Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw And Atlanta Braves’ Kris Medlen Should Be Good Pitching Duel

Clayton Kershaw

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday’s Game 1 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves pits NL Cy Young hopeful Clayton Kershaw against Kris Medlen. On paper, it doesn’t even seem to be a close contest between these two starting pitchers, but that isn’t exactly the case. Overall, Kershaw blows Medlen away with a 16-9 record, 232 strikeout and an outstanding ERA of 1.83 compared to Medlen, who was 15-12 with 157 strikeouts and a 3.11 ERA.

The game on Thursday will be in Atlanta, and Medlen has been very productive on his home field. He was 9-6 with a 2.26 ERA when pitching in Atlanta. Those are some very good stats for a player who was just above average overall. Kershaw was 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA on the road. That’s extremely impressive because pitching on the road is supposed to be harder than pitching home, but Kershaw can be great anywhere.

With both teams having a strong regular season, if one of their offenses can get hot in Game 1 and get one of these two pitchers a lead, that may be all it takes to get them the victory.

Kershaw is clearly the better pitcher, but with Medlen having the home-field advantage, he may be on an equal playing field with Clayton. My guess would be that Kershaw eventually outduels him, but it’s not going to be as easy as he or anyone else may think. If the Braves get to Kershaw early and often and Medlen can hold his own, the Braves may just head into Game 2 against Zack Greinke up in the series 1-0.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @PidgeonIsGod, or add him to your network on Google

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  • Steven H

    Did you really just say Medlen has been “just above average” this year? Uh .. interesting. You do realize that a pitcher’s W/L record isn’t even remotely useful when looking at their overall effectiveness, right?

    3.11 ERA .. 1.22 WHIP .. .258 BAA .. 197 IP .. 3.34 SO/9 …

    Those aren’t “just above average” .. lol .. maybe you should learn which statistics are more useful in your STORIES .. and post a less biased ARTICLE instead.

    • Michael Pidgeon

      I am very aware that a pitcher’s record isn’t the whole story. Obviously a 3.11 ERA tells me that he’s pitched far better than what his record says. Let’s be honest though, Medlen isn’t an ace, he is an above average pitcher playing for a good team. If he were on a bad team, his stats would be no where close to where they are now. You calling me biased is ridiculous, Kershaw is by far the better pitcher in this duel and even on a bad team, Kershaw would have good pitching stats. Can you say that about Medlen? I think not!