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5 Reasons Why Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw Deserves the 2013 NL MVP

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Clayton Kershaw's Amazing Season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw is having one of the best seasons of all time, and he’s left any competition for the Cy Young award far behind. He is the undisputed ace of one of the most dangerous teams in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he is looking to take them to a World Series championship. With the numbers he’s put up, absolutely no one is touching him for the NL MVP.

The Dodgers didn’t seem like they had a chance at the division after the poor start they got off to early in the season. When Zach Greinke went down with a broken collar bone after Carlos Quentin charged the mound in April, I had mostly written the Dodgers off, but I underestimated the power of the dollar bill.

The Dodgers' success isn’t wholly dependent upon the fortunes Magic Johnson and the rest of L.A.'a ownership, however. The arrival of star prospect Yasiel Puig and the return of shortstop Hanley Ramirez really shot the Dodgers to the top of the NL West. Now that Matt Kemp has returned, the boys in blue are favorites for the World Series title.

Regardless, their most valuable player has without a doubt been Kershaw. Every time he’s on the mound, he gives them a great chance to win and he almost never blows it. His impact on the team will be magnified in the playoffs when Don Mattingly will likely abandon the five-man rotation and start Kershaw multiple times in a series.

Follow the slide to see the top five reasons why Clayton Kershaw deserves the NL MVP.

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5. Kershaw's ERA

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw’s ERA is 1.88, which makes it the best metric in MLB by far. With the second-place player being rookie Jose Fernandez, Kershaw’s ERA is .31 points better than any player on earth. Behind Fernandez is Matt Harvey, the New York Mets’ rookie ace who went down in August with a partial tear to his UCL. With him out early due to injury and Fernandez shut down by his front office, Kershaw owns the most dominating earned run average in baseball.

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4. Kershaw's IP

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw leads MLB in innings pitched. At 230 IP, that means that he has given the Dodgers the most bang for their buck. Since he pitched more than any other player in baseball, the Dodgers have had a substantial number of their total innings pitched by the best in the game, which magnifies the value of Kershaw.

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3. Strikeouts

The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw has the most strikeouts in the NL. At 224, he tops the next best NL pitcher by 15, who happens to be Adam Wainwright. While strikeouts aren’t everything and a lot of pitchers pitch to contact, it does mean he has the ability to get out of jams easier and prevent the defense from having the chance to make mistakes. With his strikeouts and innings pitched, Kershaw takes more of the game out of his defense's hands and takes it upon himself to defeat the opposition.

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2. Kershaw's WHIP

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw’s WHIP is an unbelievable and league-leading .922, an astonishing statistic for a starting pitcher. That kind of WHIP is something you expect out of a shutdown bullpen guy like Craig Kimbrel, not out of a starter who accrues 224 IP.

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1. Kershaw's Ability

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw’s overall ability is just unmatched. The numbers don’t make him a good athlete; his ability creates the numbers, which are representations of his talent. When you consider all of his numbers together, there is no doubt that Kershaw is the NL MVP winner. With his velocity, command and stuff (have you seen his curveball?), the guy is nearly unstoppable. No one will argue when he wins the prestigious NL MVP Award.


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