Game One – Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.63 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 2.60 ERA)
In game one of the World Series, the starting pitching matchup features two former Cy Young award winners. Both Kershaw and Keuchel have had injuries this season, but when healthy, both are top ten pitchers in baseball. In game one they will square off against one another to try to boost their teams to a great start in the World Series.
Kershaw cruised in game five of the NLCS, going six innings and allowing only one earned run. Even though Kershaw had an abundance of run support in his last post-season start, that has not been the case for much of his post-season career. If Kershaw had received better run support and bullpen support, then we might not be hearing the old Kershaw playoff narrative. Kershaw has been very good this post-season except for a bad seventh inning in the NLDS. Taking out that one inning and there would be talk about Kershaw as the playoff MVP so far.
Dallas Keuchel comes into his first World Series start, on the heels of a mediocre start. Keuchel did not make it through five innings in his second start of the ALCS and allowed four earned runs. His previous two playoff starts were much better as he allowed only one run total in two starts against the Red Sox and Yankees. Keuchel fits the Jose Quintana mold in that he will not overpower you, and he relies on a cutter and sinker to get groundball outs. Keuchel won’t top 90 miles per hour many times, and needs pinpoint location to be effective.
Hitters to Watch:
Jose Altuve – Altuve is 6-15 with four doubles off of Kershaw. Four of those hits were doubles so Kershaw will need to be very careful with Altuve as will any other pitcher would need to be.
Logan Forsythe – Forsythe is 7-20 against Keuchel and his faced him plenty of times since he was in the American League with the Rays. Forsythe has had a quiet but a productive post-season and could provide a big hit against Keuchel.
With no disrespect to Keuchel who is a top-tier pitcher himself, Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball and a once in a generation type pitcher. All post-season narratives aside you have to feel an abundance of confidence knowing you have the best pitcher in the world going for you. The Dodgers hit lefties well this season and will look for some more big hits out of Kike Hernandez to drive the Dodgers to a game one win.