2. Clayton Kershaw
Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw are the only two players to be on the Los Angeles Dodgers for all seven of the team’s consecutive National League West-winning seasons. And yet for some reason, they are two players that fans are not expecting much out of this year.
Is it simply father time catching up to the two foundations of this organization? Is it that fans have seen the two be so dominant before, that now the current versions of them look even worse? Whatever the reason is, Kershaw and Jansen are getting slept on this season, even by their own fans.
This is more of a direct response to the Walker Buehler vs. Clayton Kershaw ace debate, which was spawned once it became clear that Kershaw was probably going to start Opening Day.
Can Walker Buehler have a better season? Absolutely. However, Kershaw had a better year last year in terms of ERA, Baseball-Reference WAR and even Cy Young voting, yet the common consensus among Dodger fans is that Kershaw is the second-best pitcher on the team.
Even if he is the second-best pitcher on the team, Kershaw is still a top-15 pitcher, at the very worst, in the Major Leagues. Those that think he is just a bonafide third starter at this point in his career are silly.
Kershaw was nothing but consistent last season and while he has a lot of mileage on his body, he is still only going to be 32 this year. He too is going to finish the season with an ERA below 3.00.