Dodgers: Making a Case for the Top Three Starters to Be in Blue

TORONTO, ON - JULY 25: Sonny Gray
TORONTO, ON - JULY 25: Sonny Gray /
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Dodgers /

Justin Verlander

Verlander would be an interesting addition. He is more of a risk because of his age and workload, but it could take less to get him than Darvish and Gray.

Verlander has struggled this year going 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA. He may be past his prime at 34 years old, but according to Fangraphs, he still has a lot of velocity with his fastball, averaging 95.2 MPH. His slider and curveball, which are his second and third most used pitches, have dropped some in movement, but both still have pretty good break.

At his peak, Verlander was pretty much the AL counterpart of Kershaw. He has had a great career, winning the Cy Young and MVP in 2011 as well as having four other seasons finishing in the top-five in Cy Young voting.

In fact, just last season he finished 2nd in the AL in the Cy Young race. Even though he is struggling this season, we are only one year removed from a season in which Verlander finished 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA while leading the AL in SO with 254 and a 1.01 WHIP.

Maybe a change of scenery would be all Verlander would need to regain some of that form from last year. Going from the AL to the NL and pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark like Dodgers Stadium could do wonders for Verlander.

What I like about Verlander are his competitiveness and postseason experience. He is a bulldog out there and is always on the attack. He is 7-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 career playoff starts. Verlander could be a low-risk high-reward player for the Dodgers. The only thing that might make the Dodger wary is his contract.

He is due to make $28 million in each of the next two years. But the Dodgers have never been afraid to take on large contracts; just trading top prospects. I’m sure the Tigers would just like to get rid of the contract which would mean the asking price in return won’t be as high as some of the other top pitchers on the market.