3) Yes, the playoffs
You can’t talk about Clayton Kershaw without mentioning the playoffs, something that I think is a bit unfair to his legacy.
As the Dodgers have maintained an extremely competitive roster, partially thanks to his unbelievable performance, year-in-and-year-out, they have had an overwhelming number of playoff chances. This both helps and hurts Kershaw, as his better performances are often times overshadowed by the bad ones, while he is also given more opportunities to erase the most ugliest of memories.
If the Dodgers want to finally get over the hump and win their first championship since 1988, they will need Kershaw to have his best performance of his career in the playoffs. They can hope David Price’s postseason experience shines through his 34-year-old body, or one of Julio Urias or Alex Wood surprises, on top of the strength of Walker Buehler.
But the Dodgers need Kershaw to be Kershaw, regardless of the month—and this season the months will surely look different along the way.
Hopefully, over a shortened season, if they space his starts out right, he will be fresher than ever entering postseason play, and can prove the difference in making the Dodgers champions.