Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was in the midst of another dominant year but a back injury is expected to sideline him for at least one month. Heading into the 2017 season, Kershaw was ranked the best starting pitcher in baseball by MLB Network’s The Shredder.
However, as the season reached its midway point, The Shredder produced an updated list, which had Kershaw supplanted atop the rankings by Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, and dropped to third behind Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale.
Kershaw took the mound Sunday 15-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 0.89 WHIP this season, and 11-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his last 14 starts. At the time he led the Majors in wins, ERA and was tied with Scherzer for most innings pitched (139.1).
Scherzer did lead the Majors in ERA until a rough outing last weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he surrendered back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning.
On the year he’s 11-5 with a 2.26 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 0.84 WHIP in 20 starts. With Kershaw sidelined for the foreseeable future, Scherzer is widely perceived as a lock to repeat as the National League Cy Young Award winner.
Sale has produced comparable statistics to that of Scherzer and Kershaw in spite of facing a designated hitter by way of pitching in the American League. Sale is 12-4 with a 2.48 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 200 strikeouts in 141.1 innings over 20 starts.
He leads the AL in WHIP, is tied for the league lead in wins, and is atop the Majors in strikeouts.
Following the aforementioned trio trio and rounding out The Shredder’s top 10 starters are Houston Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, St. Louis Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez, Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr., Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Kansas City Royals southpaw Jason Vargas and New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino.