Dodgers First Half Awards

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Jul 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrates with second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) after the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrates with second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) after the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Best Pitcher- Clayton Kershaw

Much like with Seager, Kershaw’s “best pitcher” award could apply not only to the Dodgers, but to all of baseball.

There’s not much left to be said about Kershaw’s excellence. He’s been the best pitcher in baseball for a while now, and he’s had his finest season thus far. Last year, Kershaw struck out 301 batters and had a 2.13 ERA/1.99 FIP, but finished third in Cy Young voting mainly thanks to a below-par start to the season (4.32 ERA through nine starts). He had a torrid second half and left many, myself included, wondering what type of numbers he could put up if he kept that pace up all season.

He’s somehow surpassed even those expectations. His 1.79 ERA is the lowest in baseball by .15, but is somehow only the second-best number of his career (1.77 in 2014). His FIP that year was 1.81, his FIP this year is 1.70. He won the MVP that year. He might win the MVP this year. His 5.5 WAR leads pitchers by 1.5 and is tied with Mike Trout for the highest mark in all of baseball. This is despite a back injury that forced him to hit the DL a couple weeks ago.

The real tragedy about Kershaw’s injury is that it may prevent him from striking out 300 batters for the second consecutive season. Last season, along with those 301 strikeouts, he walked 49 batters. This year, with 145 strikeouts, he’s walked nine. As my favorite writer points out here, three of the first five could have been avoided by robot umps. I’m sure Kershaw has been the beneficiary of some calls as well, but basically what I’m trying to say is that he’s amazing and has no foreseeable threat for his “best pitcher in the world” crown.

Honorable Mentions- ~HUUUUUGE GAP~, Kenley Jansen ~SLIGHTLY SMALLER GAP~, Kenta Maeda, Joe Blanton, Adam Liberatore.

Next: Worst Pitcher

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