The National League MVP is definitely not a clear race, there are plenty of great players in the league, I believe Clayton Kershaw is the Most Valuable Player in the NL. I know many people are against pitchers winning the MVP, but Kershaw isn't having your average Cy Young season, he's been the best pitcher arguably since Greg Maddux in 1995! Maddux is the last pitcher to post lower ERA and WHIP numbers than Kershaw over a full season. That is some impressive company. Still unimpressed? Let's continue to take a look.
Kershaw's BABIP against is .231. BABIP stands for Batting Average on Balls In Play. This means that, on every ball put in play, only 23% of them are hits. That means that Kershaw doesn't just rely on the strikeout to get outs as well. Kershaw's fastball velocity has been "only" at 92 on the season, but he does such a great job mixing in other pitches, such as the slider, curveball, and change up, that hitters are fooled when he's pitching. Kershaw actually is throwing less fastballs then he has ever in his career, showing that he's not afraid to challenge hitters with the off-speed stuff early in the count.
But, the overall numbers are fantastic. 23 of Kershaw's 27 starts have been quality starts. The 25 year old averages 7.3 innings per start, a whopping number that gives the Dodgers a huge chance to win while he is on the hill. He has a 7.1 WAR, which is unheard of for pitchers. Adam Wainwright is second in the MLB to Kershaw with a 6.0 WAR. A 13-7 record with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.4 HR/9 is dominance in it's purest form, and Kershaw is definitely that.
Why not McCutchen, Goldschmidt, or Votto? If you go strictly by Wins Above Replacement, Kershaw's is much higher than all three. McCutchen's is a 5.9, Votto's at a 4.9, and Goldschmidt is a 4.6. Only Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout have higher WARs than Clayton Kershaw. They both play in the American League.
Clayton Kershaw is not only the best pitcher in the National League this season, I think he's been the best overall player. Although people are against naming a pitcher to be MVP, Kershaw has truly been the Most Valuable Player this season in the National League. Kershaw is unbelievable, and baseball needs to understand that. Nobody has been nearly as good as Kershaw, so why shouldn't he be MVP? That's my point and that's why Clayton Kershaw should be voted in as the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player.