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Clayton Kershaw is the Dodger Starting Pitcher of the Decade

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Kershaw became all time bWAR pitching leader in Dodger Franchise history

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

We have reached the last two articles in this series and unlike the previous ten, there won’t be any voting for these upcoming two pitching positions.

Clayton Kershaw is the starting pitcher for the 2010s Dodger of the Decade team. This should be no surprise based on the honors he has received in the last ten seasons.

Kershaw won both the National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award in 2014. He also won the Cy Young Award in 2011 and 2013. He was an eight-time National League All-Star.

Kershaw was not only the best pitcher for the Dodgers, he really has only two other candidates for the best starting pitcher in Major League Baseball this past decade.

There were three starting pitchers that accumulated over 50 bWAR from 2010 - 2019. Clayton Kershaw led with 59.3 bWAR. Justin Verlander had 56.2 bWAR and Max Scherzer was right behind with 56.1 bWAR.

Top 2010s Starting Pitchers

Player bWAR G GS IP ERA FIP ERA+ WHIP W L BB SO HR
Player bWAR G GS IP ERA FIP ERA+ WHIP W L BB SO HR
Clayton Kershaw 59.3 294 293 1996.0 2.31 2.64 164 0.962 156 61 434 2179 155
Justin Verlander 56.2 321 321 2142.0 3.10 3.26 136 1.077 160 86 568 2260 228
Max Scherzer 56.1 319 319 2063.2 3.12 3.06 134 1.068 161 74 534 2452 229
Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Since 1960, there have been 15 pitchers to have more than 50 bWAR in a decade. Of the 15 pitchers on the below list, only Kershaw, Verlander and Scherzer are not eligible for the Hall of Fame. And just two of the eligible pitchers are not enshrined, Roger Clemens, who is still on the ballot and David Cone who did not surpass 5% on the only HOF ballot he appeared on.

You’ll notice Randy Johnson appearing twice on the below table, this is not a typo, he is the only pitcher in Major League history to have two different decades with 50+ bWAR.

Pitchers with 50+ bWAR in a decade

Player bWAR From To G GS W L IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ HR WHIP
Player bWAR From To G GS W L IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ HR WHIP
Roger Clemens 68.1 1990 1999 305 305 152 89 2177.2 731 2101 3.02 3.03 151 139 1.176
Tom Seaver 67.1 1970 1979 348 345 178 101 2652.1 741 2304 2.61 2.65 138 190 1.073
Greg Maddux 65.4 1990 1999 331 331 176 88 2394.2 443 1764 2.54 2.77 162 111 1.055
Phil Niekro 64.5 1970 1979 406 376 164 151 2881.0 920 1866 3.26 3.51 122 259 1.236
Clayton Kershaw 59.3 2010 2019 294 293 156 61 1996.0 434 2179 2.31 2.64 164 155 0.962
Gaylord Perry 59.0 1970 1979 369 368 184 133 2905.0 758 1907 2.92 3.03 125 207 1.142
Bert Blyleven 57.8 1970 1979 353 350 148 128 2624.2 711 2082 2.88 2.81 130 186 1.161
Justin Verlander 56.2 2010 2019 321 321 160 86 2142.0 568 2260 3.10 3.26 136 228 1.077
Max Scherzer 56.1 2010 2019 319 319 161 74 2063.2 534 2452 3.12 3.06 134 229 1.068
Juan Marichal 55.3 1960 1969 328 320 191 88 2549.2 503 1840 2.57 2.85 136 223 1.045
Bob Gibson 54.2 1960 1969 336 302 164 105 2447.0 822 2071 2.74 2.82 135 166 1.147
Jim Palmer 54.1 1970 1979 355 352 186 103 2745.0 861 1559 2.58 3.29 137 184 1.142
David Cone 52.9 1990 1999 289 287 141 85 2017.0 774 1928 3.21 3.44 135 169 1.210
Fergie Jenkins 52.6 1970 1979 360 354 178 130 2706.2 518 1841 3.38 3.30 117 301 1.118
Randy Johnson 52.1 1990 1999 298 290 150 75 2063.1 910 2538 3.14 3.17 140 183 1.197
Randy Johnson 51.3 2000 2009 287 281 143 78 1885.1 484 2182 3.34 3.13 137 212 1.114
Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Clayton Kershaw became the all-time Dodger franchise leader in bWAR with his 59.3 in the 2010s. The four other pitchers with 50+ bWAR in a Dodger uniform are all inducted in the Hall of Fame as Dodgers.

Top Dodger Pitchers in franchise history

Player bWAR G GS W L IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ HR
Player bWAR G GS W L IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ HR
Clayton Kershaw 65.4 347 344 169 74 2274.2 577 2464 2.44 2.74 157 173
Dazzy Vance 61.7 378 328 190 131 2757.2 764 1918 3.17 3.16 129 123
Don Drysdale 61.3 518 465 209 166 3432.0 855 2486 2.95 3.02 121 280
Sandy Koufax 53.1 397 314 165 87 2324.1 817 2396 2.76 2.69 131 204
Don Sutton 50.4 550 533 233 181 3816.1 996 2696 3.09 3.05 110 309
Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference.com

One of Clayton Kershaw’s top moments in the decade is pitching his no-hitter at Dodger Stadium in 2014.

In 2015, Kershaw would record 301 strikeouts to become the first Dodger to reach 300+ strikeouts since Sandy Koufax had 317 strikeouts in 1966.

Clayton Kershaw has two more years on his current contract. He’ll be 34 when the 2022 season begins. While he is certainly in his second half of his career, how Kershaw evolves this part will be the most fascinating thing to watch.

But no matter what happens next, there is no doubt that Kershaw’s place in Dodger history is secure, he was not only best pitcher for the Dodgers in the Decade, he was the face of the organization for the last ten years too.