Like many of you who may own Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, I have both a lot invested in the guy, as well as watching each start and hoping "this time a three-hit shutout over eight innings with ten strikeouts and four baserunners."
Kershaw is the anchor of my Scoresheet team, that is seriously struggling, and he was the centerpiece of my NL LABR team wherein I spent $40 on the lefty figuring he would make the rest of my staff so much better that all I need do was focus on my hitting.
I have long stressed the importance of patience in this crazy fantasy game, and I am certainly sticking with the centerpiece of my strategies involving Kershaw in every league I can find. Still, I understand having doubts, so in order to reassure all of you, let's take a look at some really fine seasons by some other really fine southpaws as it turns out over the past years, and a primo season for each.
Frank Viola (Twins, 1988): Over the first and last months of the 1988 season, as Viola helped push the Twins to postseason play, he was 6-2, 4.08 with a WHIP of 1.29, but in between, from May through August, he was 18-5, 2.04 over 180.3 innings with a 1.07 WHIP. Viola finished the season 24-7, 2.64, with a 1.13 WHIP while winning a Cy Young.
CC Sabathia (Indians/Brewers, 2008): CC won a Cy Young in 2007, and in his contract year of 2008, the lefty was 1-4, 7.88 over April with a WHIP of 1.701. Sabathia was 6-8, 3.83 and getting it going, when he was swapped to the Brewers and had a run of 11-2, 1.65 over 130.3 innings. He finished 17-10, 2.72 over 251 frames with a 1.153 ERA, placing fifth in the Cy Young and sixth in the MVP voting.
Johan Santana (Twins, 2004): In 2004, over April and May, Santana was 2-4 across 61 innings with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.491 WHIP. Once it was June, Santana went 18-2, 1.62, with an 0.712 WHIP, finishing 20-6, 2.61 with an 0.921 WHIP, while winning a Cy Young.
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers, 2014): Last year, Kershaw was 3-2, 3.57 with a 1.22 WHIP over April and May, but after June, 18-1 over 163 innings, finishing 21-3, 1.77 with 239 strikeouts over 198.3 innings, winning both a Cy Young and an MVP.
So, if you own Kershaw and his 2-3, 4.32 mark so far, take a deep breath and let Clayton do his thing and let the weather and his arm warm up together.