As we head into the final week or so of the 2013 regular season, the playoff races in the National League are anything but climactic, with the exception of that second wild card spot. If Clayton Kershaw has his way, at least one of the National League award races will be over as quickly as some of these division races.
The ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers has put together yet another fantastic season on the bump in Hollywood. He’s been the most dominant pitcher not just in the National League, but in all of baseball. In fact, he may not have the slightest bit of competition for the Cy Young Award as the top pitcher in the NL.
In the American League you have four or five names that the award could come down to. In the NL, there is no such situation. You have Clayton Kershaw, and then everyone else. Matt Harvey provided some decent competition before going down with an injury, so he’s out. As impressive as Adam Wainwright has been, he’s probably not going to be able to hold a candle to Kershaw.
Kershaw’s numbers on the season are simply absurd. He’s pitched to a 1.88 ERA for the season, along with a 2.44 FIP. His ERA is the top mark in the NL, while he trails only Harvey in the FIP category. His 224 strikeouts are tops in the National League, and he’s only walked 52 hitters on the year.
Kershaw is the NL leader in innings pitched, and his 6.2 WAR is tops among National League starters. Wainwright has pitched to a 2.98 ERA, with 15 less strikeouts on the year. Of course, he’s also walked about 20 less hitters on the season. Even with the run differential, as Kershaw gets a great deal more run support, it’s really no contest.
If things unfold as they should in his final two starts of the year, Kershaw will end the 2013 regular season with the NL Cy Young Award already in hand. He’s been the best pitcher from start to finish, and there is not a single pitcher in the National League that can touch him. This award is already decided.