Clayton Kershaw Props Odds and Predictions for 2015 Season Wins
by George Monroy - 3/26/2015
Clayton Kershaw is coming off one of the most dominant performances that a pitcher can muster up-21 wins, only three losses, a 1.72 ERA, while also leading the majors in 44 different categories-and the only other players who can claim such a historical season over the last two decades have been Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Kershaw was that good in 2014. And the scary part is that the reigning National League MVP is still only 27 years old. Sure, he's struggled in the playoffs, losing four straight postseason games over the last two years and giving up leads in his last two appearances. Still, is that perceived lack of a "clutch gene" enough to discount everything he does in the regular season?
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Kershaw will be coming into the 2015 MLB campaign with much to prove after his two playoff collapses against St. Louis, and nothing short of multiple dominant postseason performances will suffice for the NL's best pitcher. Sportsbook.ag currently has a line on Kershaw's win total for the 2015 season. Let's take a closer look at the odds and go over the stats with predictions and analysis.
Clayton Kershaw Regular Season Wins
"Over/Under" 17.5 (-115)
Kershaw has produced more than 17.5 wins in a season only twice in his seven-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The pitcher earned 21 wins in 2011 during his first Cy Young-winning campaign and 21 during last year's already-legendary season. Surprisingly, Kershaw managed to produce only 16 wins during 2013's spectacular year that saw the pitcher take home another Cy Young Award while also producing a 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and the highest WAR (7.9) of his career. Simply put, 18 wins is difficult to come by.
Only seven pitchers managed to earn more than 17 wins last season, and only four managed to accomplish the feat in 2013. Kershaw will be entering his eighth season in the league, and there is very little reason to suspect that his dominant run will come to an end any time soon. In fact, it would be reasonable to assume that Kershaw is going to get better over the next few years, and he might not have reached his prime yet-what a scary thought. Let's try to figure out the right side of Kershaw's win totals prop by taking a look at how pitchers have performed after coming off a historically-dominant season.
Wins After a Dominant Season
Pedro Martinez : 2000 season: 18-6, 29 starts: Martinez followed up his 1999 season, which is considered the best pitching performance in the last 50 years, with his 2000 campaign, which is widely considered as the second-best pitching performance over that same span.
Roger Clemens : 1998 season: 20-6, 33 starts: Clemons came right back after his ridiculous 1997 with another fantastic year and produced the fourth 20-win season of his career.
Randy Johnson : 2002 season: 24-5, 35 starts: Johnson's 2002 season is just as good if not better than is 2001 campaign, the only difference was that in 2001 he led his team to a World Series victory against the Yankees and was dominant throughout the postseason.
There have been plenty of fantastic pitching seasons over the last 20 years, but outside of Kershaw's, only three really standout as all-time great performances. Martinez, Johnson, and Clemons all produced another spectacular year after their historically-great seasons. Kershaw is only 27 years old and still has not produced that utterly dominant run that lasts three to four seasons. Anything can happen in baseball, but expect Kershaw to continue his dominant ways and produce another 20-win campaign. Wagering on "over" 17.5 wins at -115 feels like the only way to go on this bet.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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