Something was bound to break for Clayton Kershaw. His season was going so average that it felt like it was only a matter of time before he goes full Cy Young mode. Zack Greinke has stolen the spotlight in the Dodgers rotation, and rightfully so, Greinke is having a record breaking campaign. However, Kershaw has been reminding people the last few weeks that he is still around and can still play at a high level. Plenty of people seen it as the end of Kershaw’s reign as the best pitcher not only on the Dodgers, but in the majors. Fret not, Kershaw has responded and shut the doubters up and doing his best 2014 impression of himself, and a 2015 Greinke impression.
The Dodgers are going to need Kershaw and Greinke at their best to make an appearance in the World Series. While they have a decent enough offense, the Dodgers are framed around their pitching. I don’t think their offense is at the point of being consistent to lead them anywhere in the postseason. But that really goes for any team. Like they say in football, defense wins championships. For baseball pitching wins championships.
The Dodgers are of course in the National League, while the Angels are in the American League. Therefore, it isn’t often that the Dodgers and Angels meet up, but whenever they do it provides entertaining storylines. This season, both clubs are a lot alike with similar odds of winning the World Series. The Dodgers have the small upper-hand with a 57-45 record compared to the Angels’ 55-45 record. By the end of this series the Angels may have the best record in LA. In any case, a big marquee pitching matchup tonight, pitting Hector Santiago against Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. We look a little deeper to search out a winner for Friday night.
L.A. Angels vs. L.A. Dodgers
Hector Santiago (7-4, 2.43 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51 ERA)
It feels like soon as Kershaw started to receive criticism that he woke up and kicked it up another level. Whatever what clicked for Kershaw, it definitely worked for him because the guy has been on a massive tear. Greinke went several games without allowing a run, and now Kershaw is picking right up where Greinke started. Kershaw hasn’t surrendered a run since four starts ago, so like I said, soon as Greinke gave up a run, Kershaw took over from there. In his last three starts he then has an ERA of 0.00 with a 0.54 WHIP and .163 OBA. Going even further back a couple games, Kershaw allowed just 1 run in each of those starts. So, he’s given up only 2 runs in his last five times out on the mound. At home Kershaw has been the strongest, yielding a 1.87 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched.
Kershaw has a worthy opponent tonight in Hector Santiago. Santiago has blossomed into an ace for the Angels, where in 2015 he’s pitched well enough for a strong ERA of 2.43. Santiago went five straight starts allowing 1 or less runs before he allowed 3 runs in his last start against the Rangers. Santiago has been just fine pitching on the road, posting a 2.42 ERA this season. This matchup has the makings of a duel between Santiago and Kershaw. It could be one of those games where the pitcher to make just one or two mistakes is going to lose the game. I’m going to take a look at the UNDER 6 given what we know about these two.
PICK: UNDER 6 RUNS (+104)