It should not be surprising that the Los Angeles Dodgers have the most consistent starting pitcher in baseball. After all, Clayton Kershaw is widely regarded as the best pitcher on the planet, having won two of the last three Cy Young awards while leading the league in ERA in three straight seasons.
But that pitcher is not Kershaw.
Zack Greinke, the pitcher the Dodgers signed to a huge free agent contract in the 2012 offseason, has been one of the most reliable pitchers in all of baseball. In fact, Greinke has not given up more than two runs in any start dating back to June of last season. The former Cy Young award winner has given the Dodgers an incredible one-two punch when Kershaw is healthy, and without Kershaw, Greinke has stepped in more than capably as the ace of the staff.
In his 29.1 innings of work so far this year, Greinke has only given up eight runs for an ERA of 2.45 and an FIP of 3.47. He is making batters miss with a K/9 rate of 12.27, and he has been able to minimize any potential damage in the early going. His strikeout to walk ratio is also incredible, checking in at an even 8.00. The numbers are gaudy, and the team is winning when he pitches.
While there were some who questioned the value of Greinke’s deal at the time, and others who thought the Los Angeles market would offer too much scrutiny, Greinke has proved to be an incredibly valuable addition to the ballclub. Looking back at his performance over the past year and a half, the only regret the Dodgers may have about Greinke’s contract is the fact that it contains an opt-out clause.
With Greinke firing on all cylinders and Kershaw set to make a rehab start on Friday, the Dodger rotation is set to become even stronger. It is hard to believe that there is a starter that could be considered more consistent than Kershaw, and it is even harder to believe that starter is in the same rotation.
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