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Clayton Kershaw could make history with another ERA title

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

With Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw returning from the disabled list on Friday night against the Padres, he will have a month’s worth of starts to prepare for the postseason. Along the way, he could tie a major league record.

Kershaw will take a 2.04 ERA into his start on Friday, which is the lowest mark of anyone in baseball. Nationals ace Max Scherzer is next best at 2.21.

Most years leading MLB in ERA

Pitcher Years
Pitcher Years
Pedro Martinez 5 (1997,'99,2000,'02,'03)
Walter Johnson 4 (1912,'13,'18,'19)
Lefty Grove 4 (1926,'29,'30,'31)
Greg Maddux 4 (1993,'94,'95,'98)
Clayton Kershaw 4 (2011,'12,'13,'14)
Pete Alexander 3 (1915,'16,'20)
Carl Hubbell 3 (1933,'34,'36)
Sandy Koufax 3 (1963,'65,'66)
1901-2016 Source: Baseball-Reference

With 141⅓ innings, Kershaw still qualifies for the leaderboard, and needs just 20⅔ more innings to ensure that he qualifies for the entire season. If Kershaw remains atop the heap at year’s end, he will join Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers ever to lead the majors in ERA in five different seasons.

Kershaw was already the first pitcher to lead MLB in ERA for four consecutive seasons, pacing baseball from 2011-2014. He had the best ERA in baseball last year too at 1.69, but thanks to missing 10 weeks with a herniated disc in his back fell 13 innings shy of qualifying.

In 2015, Kershaw finished third in the majors with a 2.13 ERA. That’s his worst finish of the last seven years.

Since the start of 2011, Kershaw has a 2.06 ERA, over eight-tenths of a run better than the next-best pitcherCliff Lee at 2.89 — during that span (minimum 500 innings).

In his last 188 regular season starts, dating back to June 9, 2011, Kershaw’s ERA is 1.9989, in 1,332⅔ innings.