The Los Angeles Dodgers removed whatever little suspense there may have been as it pertains to their National League Division Series matchup with the New York Mets by announcing Clayton Kershaw as the Game 1 starter.
The reigning National League MVP and three-time Cy Young Award-winner will be followed by Zack Greinke in Game 2 and Brett Anderson in Game 3. A Game 4 starter was not announced, though the Dodgers went to Kershaw on short rest in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals (2014) and Atlanta Braves (2013).
Kershaw suffered a loss in the elimination against the Cardinals, and didn’t earn a decision in 2013, though the Dodgers won the game. Given the career season Greinke had — finishing with a Major-League best 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP — it led to some believing he should head the Dodgers’ postseason rotation. He instead settles for a third postseason run in which he follows Kershaw outings.
With Anderson and Wood both closing out the regular season on a high note, there isn’t necessarily a clear indication of the deciding factor between the two left-handers, though road splits may provide a small indication.
Including time spent with the Braves, Wood is 7-7 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 20 games (19 starts) on the road this season. Anderson went 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 15 road starts. Of the two, only Wood faced the Mets in 2015.
At the time still with the Braves, the 24-year-old left-hander went 0-1 over two starts in which he tossed a combined 13 innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 14 hits. Wood recently downplayed the significance of having some familiarity with the Mets due to previously being the in same division.
Kershaw, Greinke and Anderson will be opposed by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. Should Game 4 be necessary, the Mets hope to have left-handed rookie Steven Matz available.