Kasich at least has experience across many levels of government and doesn't say a bunch of stupid stuff in order to curry favor and support from the talk radio listening crowd the way Trump and Cruz have done on their campaigns. He's been more diplomatic and hasn't gotten too heavily involved in Trump's game of baiting other candidates into his schoolyard name-calling experiment, which has hijacked the debates (of which I won't watch but will read the recaps a day later).
To me, Kasich appears to be a serious candidate who won't promise to do a bunch of crazy shit (Cruz's "carpet bombing" or Trump's "wall and mass deportations") just to get more airtime and maybe even the eventual nomination or to bring the nutcases out of the woodwork to show up at rallies.
Hopefully, the NYT endorsement brings Kasich more support in this year's ridiculous GOP primary. If not, it's going to be a bizarre year of Trump displaying his ability to manipulate the media with ever greater flamboyant and inflammatory statements that will leave more and more people wondering, "What the hell just happened?"