Reiter: World Series Hinges On Starting Rotations

If you're not a fan of bullpenning, you're really going to enjoy the 2019 World Series

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 22, 2019 - 10:12 am
Max Scherzer Nationals

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If you’re tired of seeing a parade of relievers in the postseason – or baseball in general – you’re going to enjoy the 2019 World Series. That’s because the Astros and Nationals have arguably the best starting rotations in the majors.

“You can make a strong argument that we are seeing the two best pitching staffs in the game,” Sports Illustrated senior writer Ben Reiter said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “In this era of bullpen dominance, of bullpenning, of relievers carrying more of the load than ever before, this should be a classic World Series – whose outcome will largely hinge on the performance of those starters.”

Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke will start Games 1-3 for the Astros, while Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin will start Games 1-3 for the Nationals.

Why do more teams not have such deep, talented staffs? Why do so many teams rely on bullpenning?

Simple: money.

“Any club would love to have what the Astros and Nationals have, which are at least three dominant starters who can take a lot of innings and see the batting order not just once, but two or three times. But certainly as a way for other teams that don’t have that, because that’s very expensive and hard to come by, the bullpenning strategy is a way to compete, and even win. Just not this year.”

The Astros are seeking their second World Series title in three seasons, while the Nationals advanced to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Click below to listen to Reiter’s interview in its entirety.