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Is Clayton Kershaw the NL MVP?

Sep 3, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

  1. normcash - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Yes. Period.

    • 78mu - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Last year in the NLCS the Dodgers were supposed to head back to Los Angeles after Kershaw and Grienke won the opening set at Busch against a couple of pitchers named Kelly and Wacha.

      How’d that turn out?

      • bloope - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        It is regular season MVP and focuses on the player’s stats not the team’s performance. If Stanton is being considered while batting .293 with 35 HR on his bum squad you better believe Kershaw is eligible

      • kingscourt25 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Yay, relevance!

      • dannymac17 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        How did that World Series turn out?

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        By that same logic, the Card’s should rebuild, because they lost to a Red Sox team that’s in last place, 20 games out of first.

      • SocraticGadfly - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        @Danny, it turned out better than never being there. #fail

    • SocraticGadfly - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      If we go by WAR, Heyward has a better argument than Stanton. And, if playoff appearance is a factor, and the Barves can do it, then that gives him a bump.

      Hell, Jhonny Peralta is fourth in the NL in WAR, at least on B-Ref:

      And, per Craig’s second theme, this ties in with that.

      • Homesforsaleinfriscotx - Sep 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        War has been proven to be bogus, especially the defensive side, many times. There are many examples…Steve Pearce in Baltimore better than Adam Jones? LOL

        War is just another statistic, which can be taken for what it is…Highly flawed….or worshipped as the be-all, end-all. God help us if the defensive part of War is never improved, because it sucks big time right now, and leads to some ABSURD War statistical standings.

  2. bloope - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Yes he is on pace to win 20+ games. He is the most dominant player at his position and shouldn’t be excluded just because his position doesn’t involve a bat. He may finish the year with a sub 2.00 ERA… that is ridiculous in this decade of baseball. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t an every day player he is involved with as many plays as a field player just in a different aspect. If you can say that a batter is successful and a hall of fame type player because they are successful 30% of the time (.300 avg) in the plays they are most involved with… then Kershaw blows that out of the water with his Strikeouts, Strikes/Pitches thrown, ERA, and overall win% (winning 17 of 23 games).

    • dannymac17 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Actually, his does involve a bat as displayed by last night.

  3. chargrz - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:46 PM


    • yahmule - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:11 PM


  4. senioreditor2 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Kershaw’s lifetime era is 2.49… that’s crazy!

  5. geejon - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    The Hank Aaron Award was created in ’99 to be for hitters what the Cy Young is for pitchers.

    Thus, the “pitchers already have their award” argument doesn’t fly anymore.

    This year, I think it should def go to Kershaw.

  6. normcash - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    As I said earlier (and despite 3 goofball thumbs down): Yes. Period.

    • infieldhit - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      “Yes period” and “No period” doesn’t exactly add much to the discussion…

      • normcash - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        My point being that Kershaw is so obviously the MVP and Cy Young winner no discussion is necessary.

  7. edelmanfanclub - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Kershaw is NL MVP
    Trout for AL MVP

  8. sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Kershaw is and has been the best pitcher in baseball for a while.

    No, he is not the MVP.

    He’s taken the mound 23 times so far this season. He’ll get 4 more starts or so.

    27 times to take the mound out of 162 games isn’t an MVP. Neither is taking the mound 36 times as a starter either.

    I think Kershaw is amazing. I’m just biased and against pitchers winning the MVP is all.

    • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Kershaw has faced 633 batters this year. Stanton has 603 plate appearances. It just so happens that Kershaw’s are all lumped into every fifth game, but they have basically had influence over the same number of plate appearances.

      • sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:27 PM


        I understand what you said and those ARE the numbers.

        I look at it differently though. The bunched vs. spread out makes it different to me.

        Let’s leave pitchers out of it now and go to sluggers.

        Slugger 1 played 120 games and has 8.7 WAR
        Slugger 2 payed 158 games and has 8.5 WAR

        The 42 games that Slugger 1 didn’t play in at all, NONE of his 8.7 WAR helped in those 42 games.

        Another way to look at it is that if a slugger went 5 for 6 in a game with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI’s and they won 12 to 1… all that production didn’t help them win two games, only one game.

        If you play in less games, you help your team win fewer games.

        I’d rather have a very good player who plays like 158 games helping me (potentially helping as they do go 0 for 4 etc… sometimes) than a player who is lights out but only plays 120 games or in 27 games.

        YES, Clayton has faced as many batters as Stanton has plate appearances. But those batters faced for Clayton only affected 27 games.

        It isn’t Clayton’s fault or any pitchers fault, but when you only appear in 27 out of 162 games, to me, you aren’t the MVP or in contention for it.

        To me, part of baseball’s appeal is that there are so many games. It’s much different than the NFL and even the NBA.

        To put on the spikes and go out day after day after day and play and help contribute to your team winning. Do this the best over the course of a whole season and that is the MVP to me.

        Clayton could throw 27 no hitters and it’s still only 27 games. Not his fault, but he wasn’t out there the other 135 times.

        We’ll have to agree to disagree sir. Without an exact definition of the award and rules for those voting, it’s up to the voter. If I were a voter, I wouldn’t vote for a pitcher or those who didn’t play a lot.

        Part of the value to me is being there for your team game after game after game in the long haul that is the MLB season.

      • happytwinsfan - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        That’s an extremely interesting way of looking at it that I have never heard of or thought of before. It seems to put the pitcher on equal footing with the position player. It should be qualified with the point that if the position player is a plus player defensively, then his glove might have an influence on a number of at bats besides his own.

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Nice rebuttal.

        I have a question for you (would never happen, just curious): say you could make a Damn Yankees! deal. You could either have Babe Ruth at his majestic best, guaranteed to play all games in a season, or a pitcher named . . . say Damon Rutherford or Gil Gamesh . . . who was guaranteed to throw complete game shutouts 20 times a season. Which one would you take?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Sep 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        YES, Clayton has faced as many batters as Stanton has plate appearances. But those batters faced for Clayton only affected 27 games.

        Except there are also trickle down effects that you aren’t bringing up. By pitching all those games, and deep into games, he’s keeping worse pitchers from coming in. And you’ve brought this argument up before and someone responded with using WPA (or WPA/LI, or RE24). There are other stats you can use which bring context, to avoid the:
        Another way to look at it is that if a slugger went 5 for 6 in a game with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI’s and they won 12 to 1… all that production didn’t help them win two games, only one game.

      • erbaodai - Sep 3, 2014 at 4:34 PM


        “Another way to look at it is that if a slugger went 5 for 6 in a game with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI’s and they won 12 to 1… all that production didn’t help them win two games, only one game.”

        Didn’t I tell you to look at the WPA?

      • erbaodai - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM



        Dodgers are 19-4 when Kershaw starts, 59-57 when he doesn’t pitch. He’s completely carrying that team to a division title. Marlins are 15-16 when Stanton homers, 52-54 when he doesn’t, so even on Stanton’s best days, he’s not having much impact on winning games.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Best back and forth ever! Thanks.

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    • baberuthslegs - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

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  10. perryt200 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I guess if you can’t get a WS ring, the MVP thing is kinda nice.

    • stercuilus65 - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      Heavy flow day?

  11. baberuthslegs - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Cy Young. MVP.
    He’s all that.

  12. baberuthslegs - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Craig, stop by the makeup department before the HBT segment.
    Seriously. No sarcasm.

  13. psunick - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Don’t even worry about it. Giants will overtake L.A., and Andrew McCutchen will lead the Pirates to the playoffs.

    Cutch will win his second straight MVP

  14. jre80 - Sep 3, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Who else they gonna give it to. Question not even worth asking. Kershaw had both cy young and MVP locked up aug 1st.

    Cardinal fan

  15. mazblast - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    As the son of a man who grew up sneaking into the Polo Grounds to watch his beloved Giants, I’m genetically inclined to say, “He**, no!” to the idea of a Dodger winning any award.

    Then I look at the facts and say, “Heck, yes!”

    Sorry, Dad, but as you used to concede when we talked about Sandy Koufax, “You can’t argue against those numbers.”

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      They don’t make em like they used to. Your Dad was one wise man.

  16. sawxalicious - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I am normally biased against pitchers getting the MVP award, but Kershaw has been so thoroughly dominant this year. Yes, he plays in fewer games than a position player, but realistically, he was a MAJOR factor for his team winning his starts. If the Dodgers make the playoffs, Kershaw will be the reason they’re not sitting at home. I think he is the most valuable and best player at his position in the NL this year.

  17. jimeejohnson - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    When Sandy Koufax was 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and 306 K’s in 1963, baseball awarded only one Cy Young award and Sandy won it, along with his only National League MVP award to go with 3 Cy Young awards as the best pitcher in both leagues. Hence, Kershaw has to be extra special to win both the Cy Young and NL MVP. I think he is and I’m partial to Northern California teams, but I ain’t no dummy: Kershaw’s the best!

  18. yahmule - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Of pitchers with over 100 starts and 1000 IP, Kershaw’s career ERA is the lowest since 1920.

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