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Bullpen Power Rankings: Who can bring it late?

How much do the Dodgers value Kenley Jansen's consistency at the back end of their games? Try $80 million for the next five seasons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 World Series provided the latest reminder that teams can rely on strong late-game relief to stay in games and get deep into the postseason. Ranked by their projected wins above replacement (WAR) from ESPN Insider's Dan Szymborski, we count down which bullpens will help seal their teams' wins during the 2017 season.

30. Cincinnati Reds
Projected WAR: 1.1 | K rate: 21.6% | HR rate: 9.6%
Projected ERA: 4.27 | FIP: 4.18 | ERA+: 94
Their strength is the tandem of Raisel Iglesias and Mike Lorenzen if they can stay healthy. Both have dominating stuff, can pitch multiple innings and can be used in a multitude of roles, and they have the stuff and mentality to close. If healthy, expect both to be used in flexible, Andrew Miller-like roles. However, keep in mind Iglesias has some elbow and back issues. -- Jim Bowden

29. Philadelphia Phillies
Projected WAR: 1.3 | K rate: 22.1% | BB rate: 9.2%
Projected ERA: 4.13 | FIP: 4.07 | ERA+: 94
Hector Neris' split-finger fastball makes him unlike any other pitcher in baseball because of how often he throws it -- 52 percent of the time in 2016, or more than double the rate of the reliever second on this list, Junichi Tazawa at 24.2 percent. Heavily used last season, Neris had an ugly final month that marred his final numbers, but it seems inevitable that, with the swing-and-miss capability of his splitter, Neris will eventually ascend past other veterans and become the Phillies' closer. -- Buster Olney

28. Atlanta Braves
Projected WAR: 1.6 | K rate: 23.0% | BB rate: 10.1%
Projected ERA: 4.12 | FIP: 3.93 | ERA+: 96
Veteran Jim Johnson begins the season as the closer, but the Braves would love for hard-throwing Mauricio Cabrera (he of the 100 mph fastball) to earn the job. Cabrera had a 2.82 ERA as a rookie and didn't allow a home run in 38⅓ innings, but he also walked 19 batters and struck out just 32, so he'll need to continue developing his slider and changeup. Otherwise, there are a lot of question marks. Matt Wisler or Aaron Blair could end up here if they're not in the rotation, and the Braves would love for Ian Krol and Arodys Vizcaino to show more consistency. -- David Schoenfield

27. Milwaukee Brewers
Projected WAR: 1.6 | K rate: 22.4% | BB rate: 9.2%
Projected ERA: 4.27 | FIP: 4.17 | ERA+: 95
On a developing team, the cherry on top of the contention sundae is usually the bullpen. Until the project is finished, emergent relievers are often flipped while their value is peaking, and no team has been more aggressive with that than the Brewers. Will Smith, Francisco Rodriguez, Jeremy Jeffress and Tyler Thornburg have all passed through Milwaukee over a couple of seasons, then moved on to contenders. So the question for the Neftali Feliz and the rest of the Brewers' relief staff in 2017: Who steps up in order to be shipped out? -- Bradford Doolittle

26. Pittsburgh Pirates
Projected WAR: 1.8 | K rate: 20.8% | BB rate: 8.5%
Projected ERA: 3.96 | FIP: 3.80 | ERA+: 97
After the Pirates traded Mark Melancon last season, lefty Tony Watson took over the ninth inning for Clint Hurdle. Watson typifies the state of the Pittsburgh pen: He's more competent than dominant, too good to be strictly a lefty-killer, but lacking the stuff to be a lights-out ninth-inning guy. That's where fellow lefty Felipe Rivero comes in. Rivero, part of the Melancon bounty, throws in the mid- to upper-90s fastball and shows little in the way of a platoon split. Watson is the closer for now, but it might be Rivero who restores the air of certainty Hurdle enjoyed during Melancon's tenure. -- Bradford Doolittle