Ever since taking over the role of closer, Jansen has gotten better every single year. In 2017 he posted a career-best 1.32 ERA with 41 saves. Jansen also put up an unreal 15.57 K/BB ratio. He is the most dominant closer in the game today. Kenley finished 5th in Cy Young voting last season and made his second consecutive all-star game.
Here’s why Jansen has a shot at it. If he can improve his strikeout to walk ratio again, it would put him back in the top five at least. In an era of baseball where pitch count is always an issue, starting pitchers innings are getting lowered yearly, while the importance of a reliable closer has just about reached its peak. Voters have always been reluctant to vote for a reliever to win the award.
However, Jansen has already proven that writers could be easily swayed with productive enough numbers. Finishing in the top 5 last season will work to his advantage. Despite going up against the likes of Scherzer and Kershaw, Jansen could be the choice if he has himself yet another career year for the Dodgers
The last reliever to win the award was Eric Gagne back in 2003. Kenley is in a similar position to Gagne before he entered his Cy Young year. Gagne finished 4th in 2002 before winning the award the following year. Jansen finished 5th and had a real chance to win the award and be the 3rd Dodger reliever to bring home that prestigious award.