Why he'll win: Ventura's MLB-leading 3.20 ERA among qualified rookie starters and impressive pitching arsenal make him a nuisance for the opposition any time he steps on the mound.
Pitcher beware: There will be questions about his ability to handle the pressure after back-to-back rough appearances.
Bottom line: Ventura must shake off his poor relief appearance in the American League Wild Card Game and trust his electric stuff.
Matt Shoemaker, Angels
Against the Royals
2014: 2 GS, 0-1, 10.00 ERA
Career: 2 GS, 0-1, 10.00 ERA
Hates to face: Lorenzo Cain, 4-for-6, 2 RBIs
Why he'll win: Shoemaker has been the rock of Los Angeles' staff for the past three months, allowing two runs or fewer in nine of his 12 starts to close the regular season.
Pitcher beware: Despite only throwing nine innings against Kansas City in 2014, he surrendered 11 runs (10 earned), the most he allowed to any MLB team. This will be his first outing since Sept. 15 after resting with oblique tightness down the stretch.
Bottom line: His rocky outings against the Royals came before he reeled off a 2.09 ERA in 82 innings after June.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.