Bullpenning, or a severe reliance on bullpens, has become the prevalent way to construct a pitching staff in 2019. Then the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals decided to go to the World Series with premier starting pitching.
Whether it be the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, or any other team, it has become a frequent occurrence to see a team use an opener or take starters out of games earlier than in previous decades. While the Astros and Nationals have each used an opener and utilized their bullpens in crafty ways this season, they got to the Fall Classic on the shoulders of their prolific starting rotations.
And it’s not like they have rotations with pitchers who have pitched well. Their rotations are made up of starters who are potential and, in some cases, likely Hall of Famers.
One could argue that Verlander has never been more dominant than he is right now. He has an overpowering fastball, gets hitters to wave at his curveball, and pitches deep into games. One could…