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Hyun-Jin Ryu is having an historic season

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Ryu’s 286 ERA+ is second best for a qualified pitcher since 1901

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s game features the 2018 NLDS Game 1 starting pitchers going against each other. Mike Foltynewicz, who finished eighth in the 2018 Cy Young Award voting, is making his third start since being recalled from Gwinnett, the Brave’s Triple-A affiliate.

Hyun-Jin Ryu last two starts against the Braves were his seven scoreless innings performance in last year’s NLDS Game 1 and then this season, he pitched a complete game shutout.

Ryu has made 22 starts this season, in 19 of them, he has pitched at least six innings while allowing two or less earned runs. Ryu is also in select company when you see where his ERA+ ranks historically.

ERA+ takes a player’s ERA and normalizes against ballparks and opponents. An example would be if the league average is an ERA+ is 100, an ERA+ of 125 wound mean this pitcher has an ERA+ 25 percent better than league average. For more on ERA+, see here.

Qualified Pitchers with 250 or higher ERA+ in a single season

Player Year ERA+ ERA FIP G GS W L SV IP BB SO
Player Year ERA+ ERA FIP G GS W L SV IP BB SO
Pedro Martinez 2000 291 1.74 2.17 29 29 18 6 0 217.0 32 284
Hyun-Jin Ryu 2019 286 1.45 2.85 22 22 12 2 0 142.2 17 121
Dutch Leonard 1914 279 0.96 1.95 36 25 19 5 3 224.2 60 176
Greg Maddux 1994 271 1.56 2.39 25 25 16 6 0 202.0 31 156
Greg Maddux 1995 260 1.63 2.26 28 28 19 2 0 209.2 23 181
Walter Johnson 1913 259 1.14 1.90 48 36 36 7 2 346.0 38 243
Bob Gibson 1968 258 1.12 1.77 34 34 22 9 0 304.2 62 268
Mordecai Brown 1906 253 1.04 2.08 36 32 26 6 3 277.1 61 144
Minimum one inning pitch per team game played

Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to pitch far less innings than the other pitchers listed. Greg Maddux averaged eight innings per start in 1994 Bob Gibson was less than two innings short of averaging nine innings per start in his historic 1968 season.

Dodgers streak of multi-home runs continues

Not only is the Dodgers current five-game-streak of 4 or more home runs in a game the longest in major league history, it is also their longest streak of 3 of more home runs in a game (since 1908). Their franchise record is seven straight games with two or more home runs.

The Dodgers lead the National League with 69 home runs in the second half of this season. They are third overall behind the Yankees (73) and the Twins (71) for home runs since the All-Star Break.

Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy became the first Dodger teammates since Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green each hit 30 or more home runs in the same season.

While the continued success of Bellinger and Muncy against left-handed pitching will be crucial to the Dodgers, right-handed pop from Justin Turner, Will Smith and A.J. Pollock is a much needed boost. And with Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández on the mend and maybe back with the team over the next home stand, the Dodgers will continue to hit home runs from both side of the plate.

Dodgers take another season series against a potential NL playoff opponent

Though the Dodgers will likely not have to worry about this, with yesterday’s win, the Dodgers now have won their season series against Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago and Milwaukee. They are 3-1 against the New York Mets with three games remaining to be played next month at Citi Field.

Their only season series loss to a current potential out-of-NL-division opponent was to St. Louis. They currently have a 16-game lead over the current NL Central leading Cardinals.

This tie-breaker is only used if both teams are tied when they face each other as division winners in their league championship series. One note, a Wild-Card team could host the World Series if that team had a better regular season record. While that likely may not be applicable to a National League Wild-Card team this year, it could be possible for an AL Wild-Card team to have a better record than their National League opponent.