For any MLB team, the bullpen is one of the most critical pieces to their success.
The 2015 Kansas City Royals proved this, as the team relied heavily on the strongest bullpen in the league to win the World Series.
In today’s game, a starting rotation will only get you so far as managers are willing to hand the ball off to arms in the bullpen.
Because of this, the top bullpens usually make it the furthest.
Here are the three best bullpens going into the 2021 season.
1. New York Yankees
The Yankees have been at the top of bullpen rankings over the past six seasons.
They are led by a core group of relievers that are proven at the big-league level to be dominant.
Fireballer Aroldis Chapman is the most high-profile arm, as he mans the back end of the bullpen as the team’s closer.
Though he doesn’t quite feature the 105 miles-per-hour fastball that he had in the past, he has become an even craftier pitcher.
Right-handed pitcher Chad Green has quietly been one of the most dominant relivers in the MLB over the last few seasons.
Chad Green, 97mph Paint. 🎨 pic.twitter.com/yyOUAjzhz6
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 9, 2020
He features an electric fastball that frequently gets blown by hitters.
Darren O’Day was a free agent signing for the Yankees that will give the team veteran depth.
The sidearm specialist is a tough matchup for any hitter at the plate.
2. New York Mets
The Yankees’ crosstown rivals rank second in the bullpens power rankings.
In their rapid rebuild, the Mets wasted nothing on their bullpen.
They put together a solid group, full of talented arms and important depth.
Much of their success will rely on closer Edwin Diaz, who bounced back in 2020 after an abysmal 2019.
Edwin Diaz ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/L8tJPJzVv5
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 9, 2021
They will also look towards proven relievers Seth Lugo and Delllin Betances to bolster the back end of their bullpen.
Meanwhile, free agent signing Trevor May will look to slide right onto the Mets’ roster.
With all of these arms, the Mets have crafted one of the best bullpens in the league, something that should help them make a run for the playoffs this season.
3. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have arguably two of the most dominant relievers in the National League.
This is not something that many teams have the luxury of saying.
Josh Hader is a legitimate force on the mound, showing glimpses of being the best reliever in the entire MLB.
He is an uncomfortable matchup for any hitter, featuring a slingshot style from the left side of the mound.
Devin Williams is the other arm that carries the Brewers.
Devin Williams, 96mph Fastball & Airbender, Individual Pitches + Overlay.
Mechanics are overlaid too.
If anyone ever asks why hitting is hard, show them this. pic.twitter.com/tgS2TkXoaW
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 27, 2021
He had one of the greatest rookie seasons ever in the 2020 season, posting a minuscule 0.33 ERA in 27 innings.
Williams features one of the league’s best changeups, a pitch that has proven to fool hitters from both sides of the plate.
In a full 162 game season, it will be interesting to see the numbers he can put up.
Beyond those two, the Brewers have a solid group of arms that give their bullpen depth.
For a team that will have to battle for their playoff spot, they will have to heavily rely on their bullpen to help carry them.