LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was not named to the National League All-Star team on Monday, but is among five candidates in the Final Vote, for the 34th and final roster spot on the NL team in the midsummer classic on July 14 in Cincinnati.
Player balloting elected five starting pitchers - Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Jacob deGrom. Manager Bruce Bochy selected three more starters - Madison Bumgarner, A.J. Burnett and Michael Wacha.
Kershaw is 5-6 with a 3.08 ERA but also leads the majors with 147 strikeouts. He's second in the NL in FIP (2.55), and first in xFIP (2.12) and SIERA (2.29).
"I voted for him in the player ballot," Greinke said of Kershaw. "His peripheral numbers are probably the best in the game right now."
Kershaw wasn't sure what to expect heading into Monday.
"I had no expectations one way or another," Kershaw said. "I'm fine with Boch."
If Kershaw wins the Final Vote or gets named as a replacement All-Star, he will become just the third Dodgers pitcher to make five straight All-Star teams, joining Sandy Koufax (1961-66) and Fernando Valenzuela (1981-86).
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports thinks Kershaw on the All-Star team is just common sense:
No, Kershaw is not pitching the way he did the previous two seasons, when he finished with sub-2.00 ERAs. Still, is that the standard to which he must adhere?
His 3.08 ERA ranks 17th in the NL (Bumgarner is 20th at 3.34, and of course he is deserving). But Kershaw is second in Fielding Independent Pitching, a statistic that removes his defenders from the equation. The only chink in his armor, really, is an abnormally high home-run rate.
C'mon, fans. Make him an All-Star. Save your sport from looking dumb.
How to vote
Voting runs through Friday at 1 p.m. PT, either online at MLB.com/vote, or via text message by texting "N3" to 89269 (Kershaw is N3, the third player listed among the five NL Final Vote players).
In addition, any tweets in the final six hours of voting on Friday (7 a.m. - 1 p.m.) will count toward the ballot, with a yet-to-be-determined hashtag.
"I'm never surprised by what happens with the All-Star voting. You can never predict it," Greinke said. "The fan vote is usually the most accurate, which is sad."