Clayton Kershaw has chance to renew his World Series legacy from the first pitch

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 15: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 15: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Clayton Kershaw could right the wrongs of his postseason career in this World Series

The legend of “playoff” Clayton Kershaw is nothing new. One of the greatest starters of all-time and certainly the best starting pitcher of the last decade, Kershaw becomes a decidedly average pitcher whenever the calendar flips to October. The Los Angeles Dodgers might’ve completed their heroic comeback against the Atlanta Braves, but they did so with Kershaw throwing up another stinker.

Kershaw will get the chance to recover from that poor performance almost immediately against the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, as he will start Game 1 of the series against flame-throwing right-hander Tyler Glasnow. 

Clayton Kershaw needs to pitch like it’s the regular season

Kershaw’s postseason ERA is noticeably higher than his regular-season ERA, and that ERA was inflated by some incredibly un-Kershaw moments. While he was once again an ace in the regular season stat posted a 2.16 ERA, he didn’t look like himself against Atlanta.

Tampa Bay’s roster might be full of left-handed power bats, which led to some solid performances against Yankees and Astros teams that had pitching staffs full of right-handers, but the performances of red-hot right-handers like Randy Arozarena and Mike Zunino should scare Kershaw just a bit. The offense picked things up later in the series, but Kershaw can’t bank on the Dodgers consistently making contact against the Rays’ stable of relievers who throw 98 miles per hour and above. Simply put, MVP and Cy Young Kershaw is a must in this series.

If Kershaw gets a ring and pitches even at an above-average clip, all of his postseason demons will be erased almost instantly. However, Tampa Bay also has a lineup that is almost perfectly set up to go attack Kershaw and this Dodgers pitching staff, and a loss here would weigh heavily on his legacy.

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