The best pitcher of the 2014 MLB regular season goes up against the best pitcher of the 2014 MLB Playoffs and the 2014 World Series. But who will be our MLB pick? Find inside our top selection.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Can Win Because…
If you want to trust one man on the mound in a regular season game over the past two seasons, it’s Clayton Kershaw. Brilliant ERAs under two runs have marked Kershaw as the best pitcher in the National League and easily one of the top three starting pitchers in all of Major League Baseball since the start of the 2013 season. The nasty dive on the breaking ball, the side-to-side movement on the fastball, the wickedly deceptive change of speeds on the change-up – Kershaw has it all. He also offers a quick and nasty arm whip from the left side which disguises the release point and makes it very hard for opposing hitters to make contact. Kershaw has not been at his beset this season, but he has struggled in past Aprils and Mays, only to get hot in June and stay hot for the rest of the season. This is typically the time when he revs up the engines and becomes the superstar he in fact is.
The other thing MLB odds favorite Dodgers should realize is that while Madison Bumgarner has been solid this season, he hasn’t been unhittable. Bumgarner gave up eight hits in his last outing against Cincinnati. He pitched out of trouble well, but he was on the edge of giving up a lot more runs. He has shown glimpses of being the shutdown pitcher he was during the 2014 playoffs, but he hasn’t been that kind of pitcher throughout the first month and a half of the season.
The San Francisco Giants Can Win Because…
The real Clayton Kershaw, the one who suffocates opposing batting orders, has really not emerged yet in 2015. Kershaw has given up at least three runs in each of his last three starts. He gave up five runs in one of those starts. He’s given up at least two runs in every start he made this season. Think about that – in eight starts, Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in the National League for two years running, has not given up zero runs or one run, not even in a shortened six- or seven-inning start. He’s a vulnerable pitcher, and he’s given up a total of seven walks in his last two starts, three in his most recent one on May 15, and four on May 10.
Moreover, Madison Bumgarner is picking up steam. He gave up 12 earned runs in his first four starts of this season, but in his last four starts, he’s given up a grand total of just six earned runs. He’s polishing his form, and should be ready to shut down the Dodgers the same way he did on April 28, when he allowed one run in eight innings.
Based on form of the pitchers and momentum, you’d have to go with the Giants. The brand name of Kershaw is costing you a pretty penny but the Giants have been the better team over the last couple of weeks. And Kershaw has a 5.03 ERA this month. Take the Giants with your MLB picks in this one.
Pick: Giants at The Greek