Dodgers: 1988 Dodgers vs. 2017 Dodgers

mwittman
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 03: Retired Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda shakes hands with Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch during an Opening Day game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 03: Retired Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda shakes hands with Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch during an Opening Day game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 29: Kenley Jansen /

Bullpen

The 1988 and 2017 Dodger bullpens are both very good.  The 2017 Dodgers are first in the National League, and second in all of baseball with a 2.94 ERA. The two ERA’s are also entirely different because today’s game features more specialized roles where back in 1988 it was more of the relief pitchers just trying to get as many outs as they could no matter which kind of batter came to the plate.

The 1988 bullpen main stays were:

Jay Howell – 2.08 ERA, 21 saves, 1.83 FIP, 9 K/9IP

Alejandro Pena – 1.91 ERA, 12 saves, 2.45 FIP, 7 K/9IP

Brian Holton – 1.70 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 5 K/9IP

Tim Crews – 3.14 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 5 K/9IP

Jesse Orosco – 2.72 ERA,  3.94 FIP, 7 K/9IP

The 2017 Dodger bullpen features:

Kenley Jansen – 1.33 ERA, 28 saves, 1.24 FIP, 13 K/9IP

Pedro Baez – 1.74 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 8 K/9IP

Brandon Morrow – 1.82 ERA, 1.23 FIP, 11 K/9IP

Josh Fields – 2.75 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 10 K/9IP

Luis Avilan – 3.09 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 11 K/9IP

As good as Jay Howell was in 1988 the 2017 Dodgers closer is even better as Kenley Jansen is having one of the best seasons a closer has ever had.  The 1988 bullpen had lower ERA’s than the core of 2017 relievers do, but the 2017 squad has relievers that strikeout a ton of batters which can be crucial in late inning situations.  The 2017 Dodgers have a handful of relievers that average double digit strikeouts per nine innings.

Edge: The better bullpen narrowly goes to the 1988 Dodgers by the slimmest of margins.  Although Jansen seems to be from another world, the 1988 Dodgers featured more dependable relievers.  Most Dodger fans still cringe when Pedro Baez or Josh Fields enter a game, and Luis Avilan has been beaten around by right-handed batters.

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