The 1987 Cincinnati Reds were similar to the Reds of the 1980s and I call them the New York Yankees of the National League as far as a team that looks pretty good going into the season and would look like contenders up until the All Star break or so and then would fade back in the middle of the pack. They did that in 87, 86 and 88 and 81 and 80 to use as examples. And in the 1980s contending in your division wasn’t good enough to make the MLB Playoffs. You won your division or you were going home.
The Dodgers of the 1980s post 1985 had trouble being good in back-to-back seasons. They won the AL West in 83 and the struggled in 84. Won the NL West in 1985 and then struggled in 86 and 87. Won the MLB World Series in 88 and then had a losing record in 1989. And didn’t get back to the NL Playoffs until 1995. Tommy Lasorda is a Hall of Fame manager as he should be, but in the 1980s he struggled to win in back-to-back seasons, despite having roughly the same that was successful in one year, but then would struggle the next year.