Reliever Roundup and Bullpen Bonanza, Episode 8 — Week 9 Rankings

A mosaic of the top six in the Week 9 Reliever Rankings by Sport Relay.

Reliever Roundup & Bullpen Bonanza — Week 9 (May 27 to Jun 2) Individual Rankings

We are in Week Nine 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 Monday, May 27 and exclude position pitchers. To qualify for the leaderboards, a pitcher must have at least 11 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 — 1.243 WHIP, 2.9 HR%, 14.2 K–BB%, 72.8 ScOtg% (ER), 3.2 GE/BE, 2.6 GE, 32.3 IS%.
NL — 1.285 WHIP, 2.6 HR%, 13.5 K–BB%, 71.8 ScOtg% (ER), 3.2 GE/BE, 2.5 GE, 35.5 IS%.

Week 9 Individual Reliever Rankings

AL Middle Relievers

Middle Relievers (AL), top ten, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.

Leader: Nick Sandlin, Cleveland Guardians (39.4)
Last place (of 66 qualifiers): Yerry Rodriguez, Texas Rangers (–48.4)

Sandlin regains first place in the AL Middle Reliever rankings for Week Nine. He has gone 24-for-27 in scoreless outings (88.9%) across 24 2/3 innings. In addition, he has a 0.730 WHIP, 2.1 HR%, 21.9 K–BB%, and 9.5 IS% (2-of-21).

Rodriguez, whom the Rangers optioned to Triple-A Round Rock Tuesday, sits in last place in the AL Middle Reliever rankings. His ScOtg% is 50% (6-for-12). In 17 innings, he has a 1.588 WHIP, 6.4 HR%, 1.3 K–BB%, and 58.3 IS% (7-of-12). Of the 78 batters he’s faced, 5 have homered, 12 have struck out, and 11 have walked.

AL Setup Men

Setup Men (AL), top ten, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.

Leader: Ian Hamilton, New York Yankees (162.8)
Last place (of 32 qualifiers): Deivi Garcia, Chicago White Sox (–48.3)

The AL Setup Men department of the Week Nine reliever rankings has a new leader. Hamilton is a perfect 9–0 in GE–BE, boosting him to the top despite a higher-than-average WHIP (1.412). He has not been scored upon in 14-of-19 appearances (73.7 ScOtg%) with a 1.0 HR% (1 HR, 101 TBF) and 9.9 K–BB%.

Garcia, whom the White Sox outrighted to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on May 2, remains in last place. During his major-league stint, he gave up earned runs in five 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 (NL), top five, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.

Leader: Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland Guardians (228.6)
Last place (of 14 qualifiers): Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays (–9.4)

The AL closers have a new leader in this week’s reliever rankings. Emmanuel Clase has tossed 27 1/3 innings across 28 appearances. He has allowed one earned run, giving him a 96.4 ScOtg% and (giggle) a 0.33 ERA (9 ERA-minus). In Goose Egg situations, he is 16–1, a ratio more than five times higher than the average. He has a 0.622 WHIP, a 24.2 K–BB%, and has yet to allow a home run.

Romano has a 2.0 GE/BE ratio (4 GE, 2 BE) in 14 appearances. Eight of his appearances were scoreless (57.1%). In 12 2/3 innings, he has a 1.500 WHIP, a 5.2 HR%, and a 13.8 K–BB%.

NL Middle Relievers

Middle Relievers (NL), top ten, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 10 total relief appearances.

Leader: Matt Strahm, Philadelphia Phillies (58.2)
Last place (of 67 qualifiers): Giovanny Gallegos, St Louis Cardinals (–57.9)

Strahm retains his position atop the NL middle reliever rankings, a spot he has held for three straight weeks. He has not been scored upon in 20-of-21 appearances (95.2%), allowing a total of two earned runs in 20 innings (0.90 ERA, 22 ERA-minus). Additionally, he has a 0.800 WHIP, a 37.8 K­–BB% (40.5 K%, 2.7 BB%), and no home runs allowed. He has struck out 30 of 74 batters while walking two.

Gallegos has been on the 15-day IL since May 6 with a right shoulder impingement. During his time on the active roster, he made 13 appearances. Seven were scoreless (53.8%). In nine innings, he allowed twelve earned runs. Additionally, he has a 2.333 WHIP, a 10.4 HR%, a 12.5 K–BB%, and a 50.0 IS% (3-of-6).

NL Setup Men

Setup Men (NL), top ten, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.

Leader: Bryan Hudson, Milwaukee Brewers (174.5)
Last place (of 32 qualifiers): Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs (–18.9)

Hudson is number one in the NL Setup Men department of the Sport Relay reliever rankings for the second straight week. He is a perfect 9–0 in GE–BE and has held opponents scoreless in 18-of-20 appearances (90.0%). Across 30 1/3 innings, he has allowed 2 ER (0.59 ERA, 15 ERA-minus) with a 0.725 WHIP, a 0.9 HR% (1 HR, 112 TBF), a 25.9 K–BB%, and a 9.1 IS% (1-of-11).

Alzolay, who went on the 15-day IL May 13 with a right forearm strain, sits in last place among NL setup men. He has a 1.0 GE/BE ratio (4–4 GE–BE) and a 66.7 ScOtg% (12-of-18). In 17 1/3 innings, he has a 1.442 WHIP, 8.0 HR% (6 HR of 75 TBF), and a 9.3 K–BB%.

NL Closers

Closers (NL), top five, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.

Leader: Robert Suarez, San Diego Padres (194.6)
Last place (of 13 qualifiers): David Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates (26.3)

Suarez is continuing his dominance of the NL closer leaderboard. He is 13–0 in GE–BE, holding opponents scoreless in 21-of-23 appearances (91.3%). In 24 2/3 innings, he has a 0.689 WHIP, a 2.3 HR%, and a 21.6 K–BB%.

Bednar has returned to last place among qualifying NL closers. He has a 1.8 GE/BE ratio (9–5 GE–BE) with a 62.5 ScOtg% (15-of-24). In 21 1/3 innings, he has allowed 16 earned runs with a 1.313 WHIP, 3.1 HR%, and 17.7 K–BB%.

Week 9 (May 27 to Jun 2) Team Reliever and Bullpen Rankings — Active Rosters Only

Team overall leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 27. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.

The Elite

1. Cleveland Guardians (58.3, 1st in AL), +3 from Last Week
95.8 Clutch, 16.9 Run Prevention, 18.8 Baserunners, 52.2 Command

Better Take an Early Lead…

2. Oakland Athletics (27.9, 2nd in AL), +3 from Last Week
49.7 Clutch, 3.7 Run Prevention, 6.1 Baserunners, 22.6 Command
3. Tampa Bay Rays (27.4, 3rd in AL), -1 from Last Week
59.8 Clutch, -2.4 Run Prevention, -8.4 Baserunners, -15.3 Command
4. Chicago Cubs (26.9, 1st in NL), -3 from Last Week
54.5 Clutch, 0.5 Run Prevention, -2.8 Baserunners, -4.2 Command
5. New York Yankees (23.0, 4th in AL), -2 from Last Week
37.3 Clutch, 11.3 Run Prevention, 8.0 Baserunners, -6.9 Command

The Very Good

6. Milwaukee Brewers (16.5, 2nd in NL), No Change from Last Week
-10.3 Clutch, 3.1 Run Prevention, -0.7 Baserunners, 17.8 Command
7. San Diego Padres (15.6, 3rd in NL), +10 from Last Week
25.9 Clutch, 4.4 Run Prevention, 8.4 Baserunners, 6.7 Command
8. Boston Red Sox (11.9, 5th in AL), +6 from Last Week
13.6 Clutch, 9.8 Run Prevention, 6.9 Baserunners, -12.7 Command
9. St Louis Cardinals (11.4, 4th in NL), No Change from Last Week
19.1 Clutch, 3.4 Run Prevention, 6.2 Baserunners, 0.9 Command

The Good

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (7.2, 5th in NL), +5 from Last Week
15.7 Clutch, 1.7 Run Prevention, -3.7 Baserunners, -18.7 Command
11. Philadelphia Phillies (5.7, 6th in NL), -4 from Last Week
4.8 Clutch, 6.8 Run Prevention, 0.1 Baserunners, 17.7 Command

Slightly above Average

12. Washington Nationals (3.6, 7th in NL), -2 from Last Week
8.4 Clutch, 2.8 Run Prevention, -6.3 Baserunners, -17.9 Command
13. Atlanta Braves (3.3, 8th in NL), +3 from Last Week
-3.3 Clutch, 11.6 Run Prevention, 5.0 Baserunners, 7.4 Command

The Average

14. Seattle Mariners (0.8, 6th in AL), -1 from Last Week
2.7 Clutch, -4.1 Run Prevention, -0.4 Baserunners, 18.6 Command
15. San Francisco Giants (–1.1, 9th in NL), +9 from Last Week
-2.6 Clutch, -4.4 Run Prevention, 4.1 Baserunners, 26.5 Command

Slightly below Average

16. Miami Marlins (–2.7, 10th in NL), +5 from Last Week
-2.7 Clutch, 1.3 Run Prevention, -12.2 Baserunners, -12.6 Command
17. New York Mets (–3.3, 11th in NL), -6 from Last Week
-10.3 Clutch, 3.1 Run Prevention, -0.7 Baserunners, 17.8 Command
18. Kansas City Royals (–3.6, 7th in AL), +1 from Last Week
-6.7 Clutch, 6.7 Run Prevention, -10.5 Baserunners, -31.6 Command
19. Pittsburgh Pirates (–3.8, 12th in NL), -11 from Last Week
-0.7 Clutch, -6.2 Run Prevention, -10.3 Baserunners, -5.5 Command

Lots of Work to Do

20. Baltimore Orioles (–4.5, 8th in AL), +2 from Last Week
-13.7 Clutch, 4.8 Run Prevention, 6.9 Baserunners, -1.1 Command
21. Houston Astros (–6.2, 9th in AL), +2 from Last Week
-16.4 Clutch, 5.0 Run Prevention, -0.3 Baserunners, 4.1 Command
22. Los Angeles Dodgers (–7.4, 13th in NL), -2 from Last Week
-21.4 Clutch, 3.5 Run Prevention, 18.4 Baserunners, 3.8 Command
23. Cincinnati Reds (–8.6, 14th in NL), +7 from Last Week
-22.8 Clutch, 4.1 Run Prevention, 6.8 Baserunners, 12.5 Command
24. Detroit Tigers (–9.0, 10th in AL), -12 from Last Week
-11.9 Clutch, -6.7 Run Prevention, -1.3 Baserunners, -12.0 Command

Stock Up on Tums

25. Minnesota Twins (–12.5, 11th in AL), +4 from Last Week
-17.9 Clutch, -13.9 Run Prevention, -0.7 Baserunners, 27.7 Command
26. Chicago White Sox (–12.6, 12th in AL), -1 from Last Week
-18.3 Clutch, -5.1 Run Prevention, -9.7 Baserunners, -12.7 Command
27. Los Angeles Angels (–13.3, 13th in AL), No Change from Last Week
-23.0 Clutch, -2.5 Run Prevention, -2.0 Baserunners, -13.6 Command
28. Texas Rangers (–13.9, 14th in AL), -2 from Last Week
-15.1 Clutch, -11.9 Run Prevention, -7.8 Baserunners, -27.3 Command

Pray for a Blowout Win

29. Toronto Blue Jays (–18.3, 15th in AL), -1 from Last Week
-28.7 Clutch, -5.4 Run Prevention, -11.5 Baserunners, -18.9 Command
30. Colorado Rockies (–25.3, 15th in NL), -12 from Last Week
-34.0 Clutch, -10.1 Run Prevention, -22.6 Baserunners, -50.3 Command

Team Category Boards

Clutch leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 27. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.
Run prevention leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 27. AL (red) on the left; NL (blue) on the right.
Baserunner leaderboards, active roster only, through end of play May 27. 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 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Closers (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Middle Relievers (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Middle Relievers (AL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Closers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Closers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Setup Men (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Middle Relievers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Middle Relievers (NL), full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances.
Multi-team relievers, full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances. All are middle relievers.
Multi-team relievers, full leaderboard, through end of play May 27. Minimum of 11 total relief appearances. All are middle relievers.

Also See:

Week 8 Rankings, 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:

Embed from Getty Images

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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