Clayton Kershaw SHOULD Be the NL MVP


Call me crazy, but Los Angeles Dodgers pitching ace Clayton Kershaw should be the National League MVP. The reason behind this is simple–he’s dominant and the Dodgers probably wouldn’t even be in the playoff hunt without him! He wins practically every game that he starts! But the draw back for Kershaw is that he’s a pitcher, and pitchers usually don’t win MVP awards. Position players usually get the benefit of the doubt, but Kershaw is making his case very interesting as the season winds down.

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  • The last pitcher to win the MVP award for the National League was St. Louis Cardinals‘ Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, and that was in 1968! 46 years have passed since then, but who’s counting? The funny thing about this whole debate surrounding Kershaw is that he is on a winning team, while the other candidates are on losing teams. Most notably, Miami Marlins‘ right fielder Giancarlo Stantonwho’s having a monster season, but who’s also on a losing team.

    Aug 16, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Ballpark. The Marlins won 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Stanton was batting .288 with 37 home runs and 105 RBIs, with an on base percentage of .395, when he took a fastball to the face that ended his season prematurely. There’s no doubt that he’s one, if not the best, position player in the game today in the National League, but his team is going nowhere this season. Meanwhile, Kershaw could potentially carry the Dodgers to the World Series for the first time since 1988.

    More from Clayton Kershaw

    The real question now becomes whether the MVP should be on a losing team or on a winning team? It’s a simple question that will probably be overlooked once again this year when the voting is done. But writing Kershaw off the list of MVP candidates right now would be an outrage considering he’s having a season that will be remembered for years to come. The American League on the other hand feels differently about having a pitcher win MVP.

    Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the MVP back in 2011. So technically the door isn’t shut on Kershaw’s MVP candidacy.

    Aug 11, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning in an interleague game at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Verlander pitched lights out that year. Verlander had a record of 24-5, with an ERA of 2.40, and 250 strikeouts. Those numbers are extremely good, but Kershaw’s at this point in the season are better. Kershaw has a record of 19-3, with an ERA of 1.70, and 219 strikeouts. I’m not taking anything away from Verlander, but he’s now on the decline, where Kershaw is just warming up. Verlander won the MVP with a 2.40 ERA, so maybe an ERA of 1.70 should be the icing on the cake for Kershaw. Only time will tell, of course.

    It’s hard to argue and compare past MVPs, position players, and pitchers all in one. But the 26-year-old kid from Dallas, Texas who has transformed into a modern-day Sandy Koufax is showing why MVPs don’t just have to be position players.

    He has carried the Dodgers in ALL but one start that he has made, and has been far more productive than just about all of the Dodgers’ position players all year. Hopefully that doesn’t get overlooked when Kershaw’s stats, and more importantly his leadership, come up on the MVP voters card.

    Typically when baseball writers vote for their chosen MVP candidate, they look at what the player has done for his team, and in Kershaw’s case, he’s been everything that the Dodgers knew he could be. He’s a fierce competitor, who’s doesn’t take a series off, and holds himself to an extremely high standard. To sum it up, he’s a perfectionist. That is probably why he is having the great season that is currently in progress,.

    Jul 20, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Kershaw has won two Cy Young Awards in seven seasons, and will most likely win it again at the conclusion of this season as well, but Kershaw’s legend will only continue to build if he can help lead the Dodgers into late October. A place they haven’t been to or seen since 1988.