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.
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.
CONTINUE READING: Comparing Backend Starters And Conclusion