Welcome back to Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for a great tool for those of you looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so be sure to check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
- All 30 teams were scheduled for action today, and a Toronto-Boston doubleheader meant that there were 16 games on the schedule. The COVID outbreak among Washington’s players and staff, however, meant that their game with Philly was postponed.
- Eight teams have the day off today: CLE, MIN, HOU, SEA, TEX, MIA, STL, and ARI. Washington and Philadelphia have a doubleheader scheduled, but it’s probably best to be cautious about whether those games will happen.
- Both Casey Mize and Freddy Peralta, who are seeing the length of their starts capped as part of an innings limit, will potentially have followers today after they cover two to three innings. Detroit’s bullpen looks taxed right now, though, so it’s hard to predict who will fill their innings. Peralta’s Brewers, however, have more options, and Jake Cousins in particular has had three days in a row off. Peralta might be allowed to go a little deeper, but Cousins is as good a bet as any to vulture a win today.
Transaction and Injury Notes
- The Reds acquired Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson from the Yankees for a player to be named later, and then also acquired Mychal Givens from the Rockies in exchange for Case Williams and Noah Davis, both prospects. That throws any previous assumptions about the Reds’ bullpen order out the window and means we’re just doing our best to guess for the next week or so until the dust settles.
- The Astros picked up Yimi Garcia from the Marlins in exchange for prospect bat Bryan De La Cruz and reliever Austin Pruit, whom they had designated for assignment already. Garcia likely slots into Houston’s setup options, as will Kendall Graveman.
There are just two big names who will likely need some rest today:
- Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman hit 20 saves on the year after finishing off a 3–1 win over the Rays. He gave up one walk and no hits while striking out two. After going back-to-back, he’ll be off today for the last game of that series.
- Liam Hendriks surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Salvador Perez that sent the White Sox-Royals game into extras, where Chicago failed to score in the top half and ultimately lost in the bottom of the 10th. All three of his outs also came on contact that reached the outfield. He’s pitched two in a row, so he’s probably off today before being ready for the series against Cleveland this weekend.
There were very few close games yesterday, so we’ll be using today as an excuse to look a little deeper into a few of the top arms in baseball who have some curious numbers underpinning their success.
- The Blue Jays have been seemingly tied to every closer not on a contending team in the past few weeks, but it’s worth repeating that Jordan Romano, who closed out their win in the team’s first game against Boston, is still around. Romano spent plenty of time on the injured list this season, but he’s up to eight saves on the year. His 2.29 ERA is backed by a 29.7% strikeout rate and what’s been some excellent contact suppression so far this year (take your pick of the measures, but his .286 xwOBACON stands out to me), although the 15.3% line drive rate he’s allowed so far might not stick and should mean that he’ll probably revert toward the mean in terms of exit velocity and hard-hit rate as well. Romano doesn’t profile as the sort of super-elite closer that Craig Kimbrel has been, but he does look like at least a competent go-to arm on a Wild Card team.
- In the second game of the Toronto-Boston doubleheader, Matt Barnes picked up his 23rd save of the year. Barnes is like Romano, only more so: his 2.30 ERA comes with a 1.84 xERA thanks to a 41.5% strikeout rate and .319 xwOBACON. That said, his 13.6% line drive rate has no business sticking around — neither pitchers nor batters have much control over that stat, and his sits at about half of the league average — so it wouldn’t be shocking to see some reversion to the mean on contact quality for Barnes either.
- Edwin Díaz also picked up his 23rd save of the year last night as the Mets beat Atlanta 2–1. Want to see the other side of how little pitchers have control over contact in small samples? Díaz now has a 25.6% hard-hit rate alongside his 35.3% strikeout rate, meaning that batters have actually turned a PA against him into a hard-hit ball just 13.3% of the time, 4th best among the 235 relievers this year who have faced at least 100 batters. That’s pretty good! But he’s allowed more line drives than hard-hit balls by a wide margin (his 35.6% line drive rate looks mega unsustainable in the opposite direction), so his ERA sits at 3.89 despite him doing more than almost anyone else to embarrass hitters. Baseball isn’t fair, is it?