Ranking aces of NL contenders
September, 23, 2013
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesClayton Kershaw is hands-down the best ace among postseason contenders.
As we've all learned by now, baseball's postseason is pretty much a crapshoot, with all 10 participants having a legitimate chance at a world championship.
Just before last year's postseason began I predicted the San Francisco Giants would win the World Series. I chose the Giants because I lean toward the best and most successful power arms. Usually postseason teams have the best lineups in the game, so the best way to win is is with velocity and pitchability.
With the postseason almost upon us, I decided to rank the No. 1 starters on all of the likely playoff participants. We'll start with the NL today as the playoff picture in the Senior Circuit is a bit more clear cut.
Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, period. If I had to predict an ace or team to run the table, it has to be Kershaw and the Dodgers. He knows how to use his four-pitch mix with the best in the game and he has learned how to get outs in early counts, which has allowed him to pitch deeper into games.
Because of all this, I predict that he will become the highest-paid pitcher the game has ever seen this winter, earning an extension from the Dodgeers that will pay him $30 million annually. The Dodgers’ No. 2 starter, Zack Greinke, gives them the best 1-2 starter combination in the NL.