Greinke or Lincecum: Who Would You Start Tomorrow?

Dan PazosCorrespondent IJune 30, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17:  Starting pitcher Zack Greinke #23 of the Kansas City Royals pitches just prior to the start of the game against  the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 17, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I'm someone who enjoys debate as much as the next guy, and when it comes to baseball, I love talking pitchers.

I'm always going back and forth between different players and different teams to find out the real answer to the question proposed.

Through discussion of statistics, performances, and achievements, I learn new things while debating with my peers.

One question that always raises a lot of controversy and varied answers is: If given the chance, who would you start tomorrow?

In this case I'm debating arguably the two best pitches in the majors today, Zach Greinke and Tim Lincecum.

Both of these guys have put up absolutely stellar numbers this season, and have been bright stars despite playing for abysmal offensive ball clubs. All the more reason to salute them as being the best pitchers in baseball.

Right now, the Giants and Royals are sitting at number 27 and 28, respectively, in runs scored.

If the season was over now, and the AL Cy Young award winner was chosen, I believe Greinke would be the recipient.

In the NL, there is more of a contest between Lincecum, Dan Haren of Arizona, and Matt Cain, also of San Francisco.

Amazingly, Greinke's ERA is still under two, currently at 1.95.

Greinke is also one of four pitchers to have already eclipsed the 10 win mark this season.

Hitters were unable to touch Greinke until the end of April, when he racked up one of the best months for a pitcher in recent history.

On the other hand, the season is not over, and Tim Lincecum is on a hot streak that is leaving hitters baffled.

Lincecum has thrown complete games in three out his last four starts and has given up only four earned runs over that stretch.

Lincecum is not that far behind Greinke statistically, with eight wins and a 2.37 ERA.

One stat that I feel is very important in this argument is who they are getting their wins against.

If a pitcher is constantly dominating teams that have horrible lineups, their talented arms are not really being put to the test.

Lincecum's eight wins have come against teams with a combined record of 262-270. That record yields a win percentage of .492.

Lincecum's blanking of the Cardinals and 3 run performance against the Dodgers shows his ability to win big games.

On the other hand, Greinke's ten wins have come against teams with a combined record of 297-312, which yields a win percentage of .487. This gives Lincecum the slight upper-hand in this part of the debate.

However, Greinke has wins over three teams with records over .500, while Lincecum has only two.

Greinke has shut out the Rangers, as well as pitched great games against Detroit and Toronto, proving that he can shut down powerful lineups, just like Lincecum.

Given the nature of the main question presented in the debate, I am going to have to go with Tim Lincecum.

As of right now, he is the most dominant pitcher in baseball, shown by his recent success, ability to go nine innings on a pretty consistent basis, and known ability to get the job done when called upon.

Luckily for baseball fans, the season is not over, and there should be plenty more magic from both of these flamethrowers.

In the spirit of debate, I would love to hear other opinions.