserunners, 14.2 Command

Lots of Work to Do

21. Miami Marlins (–5.0, 13th in NL)
-4.9 Clutch, -0.8 Run Prevention, -14.3 Baserunners, -16.2 Command
22. Baltimore Orioles (–6.7, 9th in AL)
-21.0 Clutch, 6.9 Run Prevention, 8.2 Baserunners, 11.4 Command
23. Houston Astros (–8.1, 10th in AL)
-19.4 Clutch, 4.0 Run Prevention, -3.1 Baserunners, 9.9 Command
24. San Francisco Giants (–8.5, 14th in NL)
-15.0 Clutch, -7.9 Run Prevention, 2.3 Baserunners, 31.2 Command

Stock Up on Tums

25. Chicago White Sox (–10.0, 11th in AL)
-13.6 Clutch, -3.8 Run Prevention, -7.8 Baserunners, -22.3 Command
26. Texas Rangers (–11.0, 12th in AL)
-10.4 Clutch, -12.3 Run Prevention, -5.6 Baserunners, -18.9 Command
27. Los Angeles Angels (–17.0, 13th in AL)
-30.9 Clutch, -2.6 Run Prevention, -2.5 Baserunners, -7.6 Command
28. Toronto Blue Jays (–17.4, 14th in AL)
-27.7 Clutch, -5.3 Run Prevention, -10.3 Baserunners, -12.0 Command

Pray for a Blowout Win

29. Minnesota Twins (–24.4, 15th in AL)
-35.7 Clutch, -18.5 Run Prevention, -10.6 Baserunners, 19.9 Command
30. Cincinnati Reds (–24.6, 15th in NL)
-49.3 Clutch, -0.3 Run Prevention, 0.0 Baserunners, 3.4 Command

Team Category Boards

Clutch leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 19. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.
Run prevention leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 19. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.
Baserunner leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 19. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.
Command leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 19. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.

Full Individual Leaderboards

Closers (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Closers (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Middle Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Middle Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Closers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Closers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Middle Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.
Middle Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 19. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Also See:

Week 7 Rankings, April Awards, Week 5 Individual Rankings, Week 4 Individual Rankings.

Main Photo:

The main photo is a mosaic of the following images.

Top left:

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Top center:

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Top right:

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Bottom left:

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Bottom center:

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Bottom right:

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

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