Kenta not Kershaw
will start for the Dodgers in Game 5. A fairly controversial decision given how poorly Kenta Maeda has pitched in his last four starts. He has yet to have a decent postseason game, and Kershaw just won his last game 1 – 0.
You can see the reasons for either choice:
Kenta – Pros
He’s much better at home. Wait, is he? The splits don’t show he’s much better. Kenta home cooking looks overrated to me.
Even though Kershaw had pitched on regular rest in his last start it was with a two-out save on his bullpen day, and that came after pitching on three days rest. This will get Kershaw plenty of rest for game six.
Kenta – Cons
He hasn’t been good, and while I think he showed some improvement in his last start not many agree with me.
Starting Kenta in this game means that if the Dodgers win the NLCS Kershaw can’t pitch game one of the World Series
Kershaw – Pros
He’s Clayton Kershaw
Wouldn’t you rather be up 3 – 2 headed back to Chicago than down 2 – 3?
If Kershaw pitched today, you could probably use Kershaw in some capacity in a game seven if you needed too.
If the Dodgers can win the NLCS, Kershaw would be lined up to pitch game 1
Kershaw – Cons
You run the risk of burning out your ace if you keep using him on short rest.
At some point you need to win a game from Kenta, might as well try it tonight.
My own choice would be Clayton Kershaw simply because if you have a Clayton Kershaw you use him as much as possible. The Cub offense showed some life last night, using Kershaw could squash all the confidence they gained, while Kenta, might simply add wood to the fire.
This isn’t a must win, not with Kershaw and Hill going in games six and seven but it behooves the Dodgers to win two of three at home if they expect to play the Indians in October.