We’ve reached the time in October when the World Series is set to begin. While many fans of the Dodgers may not be watching or even paying attention to the playoffs for varying reasons, I for one am intrigued to see if the underdog Washington Nationals can indeed take down the mighty Houston Astros.￼
Although the Dodgers have already racked up 101 wins and have secured home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, there seem to be several spots on their prospective postseason roster that are still up for grabs.
The Dodgers have always been the front runners when it come to using analytics to better their baseball team. Using the shift and platooning are just a few of the ways the teams has tried to use statistics to their advantage.
In the weeks leading up to the 2019 trade deadline, many fans of the Dodgers were certain that management would find a way to snag one or more relievers to bolster what has been a mediocre relief crew this season.
Whether the management crew of the Dodgers is prepared to admit it or not, the bullpen is continuing to prove itself as the weakest link on an otherwise very talented ballclub. Monday night’s loss to the Angels was another example of how the relief corps imploded, as it surrendered four combined runs in the seventh and eighth innings, spoiling a very fine outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Joe Kelly was lights out in the playoffs in 2018. The hard-throwing righty went 11 innings, striking out 13 and not issuing a single walk. He allowed just one earned run, posting a 0.79 ERA in the process. However, Kelly hasn’t been quite effective this year for the Dodgers, surrendering four home runs, striking out 20 and walking eight. He has allowed 17 earned runs in 19.1 innings pitched, equating to an ERA of 7.91.
The Dodgers seem to have a knack for finding effective, under-the-radar relievers. Last year it was Dylan Floro, the year before it was Brandon Morrow, and in 2016 it was a workhorse in Joe Blanton. This year the Dodgers diamond in the rough reliever very well may be Yimi Garcia.