The Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies went a combined 11-3 last week with several wins coming as an underdog, which helped turn a nice profit for their backers. A major reason for this wagering windfall was the work of both club's relief staffs.
The Brewers and Rockies headline this week's look at the hottest and coldest bullpen in MLB. They are two of several clubs that benefited from good relief work last week.
On the flip side, failures in the bullpens of the Mariners, Mets and Astros led to disappointing weeks for three clubs with playoff aspirations.
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Here is this week's look at the hottest and coldest bullpens in baseball:
Hot MLB Bullpens
22 1/3 IP, 1.61 ERA, 10 HLD, 4 SV, 2 BSV
The bullpen led the Brew Crew to a 6-1 mark and profits worth 5.7 units last week. Closer Jeremy Jeffres (27 SV, 2.22 ERA) converted saves on four straight nights to continue what's quietly been an excellent season for the 28-year-old right hander. The middle relief staff has also come to hand, helping drop the bullpen's season ERA to below the league average at 3.80.
This week the Brewers hit the road for three games against the Padres and three against the Diamondbacks.
18 IP, 2.00 ERA, 4 HLD, 3 SV, 2 BSV
A 5-2 record last week and 12-5 mark since the All-Star break has the Rockies on the cusp of playoff contention. Colorado's bullpen gave up just four runs in 22 combined appearances last week. The Rockies have gotten a big boost from the improvement of 23-year-old closer Carlos Estevez. He took over the closer's job when Jake McGee went on the DL in June. He nearly lost it in early July, but since then the right hander has been perfect in seven save opportunities while lowering his ERA to 3.96.
If the bullpen can keep this up, the Rockies will be particularly dangerous down the stretch. Colorado is home this week for three against the Dodgers followed by a three-game visit from the Marlins.
Other hot MLB bullpens: San Francisco Giants (24 2/3 IP, 2.19 ERA, 8 HLD, 3 SV, 0 BSV), New York Yankees (15 IP, 2.40 ERA, 3 HLD, 3 SV, 0 BSV)
Coldest MLB Bullpens
New York Mets
19 IP, 5.21 ERA 1 HLD, 2 SV, 2 BSV
Closer Jeurys Familia's streak of 54 straight converted saves--the third-most in MLB history--came crashing to a halt last week when he blew saves on back-to-back nights in Mets losses. The bullpen meltdown led to a 2-5 week for New York, dropping the Mets into third-place in the NL East and 6.5 games back of the Nationals.
It was good to see Familia bounce right back with a perfect ninth inning to earn the save against the Rockies on Sunday. This is probably just a momentary blip for the Mets, given they have the league's fifth-best bullpen ERA (3.20) and Familia does lead the majors in saves with 37. Still, given the hill the Mets must climb, they can't afford many weeks like this from the relief staff.
Next up for New York are four games against the Yankees--two in Queens and two in the Bronx--followed by a three-game set in Detroit.
20 1/3 IP, 4.87 ERA, 1 HLD, 1 SV, 1 BSV
The Astros finally cooled off last week as they were swept by the Tigers and dropped two of three to the Yankees. Closer Will Harris (11 SV, 1.90 ERA) suffered a blown save against Detroit, which was his second since taking over the closer role in mid-June. Harris was an outstanding set-up man early in the season that has solidified the closer role in Houston. The Astros have the fourth-lowest ERA in the major's at 3.17. Look for Harris and this above-average staff to bounce-back quickly.
This week the Astros host the Blue Jays for four games followed by a three-game weekend visit from the Rangers.
Other cold MLB bullpens: Seattle Mariners (19 1/3 IP, 8.85 ERA, 4 HLD, 2 SV, 1 BSV)
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