FanPost

Just how good is the Dodger bullpen?

An ESPN writer in a recent article comparing playoff bullpens didn't bother to evaluate the Dodgers and dismissively predicted that they would be swept in three games anyway because "Nearly every year, one September favorite forgets to show up in October. This year, it will be the Dodgers" (see this fanpost for more.)  This despite claiming that "So often, postseason survival comes down to one thing: Can your bullpen get those critical outs late in games?".  As Bugs Bunny once said, "what a maroon."

In any case, since ESPN won't provide you any edification, here are some statistics for the Los Angeles Dodger bullpen, compared to the rest of the NL (all stats as of end of play Sunday):

  • leads in runs per game 3.75, while being second in IP for relievers!
  • leads in ERA, 3.15.  The closest likely NL playoff team is the Cardinals at 3.63
  • first in WHIP, 1.261.  The closest likely NL playoff team is the Cardinals at 1.310
  • second in K/BB, 2.14.  The Rockies lead at 2.36.
  • second in HR/9. 0.73.  The Braves lead at 0.64.  Next best likely playoff team is the Phillies at 0.90.
  • first in OPS+ allowed, 81.  Cardinals, 90.
  • first in OPS allowed, .657.  Cardinals, .694
  • first in OBP allowed, .313.  Cardinals, .321
  • first in SLG allowed, .345.  Cardinals, .373
  • first in BA allowed, .229.  Cardinals, .236

Those "triple slash" stats are about the equivalent of "Sloppy" Joe Thurston this season: .229 / .319 / .336

Conclusion:  The Dodger bullpen is pretty damn good overall.  If you believe the bullpens are a big playoff factor, you shouldn't predict that the Dodgers get swept.

All stats from the awesome Baseball-Reference.com, except HR/9, which I calculated from their statistics.

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