FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

LIKE THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS ON FACEBOOOK

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: CLAYTON KERSHAW SP LOS ANGELES DODGERS

For the first time in a very long while, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is no longer the consensus number 1 pitcher in fantasy baseball.  While on raw stuff alone Kershaw has almost no peer, the blockbuster 2017 campaign of the Boston Red Sox' Chris Sale and the continued excellence of Max Scherzer has at least made it a debate about which pitcher should come off the board first in drafts this spring.  What has turned this into a talking point in regards to Kershaw is the fact that he has become somewhat of an injury risk after two straight years of back trouble that led to extended DL stints.  Last season Kersahw missed a month-and-a-half with a back strain and that kept him to just 175 innings which was not the haul his fantasy baseball owners anticipated after spending a first round pick on the Dodgers lefty.  While the ratios were still dominant (2.31 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 10.39 K/9), Kershaw is leaking a bit of air in the statistical tires.  Perhaps most concerning is the fact Kershaw's average fastball velocity declined for the third straight year, going from 94.3 in 2015 down to 93.1 a year ago.  In a possibly related development, Kershaw posted a career-worst 1.18 HR/9 last season as opposing batters got better swings on him then ever before.  This may seem like nitpicking at the highest level given the annually ridiculous numbers Kershaw supplies but at the very least the increasing health problems should knock Kershaw out of the first round for the first time in awhile.  Back problems tend to become chronic and we are now two seasons and counting with flare-ups there for Kershaw.  Throw in the decline in velocity and Kershaw is no longer the flawless monster he was prior to 2016.
2018 PROJECTION:  18-5 2.51 ERA 0.99 WHIP 225 K  

No comments:

Post a Comment