CHICAGO (Reuters) - Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles and Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers were named winners of the American and National League Reliever of the Year awards on Saturday before the start of World Series Game Four.
Both All-Star closers finished with 47 saves, and led their team to the postseason.
Britton, in his third season as the Orioles’ closer and sixth overall in the big leagues, was virtually unbeatable in 2016.
He led Baltimore to the American League Wild Card Game and became only the third pitcher to post an ERA below 1.00 (0.54) in a season with at least 40 saves, converting all 47 of his save opportunities.
In 67 innings, the 28-year-old left-hander gave up 38 hits, including just one home run, and 18 walks, while striking out 74. Opponents hit only .162 against him.
Jansen’s 47 saves were second in the NL to the Mets’ Jeurys Familia, but the Dodgers’ closer was dominant in other facets.
He anchored a Los Angeles bullpen that combined to set a franchise record with 590 2/3 innings pitched and 607 total appearances, both of which led the majors.
Balloting for the awards, named after the American League’s Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman of the National League, was conducted among a panel of eight all-time great relievers.
Reporting by Larry Fine Editing by Steve Keating.