Second Time’s the Charm: Kershaw Campaign

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Maybe I’ll get it right this time around.

For our regular readers, you’ll remember my case for Kershaw for both the NL MVP and Cy Young awards. 

Last season, Kershaw finished with a 16-9 record with a 1.83 ERA and 232 K’s.

He was BY FAR the most valuable player in the National League. They gave it to Andrew McCutchen, who wouldn’t have finished in the lead in any AL offensive categories.

Anyway, who would’ve thought he’d come out and perform better than last season?

Well, the guy is the real deal.

This year, despite missing time due to injuries, he has posted a dominating 19-3 record, with an unworldly 1.70 ERA and 219 K’s. Oh, and that no hitter.

But Ryan, his strikeout total is down. How does that make him better than last year?

Well, because of his missed time, is strikeout total is actually UP from last year, and significantly.

Last season, Kershaw had a K/9 rate of 8.8.

This season, it’s up to 10.6.

He has posted a career-high six complete games and a career-low walks of 28. To put how his improvement into perspective, his previous two Cy Young-esc seasons, he posted 63 (2012) and 52 (2013) walks.

For you advanced stat gurus, the guy holds a 7.6 WAR compared to a 7.8 WAR for pitchers in 2013 (according to baseball-reference.com), but that’s because he has made eight less starts than last season. Two more quality starts, and he may eclipse last season’s WAR.

Baseball-reference.com also has him in first place — listed above Mike Trout — with a 8.0 WAR overall, the highest in the MLB.

Last year, Kershaw was the most valuable player in the National League. This season, he is the most valuable player in the entire major leagues. Get it right this year, voters. He deserves ALL the hardware.