2013 NLDS Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

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Sep 13, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; (Editor

Starting Rotations

The Dodgers have the best pitcher in the National League (possibly all of baseball) in Clayton Kershaw, and with Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu right behind him, they have a pitching lineup that every team should fear in the postseason. The Braves have a quality 1, 2, 3 as well with Kris Medlen, Mike Minor an Julio Teheran, but I do think the Dodgers have a significant edge.

Here are some of the numbers on each of these players, ranked in order of their respective fWAR’s:

Kershaw 6.5 8.85 1.98 .42 1.83 2.39 2.88
Minor 3.4 7.96 2.02 .97 3.21 3.37 3.64
Ryu 3.1 7.22 2.30 .70 3.00 3.24 3.46
Greinke 2.9 7.50 2.33 .66 2.63 3.23 3.45
Medlen 2.5 7.17 2.15 .82 3.11 3.48 3.55
Teheran 2.4 8.24 2.18 1.07 3.20 3.69 3.76

Based on these numbers, Kershaw is clearly on a different plane than all the other pitchers on the board. He’s likely the Cy Young of the National League so that’s fine, but when you look at all of the other pitchers they are fairly similar.

All five of them are within 1.0 WAR with the Braves pitchers having a slight edge in strikeout/walk numbers and Greinke and holding an edge in ERA/FIP/xFIP.


Clayton Kershaw vs. Kris Medlen

Zack Greinke vs. Mike Minor

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Julio Teheran

It is a bit unfortunate that Fredi is going with Medlen against Kershaw instead of Minor. Clearly, Mike Minor gives the Braves their best shot of downing the ace, but there is some wisdom in pitting your best pitcher against their #2 option. However,  I think Fredi realized he had a lefty and two righties and just sandwiched Minor in between Medlen and Teheran.

With the exception of the first matchup, each of these are extremely even for both teams. All of the pitchers listed above give their team a good chance to get a win and it is going to put a lot of pressure on the offenses. To close up this look at the pitching, I’ll give LA the nod simply because Clayton Kershaw is on a different level than the other guys.

Advantage: Dodgers

We’ll take a look at the lineups of both teams on the next slide.