By: Joe Messineo

Comparing the Mets and Dodgers Top Pitchers

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The New York Mets have clinched the National League East, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are about to do the same in the National League West. That means that the two franchises are on a collision course: home field has yet to be decided, but it’s a sure thing that the Mets and Dodgers will meet in the National League Division Series. It’s going to be a very intriguing matchup.

The fascinating thing about a Mets-Dodgers showdown is that both teams boast the same strength: starting pitching. The Mets have been rebuilding around young pitching for some time now, and they rely on their seemingly endless supply of young arms. The Dodgers have plenty of elite pitchers of their own, thanks to big-money deals with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. So how do the two rotations match up? Let’s rank the top pitchers from either organization.

  1. Steven Matz, New York Mets

Matz’s emergence has been a highlight of the New York Mets’ season. After an injury interlude, he’s back with the big-league club and headed to the playoffs sporting a 2.27 ERA at the major league level. He’s the least proven of our top six, but he deserves his spot. He probably won’t make too many postseason starts, but he could come out of the bullpen or fill in for Harvey to limit innings.

  1. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

Syndergaard started the year in the minors, but there was never any doubt that he’d end it in the big leagues. Syndergaard has the highest ERA (3.27) of our top six pitchers, but he edges out Steven Matz for the five slot because he’s a proven commodity. When Syndergaard brings his A-game, he can beat any team in baseball.

  1. Matt Harvey, New York Mets

Harvey’s first season back from Tommy John surgery has featured both stellar performances and forgettable games, but the former have outnumbered the latter: Harvey’s ERA is a respectable 2.80, good for seventh in the National League. He has the best win-loss percentage of any Mets pitcher. Innings limit questions have plagued Harvey of late, but he went deep in the Mets’ division-clinching game last weekend.

  1. Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets

DeGrom has followed up his 2014 Rookie of the Year campaign with a very solid 2015. He leads the Mets in ERA, pitcher ERA, WHIP, and hits per 9 IP. DeGrom is also in the top 10 in MLB in each of those categories. Until a few rough starts at the end of summer, DeGrom was even on the edge of the Cy Young conversation. DeGrom is the team’s de facto ace, and should get the ball in the biggest situations.

  1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw has the most overpowering stuff of any pitcher in this series, and it shows: his K/9 is a remarkable 11.496, good for first in the NL and second in all of MLB (no other Dodgers or Mets pitcher cracks the top ten). Kershaw’s WAR, ERA, and WHIP are each better than any Mets pitcher’s. However, they all lag behind the stats of his teammate and the number one pitcher on this list.

  1. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

Greinke has been a great pitcher for years now, but his 2015 season has been on another level. He’s the favorite for the National League Cy Young, with the best ERA, win-loss percentage, and WHIP in the major leagues. Kershaw may still be the presumed Los Angeles ace, but Greinke is the best pitcher in this 2015 NLDS matchup.

The verdict:

The Dodgers have a slight advantage over the first two games of this series, thanks to a phenomenal one-two pitching punch that is better than any other in MLB. But the Mets have a better top three and top four because of their remarkable depth. If the Mets can steal one against Kershaw or Greinke at the Dodgers/Mets matchup, watch out.

About Joe Messineo

Joe is a co-founder of Rukkus, a web & mobile marketplace for sports tickets. As a former Division I pitcher, he has a deep love for sports and a passion for writing.

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