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San Francisco Giants: Would you rather have Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner?

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October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) celebrates the 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves following game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Location:

Any coach or player will tell you that velocity doesn’t mean squat if you can’t locate your pitches. Pitching coaches preach, “Be an artist. Execute your location. Hit your spots.” Just look at Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, the 32-year old former AL MVP is still averaging 93.1 mph on his fastball, but he too often leaves pitches over the plate and hitters feed off his location mistakes.

According to the graph shown, Kershaw has a consistently lower batting average on balls in play. Studies by The Baseball Analysts prove that pitch location directly correlates to whether or not a batter reaches base.

Overall, Bumgarner is able to use the inside half of the plate with greater success, but Kershaw’s ability to locate the corners gives him the advantage.

Round 2: Kershaw

Next: Round 3: Demeanor/Teammate

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