With the success that the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers have experienced thus far, many fans have been led to ask a question that they likely never expected to ask so soon: Is this team better than they were in 2017?
So, Dodgers Nation decided to ask Dodgers twitter what they thought. And, while responses and reasons varied, the overwhelming majority was very firmly on one side.
Is this 2019 team better than the 2017 team?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) August 14, 2019
With nearly 5,000 votes, and hundreds of responses, let’s pick through some highlights.
The Case For the 2019 Season
The 2017 season was magical, so, at least to me, the results of the poll were a bit surprising. Bellinger gave us his fantastic rookie of the year campaign, we witnessed back to back to back home runs in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate a three-run deficit in one of the games, and Kenley Jansen was his old-self.
However, a lot of the reasoning that fans provided for why the 2019 team is better than the 2017 team makes a lot of sense.
Let me count the ways:
Bellinger is now a man
Muncy is a thing
Walker is not taking the day off in the World Series
Got the Big Nasty Red Thing happening
Kershaw is still almost Kershaw
And oh yeah, RYU is the best pitcher in baseball right now
Joe Kelly is on our side
— Phil Gurnee (@meercatjohn) August 14, 2019
More balanced approach at the plate. Offense is not as home run dependent. Entire 25 are playing with chip on their shoulder attitude. They’re pissed. Tired of being runner up last two WS
— daniel (@danielsbland) August 14, 2019
The joy in the dugout, positivity and the love they have for each other. The working environment has made them excel beyond what they probably thought possible. They give it all for each other.
— Polarbelle (@polarbelle123) August 14, 2019
I don’t think it should be a 90/10 split, but I did vote yes. We have Ryu and Buehler now playing major roles, and this version of Belli is much better, and the depth in the lineup might even be better. But Rich Hill isn’t there, and the bullpen is worse.
— Tony Hughes (@TC_Hughes) August 14, 2019
The Case for the 2017 Season
The truth is, not many fans really gave the edge to the 2017 team. Some want to hold off until the end of the postseason to deem the top spot to this year’s team.
To be better, they have to win Game 7.
— Johnny Rise (@PumperRise4) August 14, 2019
Can’t/Won’t vote until November
— Timothy Ravenkamp (@timravenkamp85) August 15, 2019
Another fan seems to think Dave Robert’s managing of games is the factor that prevents the 2019 team from overcoming the 2017 team.
The answer is No! Reason is simple, Roberts is still “managing”
— DJ Juan E (@DJJUANE) August 14, 2019
The Bullpen Issue
There was a final group of people who wouldn’t necessarily say the 2017 team was better, but they would give them the edge in one crucial category: the bullpen. This year’s team has certainly experienced its fair share of woes with its relief pitching but will hopefully come around come playoff time.
I say no, all based on bull pen ?????
— eli_ramiF (@elias90826748) August 14, 2019
Rotation and offense are both clearly better. 2017 didn’t have Ryu or Buehler. This lineup and bench when healthy is deeper and better. They don’t strike out as much, better at situational hitting as well. Only thing that was better in 2017 was the bullpen…
— Greg Spencer (@gregcspencer) August 14, 2019
Personally, I would have to pick this year’s team over that of 2017. However, I don’t think the gap is a wide as the poll indicates.
I think this poll would have gone very differently if the Dodgers didn’t lose game 7 of the 2017 World Series.
Had things gone differently in just that one game, these responses could very well have been lopsided in the other direction.
Certainly, if the Dodgers are able to get the job done this year and bring a championship to the city of LA, the 2019 team will firmly cement itself as the best Dodgers team of the past few years, and possibly even one of the best Dodgers teams in franchise history.
Is the 2019 team better than the 2017 team? Continue the conversation and let us know what you think below!