The famous line “To be or not to be that is the question?” from Shakespeare applies in the NL MVP race. The NL MVP is going down to the wire and the at the core of this MVP race is “would you vote for a pitcher for MVP?”. That’s basically what the NL MVP will ultimately be decided by. Clayton Kershaw is your MVP if your answer is “yes” I will vote for a pitcher for the MVP. On the flip side to that coin, if your answer is “no” you won’t vote for a pitcher then your MVP would be Giancarlo Santon, Andrew McCutchen, Jonathan Lucroy or Buster Posey.
To make the case for Kershaw to be the MVP is not a tough one to make at all. Kershaw is the first Dodger since Don Drysdale to win 20 games in 26 starts this season and the first to win 20 games in 26 starts in the majors since Pedro Martinez in 1999. He has a current ERA of 1.80 which is the lowest the majors, he also had a stretch in which he lowered his ERA in 5 straight starts. Kershaw leads the majors in WHIP by hosting a .87 WHIP, he is sixth in strikeouts with 228. He also leads the league in wins with 20. Without Kershaw the Dodgers are just a few games above .500. The Dodgers have won 22 of the 26 starts made by Kershaw, the Dodgers are 19-1 in Kershaw’s last 20 starts. Kershaw wins above replacement is 8 which signifies that Kershaw is worth 1.5 more wins than any other position player in the National League.
Kershaw gives Mattingly the ability to use his bullpen as much as needed In the game before Kershaw is going to start because Mattingly knows that Kershaw is going to go at least seven innings if not eight innings giving the bullpen a night off. The presence of Kershaw does not just affect the game that he is pitching in he also affects the game before his start and the game after his start.
Now the reasons nor to give Kershaw the MVP is that Kershaw missed 41 games of the season and no player has ever won the MVP missing that many games. Due to the fact that Kershaw did miss so many games he will on,u be able to start 27 games. Also there have been 4 other pitchers that has better records than Kershaw and whose teams had a better winning percentage than the Dodgers. Those pitchers are:
· Randy Johnson 27-3 (record)
· Ron Guidry 30-5
· Mike Hampton 29-5
· John Smoltz 22-4
· Roger Clemens 27-5
Another argument to make against Kershaw is that pitchers have their own award called the CY Young which pitchers can only win. The lat argument against Kershaw not being the MVP is that he is not a everyday player.
At the end of the day if I had a vote for the NL MVP, my vote would go to Clayton Kershaw. He is your 2014 National League MVP.