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Greinke, Kershaw, Scherzer, Zimmermann

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With the signing of Max Scherzer, the Washington Nationals have created the best rotation in Major League Baseball, according to numerous analysts. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers, formerly the best rotation in the MLB, may have something to say to all the experts.

Let’s take a closer look at how the two staffs match up.

Battle of The Aces

Scherzer becomes the Nationals’ staff ace, after finishing fifth in the Cy Young vote last season and winning the award in 2013. The 30 year old has improved dramatically over the past few seasons, as he’s seen his changeup take a step forward and his strikeouts have risen as a result.

Scherzer is also durable, in spite of ugly arm action, making at least 30 starts in each of the last six seasons.

And then there’s Clayton Kershaw.

Advantage: Dodgers

Second And Third Starters

Arguably, the Nationals had two starters who could have been their staff aces. Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, are two of the best pitchers in the National League, each finishing in the Top-4 in fWAR last season.

Strasburg is already a Tommy John survivor, while Zimmermann has made 32 starts in each of the last three seasons. There are rumors that one of the two may be traded before the season, which would affect the Nationals’ rotation’s strength, but for now, they’re still in Washington.

The Dodgers’ answer to those two are Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu, who may not be considered aces on as many staffs, but are still very good. Greinke finished sixth in fWAR in the NL last season and though Ryu didn’t pitch enough to qualify, he would have ranked ninth if he did.

Greinke has had repeated elbow issues over the years, while Ryu has struggled with shoulder pain at times. Still, when healthy, they’ve proven to be two of the better pitchers in the National League, but fall short of the Nationals’ duo.

Advantage: Nationals

CONTINUE READING: Comparing Backend Starters And Conclusion

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11 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    very sound evaluation….Dodgers lose a playoff series again…..

    Reply
    • Tmax

      I do not remember do the NL Playoffs format go 2-3-2 ? As it would be coast to coast I imagine it would be our top 3 vs Nats top 3. I agree the odds are not good but not too bad. I really like our top three against anybody. Now their 4&5 vs ours on paper is not a good match-up. But Baseball is a wait and see game and an anything can and does happen game so ? But I will say that their everyday lineup looks to be letter than ours by quite a bit. They might be favored to win 100 games. But the Mets and Marlins look to be improved so they may face a fight in their division.

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        2-3-2 same as the World Series with the team with the better record getting home field….the way things set up for the Nats is they have 6 solid starting candidates….now if either team is cruising to the division title that makes it a little easier to set up your playoff rotation….but that 5 game NLDS is the fly in the ointment…anything can go wrong there as we saw last year….especially if it is 2-2 after 4 games and you need to use your ace in game 5…..Kersh-Scherzer would be classic, but if you have to use Kersh in game 5…it would be Greinke …..so a lot can happen and you might no even get there…..Hope is for best NL record and then play Wild Card team……If Dodgers had gone for that they would have played Giants…not Cards…..more incentive to have best record…..

      • Tmax

        Looking at the rosters the Nats will have to be very unlucky or the Dodgers very very Lucky to get best record. You are right Kersh-Scherzer would be awesome. I would be OK with Greineke =-Zimmerman or even Ryu-Strasburg all would be great to see.

      • Michael N. Norris

        I really think the Nationals are not finished…they will not have Werth until late May…..They have talked of moving a starter for more offense…

      • Tmax

        You may be right. It will be an interesting year. I watch the Angels also especially last year as I could not see the Dodgers. Thank you ownership. I think the Angels will win their division again also. Seattle has improved and the A’s made a bunch of moves so who knows with them. Texas has hitters but little pitching.
        They said on the Internet that the owner Lerner is 89 and they want to get him a Championship while he is still alive. So they are going to go all out for it.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Looks like you will be blacked out this year too….at least for a while….I live in Colorado now, so I can pretty much see all the games if I subscribe to MLB.com…..if you buy the whole package at once it is too high…I pay by the month……25 bucks…not bad…but when they play the Rockies I get blacked out…..but can watch the feed the next day….weird….

      • Tmax

        Yes I have been following the TV mergers. ATT, Direct, Time Warner, etc. I came to the same conclusion. Time Warner sent me a 89.99 package deal and we signed up. We get their cable installed Friday afternoon. For everything we are saving about $20 a month from what we are paying now but get the Dodgers and the Pac 12 network. So I am excited that we can watch the Dodgers this year. Made me crazy last year. Missed Kershaws no hitter.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Here is another thing I found out the other day..remember that this new management team’s goal was to reduce payroll? And trading Kemp was part of that along with a few other moves…Well I read an article that said the payroll this year will be upwards of 262 million dollars. almost 20 mil more than last year. Sorry you missed CK’s no hitter…..I watched it on my Root sports…..

      • Tmax

        What is the guess on the line-up? Rollins, Crawford, Puig, Gonzalez, Kendrick, Uribe, Peterson, Grandal/Ellis? Then against Lefties Rollins, Kendrick, Puig, Gonzalez, Uribe, Peterson, Grandal/Ellis?

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