May 16, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) takes Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) for an out in the fourth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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May 14, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Greg Holland delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Dodgers: There is a theme developing here, and it’s that the Dodgers are the best team in the NL West. They lead the NL with a 2.93 ERA from their bullpen. They’re third with a .223 BAA, and second in strikeouts with 168 in 135 innings. Their bullpen has the best K/9 rate in the NL at a ridiculous 11.20 rate.
Arizona Diamondbacks: I was a bit surprised the Diamondbacks bullpen has been this good. I feel like they’ve blown a lot of leads this season. But they’re tied with the Colorado Rockies for the fifth best bullpen ERA in the NL at 3.76. They’re fourth in the NL with a .224 BAA, and their bullpen has struck out 142 batters in 129.1 innings pitched. That’s a pretty good K/9 rate. In fact, it’s the second best K/9 rate in the NL at 9.88.
Colorado Rockies: Colorado was very close with the Diamondbacks as they have identical ERAs, but the Rockies have a .229 BAA, which is still fifth best in the NL. They’ve struck out 145 batters in 141.1 innings for a K/9 rate of 9.23.
San Francisco Giants: The bullpen was the biggest problem for San Francisco last year, and it’s actually been pretty good so far in 2017 despite losing their closer for a while. They’re eighth in the NL with a 4.00 ERA, but 10th in BAA at .256. They’ve struck out 118 batters in 126 innings. I said they needed more strikeout guys in the bullpen before the season, and that hasn’t happened yet.
San Diego Padres: The Padres are sixth in BAA at .243 and fourth in K/9 rate at 9.41, but those numbers haven’t turned into success. They’re last among NL West teams and 14th overall in the NL with a bullpen ERA of 5.32. The first two numbers tell me that this bullpen isn’t quite as bad as the ERA suggests. I think they make a lot of improvements between here and the halfway mark.