The MLB MVP race in the National League is starting to heat up. Giancarlo Stanton is putting up big numbers, Troy Tulowitzki is leading the league in batting, and Yasiel Puig is proving he is the real deal. However, the unlikely player who is the favorite for MVP is Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw has already proven that he is the best pitcher in the world, it seems like now he is making a push to be the best pitcher of all time. Finishing with the Cy Young award last season, Kershaw ended up 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA. This season, he is on his way to his third Cy Young award in his career. Kershaw is 14-2 this season with a 1.78 ERA. In 136.1 innings pitched, Kershaw has only allowed 27 earned runs while striking out 163 and walking 19. If those aren’t MVP numbers then what are?
The last pitcher to win an MVP award was Justin Verlander in 2011. He finished 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. Compared to Verlander that season, Kershaw is on pace to finish better. Even though Kershaw may not reach 24 wins, he is on pace to finish with a much lower ERA and more strikeouts.
The Dodgers have a record of 68-52 and own a 5 game lead in the NL West. The Dodgers would not have that kind of success if they did not have their ace on the bump every fifth day. Kershaw is the most valuable player on that team and may end up being the most valuable player in the National League. Pitching has taken over the MLB and there will start to be more pitchers winning MVP awards for years to come, it may be Kershaw’s turn this year.