Clayton Kershaw Looks To Continue Late Season Cy Young Push

Kershaw leads the National League with 199 strikeouts.

Clayton Kershaw continues to make his case for the National League Cy Young Award Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers battle the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. Kershaw will have an uphill battle against the trio of stalwarts in Philadelphia, but he has been on a roll heading into the home stretch of the season.

Kershaw leads the National League with 199 strikeouts, and will almost assuredly tonight become the first Dodger since Chan Ho Park 10 years ago to strikeout 200 or more in back-to-back seasons. Kershaw is tied for the league lead with 15 wins, with Roy Halladay of the Phillies and Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks. Not that wins are all important, but it might be enough to sway voters.

NL Wins Above Replacement Leaders
Pitcher Team WAR
Roy Halladay PHI 6.9
Clayton Kershaw LA 5.3
Cliff Lee
PHI 5.2
Cole Hamels PHI 5.0
Matt Cain SF 4.6
Tim Lincecum SF 4.4
Madison Bumgarner SF 4.3
Source: FanGraphs

In his last 12 starts, Kershaw is 9-2 with a 1.76 ERA, with 97 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 92 innings. He has pitched eight innings in each of his last two starts, both wins. Currently Kershaw is fifth in the NL with a 2.60 ERA, and with a little improvement plus a slide from Johnny Cueto and his 1.89 ERA, Kershaw could possibly win the pitching triple crown.

Again, unadjusted ERA and wins aren't the best way to measure pitchers, but if Kershaw ends up at the top in both categories he would have a good shot at actually winning the award. For my money, Halladay is the favorite for the Cy Young, but Kershaw is within shouting distance and a strong finish could help his case.

Beginning tonight in St. Louis.

Pitching for the Cardinals tonight is Kyle Lohse, who is 11-7 with a 3.33 ERA this season. The Dodgers' win on Monday night was their 1,000th win all-time against the Cardinals. St. Louis leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1892, 1,001-1,000.

Tuesday's 5:15 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KCAL. For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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