O’s closer Zach Britton named to Sporting News AL All-Star team

Orioles closer Zach Britton, who was a perfect 47-for-47 in save chances this year, has been named to the Sporting News American League All-Star team, his first selection to the team.

Britton went 2-1 with an ERA of 0.54 in 69 games. Over 67 innings, he allowed 38 hits (just one homer) with 18 walks, 74 strikeouts and a .162 batting average against. Britton gave up just seven runs (four earned) all year. From May 1 to the end of the regular season, he allowed one earned run over 58 games and 57 innings for an ERA of 0.16.

Britton was the only qualifying reliever in the majors with a save percentage of 100.0. On his way to the fourth season of 40 or more saves in team history, he made his second major league All-Star Game. In July, Britton got the save for the AL squad.

zach-britton-white-point.jpgAccording to STATS, LLC., Britton has the longest save streak in as many chances to start a season by a left-handed pitcher in major league history and ranks third all-time. Britton led the AL and tied for second in the majors in saves. His 0.54 ERA led all big league relievers and was the lowest in major league history among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other pitchers in major league history have had an ERA below 1.00 in a season with at least 40 saves: Dennis Eckersley in 1990 (0.61 ERA, 48 saves) and Fernando Rodney in 2012 (0.60 ERA, 48 saves).

Britton ranks third on the O’s all-time saves list with 120 and is one of two left-handers in O’s history with at least 100 career saves, joining Tippy Martinez. He is the active major league leader with 49 consecutive saves, dating to Oct. 1, 2015

Now we wait to find out if Britton can become 10th relief pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. The last reliever to do so was Dodgers right-hander Eric Gagne in 2003.

The Sporting News AL All-Star team

C - Salvador Perez, Kansas City
1B - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
2B - Jose Altuve, Houston
SS - Francisco Lindor, Cleveland
3B - Josh Donaldson, Toronto
OF - Mike Trout, Los Angeles
OF - Mookie Betts, Boston
OF - Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston
DH - David Ortiz, Boston
SP - Corey Kluber, Cleveland
RP - Zach Britton, Baltimore

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