Aug 6, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) checks a Philadelphia Phillies runner at first in a game at Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers won 10-8. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers
I don’t believe the Dodgers will relinquish their lead in the NL West, but if the Giants do manage to catch them (stranger things have happened, and the Dodger lead is only at three games), watch out. I’d argue that the Dodgers would send out Zack Greinke, the probable leading candidate for the NL Cy Young right now, over Clayton Kershaw, who has a history of struggling in the postseason.
Not only does Greinke lead all Dodger starters in ERA (1.71) and WHIP (0.85), he also leads the entire National League in those categories. He doesn’t lead the Dodgers in strikeouts, but that’s just because Kershaw pitches on the same team, who leads the National League in that category. But Greinke still has 136 punch-outs, and he has a history of success in the majors. He’s also in a contract year because of an opt-out clause, so he has all the motivation in the world to continue to pitch at this high of a level for the rest of the season.
The Pirates haven’t seen Greinke yet this year, but they could face him in the middle of September for the last regular season series between the two teams. Greinke is less of an unknown than DeGrom based on the number of years he’s pitched in the majors, but he is dangerous nonetheless.
Next: What should we take away from all of this?