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There is so much to say about Clayton Kershaw, but I just want to highlight a couple of awesome facts and opinions on the ultimate ace. Kershaw has made 209 starts in seven seasons, and he already has a decent case for the Hall of Fame at age 26. In 2014, Clayton Kershaw made 27 starts and had a WAR of 7.2 on FanGraphs and 7.5 on Baseball Reference. Kershaw was worth over a quarter of a win himself per start.
(By the way, I am not a fan of WAR, so I will almost never reference it on here unless I think it adds value and context to the article. The next time you will see WAR will likely be on a Barry Bonds stat binge that I think is article worthy because Bonds was the best hitter I will ever see).
For fantasy purposes, Kershaw is easily the top SP, and I have him ranked eighth overall, but you can make a case to take him anywhere inside the top 10 picks. While I could not see myself drafting him any higher than fifth, Kershaw is very likely to have a great return on investment even at his cost. As a quick reminder, his 2014 season included him missing a month. There is no limit for this transcendent lefty.
If we move on to the mortals of the Dodgers, we see that they have a great rotation behind the best pitcher in baseball. Zack Greinke is a nice SP1 if you are looking to draft bats for the first three or four rounds rather than spend on a Chris Sale or Max Scherzer. I was thrilled with Greinke’s 20% K-BB%, and I would love him on my team as long as he stays away from Carlos Quentin and pick-up basketball.
I just realized that I seriously have underrated Hyun-Jin Ryu. He has been nothing short of excellent in his first two Major League seasons with a career 3.17 ERA. Right now, I probably have him about ten spots too low on my starting pitcher rankings, and I will readjust for one of the best SP3’s in the game. Ryu is one of the rare options where he can be the third best pitcher on both the Dodgers and your fantasy baseball team.
The staff of the Dodgers looks to be the second best in baseball (Nationals have to be first by default), but they were dealt a serious blow today with the injury news regarding Kenley Jansen. Bill Pivetz wrote about it yesterday in this article.
Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post. You can read about how he develops his projections here. His projections are invaluable to this site. You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.