<
>

Clayton Kershaw is better than you think

play
Where would the Dodgers be without Kershaw? (0:45)

Buster Olney outlines all of the issues with the Dodgers, and points out the difference in Los Angeles when Clayton Kershaw starts compared to everyone else. (0:45)

Clayton Kershaw has won three of the past five National League Cy Young Awards and hasn’t finished outside the top three in voting since 2010. At 28 years old this season, he may actually be having his best season yet and is cementing his name as one of baseball’s greatest pitchers of all time.

This season

Kershaw has six straight starts with at least 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer, the longest streak of its kind since 1900. Only four other pitchers in baseball this season have multiple such starts and none did it in consecutive starts.

Kershaw has 88 strikeouts and just four walks this season. No pitcher has had even 80 strikeouts before getting his fifth walk of the season since the mound was moved to 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate in 1893.

There are 106 pitchers this season who have walked four batters in a game. Including last year's Cy Young winners -- Jake Arrieta and Dallas Keuchel -- who have done it three times each.

This month, Kershaw has 48 strikeouts and one walk. That's four times better than the next-best strikeout-to-walk ratio this month (Colby Lewis at 12-to-1).

Kershaw is on pace for more than 300 strikeouts and fewer than 50 walks, something that's only been done by three pitchers in major-league history: Pedro Martinez in 1999, Curt Schilling in 2002 and Kershaw last season.

Career impact

Kershaw's Adjusted ERA is 157 (it adjusts for ballpark and compares to the rest of the league, where 100 is average and higher is better). That’s the best Adjusted ERA in major league history (minimum 1,500 IP).

Kershaw has 10 starts in his career with 10 strikeouts, no walks and no more than one run allowed. Only four pitchers have done that more often since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893.

The 10 hitters who have faced him the most have combined to hit .220 and slug .303 against him, with four times as many strikeouts as walks. That's roughly equivalent to Bob Gibson's career line as a hitter.

Kershaw has six wins and four walks this season. Entering Sunday, there’s one other pitcher who has six wins and four walks. That’s Erasmo Ramirez, who has pitched 35 innings. Kershaw has thrown 70.

Kershaw already has 88 strikeouts this season. Mike Pelfrey had 86 strikeouts total in his 30 starts last season.

Kershaw has a 34.8 strikeout percentage as a pitcher -- and a 29.2 strikeout percentage as a hitter.

Along those same lines, Kershaw has a .208 OBP as a hitter this year. Opponents have a .198 OBP against him.