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Clayton Kershaw Could Make MLB History with Dominant 2017 Season

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffMarch 23, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 07: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 07, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw enters 2017 with three seasons of posting an ERA below 2.00 over at least 100 innings. Should he accomplish the feat again this year, he would become the first pitcher during the live-ball era (post-1920) of MLB history and 13th pitcher ever to do so four different times, per MLB.com.

Kershaw previously did so in 2013, 2014 and 2016, though the star's last season was shortened due to a stint on the disabled list. He still managed to toss 149 innings over 21 starts, posting a 1.69 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP with 172 strikeouts.

While he still has plenty of seasons remaining in his career, Kershaw has already built the foundation of a Hall of Fame career.

Just nine seasons into his major league career, Kershaw sports three Cy Young Awards, an MVP award and six consecutive All-Star nominations. The Dallas native has led National League starting pitchers in ERA four different times and in strikeouts on three different occasions.

The 29-year-old has spent the entirety of his nine-year major league career in the Dodgers system, but that doesn't guarantee he will finish it with them. Kershaw remains under contract with Los Angeles through the 2020 season, but player options in both 2019 and 2020 would allow the southpaw to opt out after next year should he elect to explore free agency. Considering his dominance on the mound, it wouldn't be surprising if the Dodgers look to extend the superstar over the next couple of campaigns.

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