Analysis

Bullpen Wars: Why Pirates-Cardinals Could Be Decided in Relief

Bullpen Wars: Why Pirates-Cardinals Could Be Decided in Relief

A five-game playoff series shines a light on every aspect of your team. Stars will shine brighter and flaws will be exposed.

In this National League Division Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates share at least one similar strength: a quality bullpen of mostly young arms.

Look at some of the key season stats:

Category
Cardinals
Pirates

FIP
2nd (3.26)
4th (3.35)

SIERA
1st (3.19)
5th (3.39)

ERA-
8th (95)
2nd (79)

K%
5th (22.4%)
13th (20.1%)

BB%
1st (7.4%)
2nd (7.8%)

LOB%
9th (75.1%)
3rd (78.3%)

Two similarities about the bullpens stick out: both rely on limiting walks and generating ground balls. Although the Cardinals' bullpen looks like the more talented one overall, the Pirates' bullpen has had better results...

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Analysis

James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards. He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism. James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.

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