NLDS 2013: Los Angeles Dodgers Have the Clear Edge

Clayton Kershaw

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves will be meeting up in a great NLDS matchup, a series that should see one team heavily favored.

The Dodgers have been one of the best teams in MLB since their slow start to the season. Once exciting right fielder Yasiel Puig was promoted to the majors, the Dodgers have seemingly been unstoppable. Pitching is said to be what wins championships and what carries a team through the postseason, and the Dodgers have a lot of that.

Name a better playoff rotation than Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco. I bet you can’t do it. Kershaw is the clear Cy Young Award favorite in the NL, Greinke was one of the hottest pitchers going down the stretch and Ryu is a good candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Matt Kemp will not be playing again this season, but that shouldn’t be a huge problem for the Dodgers — just a minor inconvenience. The Dodgers’ lineup is still good enough to score a few runs. With the pitching they have, they shouldn’t need more than those few runs.

Unlike the Dodgers, the Braves don’t have a clear ace. Kris Medlen has been great lately, but he hasn’t had an “ace-like” season. Let’s compare the aces of the Dodgers and Braves, assuming Medlen is the ace of the Braves. Kershaw was 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. He also struck out 232 batters this season. Medlen was just 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA and 157 strikeouts.

The bottom line is that pitching does seem to win in the postseason as good pitching beats good offense. The Dodgers have by far the better pitching staff, so they should be considered the clear favorite. The Dodgers will advance to the NLCS.

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