With the division series now officially over in both the American and National Leagues, the focus turns to the final four clubs still alive in their respective championship series. We’ve seen some fantastic individual pitching performances that helped to catapult teams to this semi-final round, including brilliance from both Adam Wainwright and Justin Verlander in decisive Game 5s.
All of the teams remaining have at least one dominant starter in their rotation. Some of them may even be fortunate enough to boast two upper tier starters in their starting five. However, it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers that have the rotation that’ll be too tough for anyone to match.
The thing about the Dodgers squaring off against the St. Louis Cardinals in this National League Championship Series is that they avoid Wainwright until Game 3 of the series. At that point, they could already have a leg up, given who they’ll roll out for their first two tilts this weekend.
The Dodgers will give the ball to Zack Greinke in Game 1 against the Cardinals. He’s only made one start in this postseason, tossing six innings and allowing two earned in the Dodgers’ only loss of the playoffs to this point. He, somewhat quietly, pitched to a 2.63 ERA this season for the Dodgers.
From there, it only gets more difficult for the Cardinals. The Dodgers will then roll out Clayton Kershaw, who can only be described at this point as the best pitcher on the planet. He’s flat out dominant, and will likely take home the National league Cy Young Award this year. From there, it goes to Hyun-Jin Ryu, and potentially Ricky Nolasco beyond that.
Say what you want about their payroll and the lineup being the reason that the Dodgers could take home a World Series title this year. If they do actually pull it off, it’s going to be because of their pitching. They have a deeper rotation than anyone left, and with two of the best pitchers on the planet featured in that starting five, opposing clubs have their work cut out for them to knock them off in a seven-game series.