LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have lost two straight and three of their last four games, but turn to ace Clayton Kershaw to start against the Angels to end an eight-game homestand on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw is 10-0 with a 0.94 ERA in his last 11 starts, and the Dodgers haven't lost a Kershaw start since May 28. Kershaw won National League Pitcher of the Month in June, then did the same in July, and Tuesday night is his first start in August.
Tuesday night also marks the 200th start on Kershaw's career, the 21st pitcher to start 200 games with the Dodgers, and the 12th LA Dodger to reach the plateau.
Here is a breakdown of Kershaw's career in groups of 100 starts. His 100th start was June 26, 2011*.
*Kershaw has actually pitched in 201 career games, including two relief appearances, one in 2008 and 2009. Naturally, those three innings were scoreless, with four strikeouts. Those numbers aren't included in the table.
Kershaw has also pitched complete games in each of his last two starts, coming within one out last Thursday of a second straight shutout. The last Dodgers pitcher to throw three consecutive complete games was Kevin Brown from June 5-15, 2000.
Those Pitcher of the Month honors might not be the only awards Kershaw wins this year. He is the odds-on favorite to capture another Cy Young Award, 2/7 odds per Bovada on Tuesday. Winning three Cy Youngs in four years would add more fuel to the fire of comparing Kershaw to Sandy Koufax, who did the same from 1963-66.
But with Troy Tulowitzki and Andrew McCutchen both sidelined on the disabled list, the race for National League MVP is wide open. Bovada lists Kershaw as the favorite for NL MVP, too, at 4/7 odds, meaning a winning $70 bet would net $40.
The last National League pitcher to win MVP was Bob Gibson in 1968, he of the modern-record 1.12 ERA. In case you were wondering, Kershaw needs 63⅓ scoreless innings to beat Gibson's record.
Giancarlo Stanton is second at 7/4 odds to win MVP, with Yasiel Puig at 10/1.
Speaking of Puig, it's hard to say anything he does is under the radar, but he is having a pretty sneakily great season. He is hitting .319/.404/.545, second in the National League in OPS (.949), OPS+ (167), wOBA (.411), wRC+ (170) and batting average, trailing Tulowitzki and his might-not-get-enough-to-ultimately-qualify 375 plate appearances. Puig is also third in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Since moving to Los Angeles, only one Dodger has won a batting title. Tommy Davis led the NL in batting average in both 1962 and 1963.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West (Angels broadcast), MLB Network