Cleat Geeks

Saber-Metrics Sunday: WAR Relief is on the Way!

Yes, another WAR article….but this is more for fun as we analyze a group of players most people don’t seek WAR stats of.

WAR is usually used to evaluate position players and top of the rotation starting pitchers, however relief pitchers do not often come up in WAR conversation. Which is kind of interesting considering relievers are so valued in baseball today, particularly closers and set-up men. But at the same time, they play only an inning or two per game and don’t play everygame so it is not like looking at a position player who plays mostly everyday and all nine innings.kenleyjansen2

Overall I think WAR can be interesting to look at with relievers because the best relievers with positive WAR tend to be top closers in the game. Yes, there are a lot of relievers, but the closers who are positive wins above replacement stand out against the average relievers and are valued to the point where they are signed and traded for like position players and top tier starting pitchers. Closers are literally worth a win when they lock down the save or keep a game tied to lead to wins and take away team wins when they blow a save or tie game.

So who are the top fWAR (fangraphs WAR) relievers in baseball? Well here they are:

Kenley Jansen – 3.2aroldischapmancubs

Dellin Betances – 2.9

Aroldis Chapman – 2.6

Addison Reed – 2.5

Seung Hwan Oh – 2.5

Andrew Miller – 2.4

Zach Britton – 2.1

Jeurys Familia – 2.0

Tyler Thornburg – 1.9

Kelvin Herrera – 1.9

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