1. Clayton Kershaw
Quite frankly, it’s time for the best starting pitcher to show up in the postseason. He has an unsightly 4.55 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.7 K/9 and has given up 10 homers through 89 innings in his postseason career. While those stats may be passable for some pitchers, it most certainly is not for Kershaw. Pitching well in the playoffs is one of the only things missing from his resume. It’s been a punchline of his brilliant career that he’s struggled so badly during compared to the regular season.
Kershaw once again dealt with injuries towards the end of the season but seems fully healthy now. There is simply no excuses built in for him this year. The Dodgers have it lined up so they could pitch Kershaw twice if they had the need. Both starts would come at home, as the Dodgers have said they don’t want to pitch him on short rest this postseason. It’s unclear if they’ll stick to their guns if Game 4 rolls around and they could be eliminated. Los Angeles is paying him a ton of money for these starts. It’s put up or shut up time for Kershaw. If he’s the best version of himself, he will be the reason the Dodgers advance to the NLCS.