Clayton Kershaw is still the best pitcher on the planet

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Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw was somewhat human in the first half, posting a 2.85 ERA in 18 starts, and the three-time Cy Young winner was initially left off the All-Star team before being added as a last-minute replacement.

That was in July, but it seems like a distant memory because since then Kershaw has resumed being an unhittable strikeout machine. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball Monday night against the Rockies, improving to 9-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 13 starts since July 1.

Going back even further, Kershaw has a 1.26 ERA and 191/22 K/BB ratio in 150 innings since late May, holding opponents to a .172 batting average over the span of 20 starts and four months. Overall this season he leads the league in innings (208) and strikeouts (264) while posting a 2.12 ERA that’s right in line with his combined 2.11 mark from 2011-2014.

Kershaw may not win a fourth Cy Young award because of a slow start to the season and great performances from rotation-mate Zack Greinke and Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, but he remains the best pitcher on the planet at age 27.