5 reasons the Dodgers will win it all in 2015

Jun 28, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 6, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers won 10-8. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers won 10-8. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The bullpen just might be deep enough

Los Angeles’ most pressing concern at the moment is the bullpen, just as it was on the 94-win team from a year ago. After a promising start to the season, the Dodgers bullpen has been terrible over the last couple of months, leaving the front office scrambling for a solution.

Even with the recent issues, the bullpen is marginally better than last season. There’s just a bit more depth for Mattingly to use, which could be enough for Los Angeles to scratch out 11 wins in the postseason.

Helping matters is the fact that the Dodgers have a lockdown closer to turn to. Kenley Jansen is one of the best in the game, posting a 2.86 ERA (2.39 FIP) and nearly 16 strikeouts per nine innings.

Of course, Jansen has been fantastic for a few years now, and Los Angeles’ bullpen still hasn’t been good enough. Having another reliever or two pitch well down the stretch will be absolutely critical.

A big key will be veteran J.P. Howell. After good seasons in 2013 and 2014 with the Dodgers, Howell has stepped up even more this year, posting a 1.11 ERA and 2.41 FIP in 32.1 innings.

While the Dodgers could have used a big name reliever on the trade market, the front office did well to acquire Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan in the Atlanta deal, both of whom have been effective this season. Second-year reliever Pedro Baez has also been a nice piece, posting a 2.64 ERA and 2.28 FIP.

The Dodgers’ bullpen isn’t going to be great, but it might just be improved enough over recent years to push Los Angeles over the top.

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