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Does Clayton Kershaw Bring Out The Best In Opposing Starters?

Clayton Kershaw has brought out the best in opposing starting pitchers.
Clayton Kershaw has brought out the best in opposing starting pitchers.

Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers on Friday night as they open a seven-game homestand with a three-game series against the Houston Astros.

Kershaw is 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA so far this season, and has an active streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings. He has needed to be that good, because his opposing starter has generally been pretty good, with a 3.09 ERA. Seven of nine opposing starters against Kershaw this season have had a quality start, with only both Edison Volquez starts against Kershaw not lasting at least six innings with three or fewer earned runs.

Against every other Dodgers starter this season, opposing starters have thrown quality starts in 17 of 35 games (48.6%).

Since the beginning of last year, Kershaw has brought out the best in opposing starters, compared to the rest of the staff.

Opposing Starters Against Dodgers, 2011-2012
Vs. Dodgers Starter G W-L IP/start QS BB/9 K/9 ERA WHIP
Kershaw 42 7-24 6.31 30 (71.4%) 3.12 6.08 3.57 1.298
Everyone else 163 60-59 5.88 84 (51.5%) 2.73 6.52 4.02 1.322

So it seems that opposing starters against Kershaw have gone longer than they have against other Dodgers starters, with an ERA nearly a half a run better. But still, the Dodgers are 30-12 in starts by Kershaw since the beginning of 2011, and 82-81 against everyone else.

Since the beginning of last season, pitchers throwing a quality start in all of MLB had 1,767 wins and 624 losses, a .739 winning percentage. But in quality starts against Kershaw since 2011, pitchers are 7-15 (.318).

Kershaw struck out nine in seven scoreless innings in Houston on April 21. In two career starts against the Astros at Dodger Stadium Kershaw has allowed one run in 15 innings in a pair of wins.

Lucas Harrell is seeking his fourth win of the season but has just two quality starts in nine outings this season. We'll see if he can join the crowd of pitchers with a solid outing against Kershaw. Harrell has never faced the Dodgers in his career.

Harrell has allowed at least one unearned run in each of his last five starts.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday