No day in baseball season makes more people mad than when the All-Star Game selections are announced, and, well, count me among the annoyed this year.
As some have pointed out, there are snubs every season and blah, blah, blah — those snubs typically aren’t reigning MVPs, guys who have three Cy Young awards in four seasons or guys who are widely regarded as the best pitcher in baseball.
In short, those snubs aren’t Clayton Kershaw.
Now look, I get it — on the surface, Clayton Kershaw has been anything but “himself” this season. In fact, you could make an argument that not only is he slipping as the best pitcher in baseball, he may not even be the best pitcher on his team. The problem with this idea, however, is that it’s the result of laziness and a lack of research.
So, here are the categories that people who are lazy will look at (read: Bruce Bochy):
- ERA: No. 17 in NL (3.08)
- W: No. 26 (t) in NL (5)
And here are the categories that people who pay attention to baseball and understand sabremetrics will look at:
- WAR: No. 2 in NL (3.1)
- FIP: No. 2 in NL (2.55)
- K/9: No. 1 in NL (11.61)
- K: No. 1 in NL (147)
- K%: No. 1 in NL (32.4%)
- WHIP: No. 8 in NL (1.04)
As a reminder, the National League has eight starting pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw. Eight.
To make matters even funnier, let’s just look at Bochy’s friend Madison Bumgarner in the same categories: ERA (No. 20), WAR (No. 14), FIP (No. 16), K/9 (No. 13), K (No. 5), K% (No. 12), WHIP (No. 11).
Don’t worry though you guys, he has eight wins this season.
Now, while Kershaw will deservedly get the most attention as an All-Star snub, he’ll find some company in the Dodger clubhouse alongside infielder Justin Turner.
Despite not having enough at-bats to qualify in many statistical categories, Turner is 12th in the National League in WAR (a category he’s actually hindered in due to having less ABs), third in wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) and eighth in both average and OBP. Again, he has had significantly fewer ABs than many of his competitors, but you could still make an argument that Turner has played well enough to deserve some recognition.
So, yeah, yay All-Star Game selection process.