ESPN Los Angeles posted a fun video asking fans if they'd rather be Clayton Kershaw or Jered Weaver. It got me thinking: Who would you rather have on your team? Both aces start tonight, coming off excellent season debuts last week.
Quick numbers from 2010:
Kershaw: 32 GS, 204.1 IP, 160 H, 81 BB, 212 SO, 1.18 WHIP, 2.91 ERA, 132 ERA+, 4.8 WAR
Weaver: 34 GS, 224.1 IP, 187 H, 54 BB, 233 SO, 1.07 WHIP, 3.01 ERA, 135 ERA+, 5.9 WAR
(WAR via FanGraphs)
Projected numbers for 2011, via Dan Szymborski's ZiPS method:
Kershaw: 33 GS, 193 IP, 3.02 ERA
Weaver: 32 GS, 201 IP, 3.53 ERA
Weaver clearly had more value in 2010, pitching more innings in the tougher league with a similar ERA. Can he keep his strikeout rate up after leading the majors with 233 K's? He bumped his career rate of 7.3 per nine to 9.3. As a flyball pitcher (38 percent groundball rate in 2010), he's in a great park for him, as Angel Stadium is a decent pitcher's park.
Kershaw looked terrific in his first start against the Giants, pitching seven shutout innings. I had him second on my preseason NL Cy Young ballot, so I think he'll have a big season. He averaged 3.6 walks per nine last season; if he can cut back on the walks (and high pitch counts) and go deeper into games, then he's Cy Young material.
Which one I would rather have for 2010? Tough call, but I'll give a very slight edge to Kershaw. What do you think?