Grading the Dodgers: Rotation

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Oct 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after the seventh inning against the New York Mets in game four of the NLDS at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw: A+

Being a teacher is easy. Kershaw gets an A+ because he very well could win the Cy Young this year.

For his first nine starts, some of Kershaw’s numbers were extremely troubling. He was 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA in his first nine starts, which prompted this.

Further research indicated that Kershaw was probably fine. In his first nine starts, one of every five fly balls Kershaw gave up left the park. While his ERA was high, his FIP and xFIP remained under 3.00, so it seemed like something Kershaw could turn around. And boy, did he.

Over his next 24 starts, Kershaw had a 1.39 ERA, 1.69 FIP and 2.02 xFIP. He got his home run rate under control and the BABIP against him dropped by almost .100 points. He somehow rose his K/9 from 11.26 in his first nine starts to 11.77 in his next 24, and he finished off the season with literally 301 strikeouts. His final ERA was 2.13 with a 1.99 FIP and a 2.01 xFIP.

There’s like a 99.99 percent chance Kershaw is back next season. In MLB: The Show, my created player is on the Dodgers and they just traded Kershaw for Miguel Cabrera, so weird things COULD happen. But probably not. He’ll be back and barring injury, he’ll be the Opening Day starter.

Next: Ace Number Two