Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
With about a month left to go in the season, the NL Cy Young looks like Clayton Kershaw’s to lose, but in addition to that, he may bring home some more hardware as the possible 2013 NL MVP. Clayton Kershaw pitching against the Miami Marlins (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) The 25-year-old lefty for the Los Angeles Dodgers is having a season to remember. Ignore his 13-7 record. What you get in 198.1 innings pitched this season is a staggering 207 ERA+ and 0.857 WHIP. It’s hard to imagine a better pitcher on the planet at the moment. He hasn’t always gotten run support this season, but when he has, the Dodgers have cruised.   Yet it’s the age old debate on whether pitchers should be considered for MVP awards or not. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the AL MVP in 2011. Critics will say he won because of his 24-5 record. His ERA+ of 172 and 0.920 WHIP are both currently surpassed by Kershaw. However, Verlander did have a WHIP of 8.4 in 2011. So far Kershaw’s is 7.1.   Keep in mind the last time any pitcher had won an MVP in either league was Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley for the Oakland A’s in 1992. The last time a starting pitcher claimed the award was Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox in 1986. If Kershaw claims the MVP, he would be the first NL pitcher since Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968.   Gibson’s MVP season was historic, revolutionary, even. They lowered the mound for pitchers after how good he was. Kershaw is putting his name in the history books with everything he is doing this season himself.   People are going to argue that pitchers shouldn’t win the MVP because they only play every five days and that takes away from a position player. That shouldn’t mean anything, though. One could very well make a case that, in addition to his ridiculous numbers, Kershaw has been more valuable to the Dodgers than any player has been to any team.   Brian Kenny of MLB Network is a critic of wins and losses and with good reason. We see pitchers pitch their heart out but their record washes out everything they did on a given day at the mound. If critics complained Verlander got the MVP because of his 24-5 record, just imagine the uproar if Kershaw got the MVP with his record being good, but nothing special.   We must remember that pitchers are players too, and they are not, and should not, be ineligible to win the MVP award. Despite the Dodgers running away with things in the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks are not completely dead, at least not as far as the wild card is concerned. They may point to Paul Goldschmidt’s 157 OPS+ and if triple crown stats still mean anything, him leading the NL in home runs (31) and RBI (101).   Cardinal fans would say Yadier Molina is a good candidate for MVP and despite playing in 107 games this season, qualifies for the batting title and having an outstanding season behind the plate.   At 76-54, the Pittsburgh Pirates have an identical record and share first place with the Cincinnati Reds. Andrew McCutchen finished in 3rd place in NL MVP voting last year and he has a case to claim the hardware this year.   It’s a very complicated process. At this point, Kershaw is almost certainly going to win the Cy Young, maybe even unanimously but the MVP won’t come that easy. He has a really good case for the latter award and should not be dismissed from the conversation based on the position he plays.   That said, there are those from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America who most likely are going to dismiss Kershaw for that very reason. Whether he wins it or not, critics alike are going to put in their two cents. In any event though, let the debate begin!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.