Milwaukee Brewers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Starting Pitchers
The Brewers starting pitching has been the talk of the town all season, and not for the best reasons. Jhoulys Chacin and his 3.50 ERA have been solid for Milwaukee, and Wade Miley‘s surprisingly good season has also been very helpful. Even Gio Gonzalez has done well since joining the team.
However, none of them can compare to the Dodgers’ rotation. Clayton Kershaw hasn’t even been on his best game this season due to injuries and he has better numbers than many of the Brewers’ starters. Hyun-Jin Ryu broke out with a 1.97 ERA and a stellar scoreless start in Game 1 of the NLDS. Walker Buehler is an up-and-coming star for LA. Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda…honestly, the Brewers would improve their rotation by adding literally any of these arms. Some of them even moved into relief at the end of the season just so they could all get innings. This one definitely goes to Los Angeles.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Relief Pitchers
Here is where the Brewers thrive. Milwaukee’s bullpen is one of the best in baseball, featuring All-Stars like Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress, as well as trade deadline acquisitions like Joakim Soria. Even pitchers like Corbin Burnes, Corey Knebel, Brandon Woodruff and Xavier Cedeno (who didn’t even make the NLDS roster!) have given the Brewers numerous stellar innings down the stretch.
The Dodgers’ bullpen isn’t bad by any means, though. The anchor is closer Kenley Jansen, although he’s struggled this season with decreased velocity and health issues. Ryan Madson, Scott Alexander, Josh Fields, Pedro Baez and Dylan Floro have contributed quality innings as well. Even at their best, however, there’s no bullpen in all of baseball that can match up with that of the Brewers.
Based solely off this, the Dodgers have a slightly better team. However, they rely much more on platoons than the Brewers, adding a bit of a wrinkle to the comparisons. The Brewers’ bench consists of players with very specific roles coming off the bench, which can be viewed as both a positive and as a negative when compared with Los Angeles.
Additionally, one can argue that bullpens become more important in the postseason, meaning that Milwaukee’s win in that category looms larger than LA’s victory in the rotation. There’s one thing everyone can agree on, however: this is going to be an excellent series.