Clayton Kershaw is having a career-low season in Box-Toppers points and his record streak of seven straight seasons with 20.0 or more Box-Toppers points could come to an end.
Most consecutive seasons with 20+ Box-Toppers pointsIn 2017, Clayton Kershaw had his seventh straight season earning 20 or more Box-Toppers points, passing the record of six by Randy Johnson. Here are all the players who have earned 20 or more points in two or more straight seasons. The length of the streak is shown followed by the seasons in which the streak happened. (Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995.)
Through the games of July 9, Dodgers pitcher Kershaw has just 4.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018, the fewest he’s had at this point in any full season he’s played. (His first full season was 2009).
Kershaw earned 3.0 Box-Toppers points in the first half of 2018 (through the games of June 30). It is the fewest points Kershaw has earned in any half season since he made his debut partway through the first half of the 2008 season (when he had 0.0 points).
Kershaw spent two stints on the disabled list this season, missing most of May with a biceps injury and most of June with a back injury. He’s missed significant parts of the second halves of the past two seasons with back injuries.
Still, despite the time missed in both 2016 and 2017, Kershaw was still able to earn 20.0 points or more in both seasons and finish among the top three players in Box-Toppers season player rankings.
In 2017, Kershaw set the record for most consecutive seasons with 20.0 or more Box-Toppers points. But making 2018 Kershaw’s eighth straight season with 20 will be challenging—though not impossible. Kershaw needs 17.0 total points in the second half of the season to reach 20.0 and he did that in the second halves of both the 2014 season (17.1 points) and the 2015 season (17.7). He also earned that many points in the first half of both 2016 (20.0 points) and 2017 (18.1).
However, while he has shown he can quickly rack up big Box-Toppers point totals, in the past calendar year, he has been injury-prone and experienced a huge drop-off in his Player of the Game honors. From July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, Kershaw earned 8.0 Box-Toppers points (5.0 points in the last half of 2017 and 3.0 in the first half of 2018). That is equivalent to the length of an entire season and based on 2017 Box-Toppers point totals, that would have ranked Kershaw about 71st place among all players and 28th among National League pitchers. By comparison, Kershaw, who earned 18.1 points in the first half of 2017, had 23.1 points for the entire 2017 season, third among all players.
Kershaw has ranked first, second or third in Box-Toppers season player rankings each of the past seven seasons, coinciding with his streak of 20.0 or more points per season. He has finished first in season rankings three times (2011 with 26.1, 2013 with 21.7 and 2014 with 31.5), he’s finished second three times (2012 with 20.8, 2015 with 25.7 and 2016 with 24.4) and finished third once (23.1 in 2017).
The 4.0 points he’s earned this season currently ranks 106th among all players and 41st among NL pitchers.
The 3.0 points he earned in the first half of the season is the fewest points he’s earned in any full half season he’s played. Kershaw, who made his Major League debut May 25, 2008, had 0.0 Box-Toppers points in the first half of the 2008 season, through the games of June 30 that year. He made his Box-Toppers debut, earning his first career Player of the Game honor on July 27, 2008.
Kershaw is the active leader in career Box-Toppers points with 210.8, which is the third-most of all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began.
Kershaw was on the disabled list from May 6 to 31 with a biceps injury. He made one start June 1 and suffered a back injury that put him back on the disabled list until June 23. He’s earned Player of the Game honors three times in 2018—on April 8, April 15 (when he earned overall Player of the Day honors worth 2.0 Box-Toppers points) and July 9.
Best seasonsRandy Johnson holds the record for most Box-Toppers points in a single season with 33.7, which he achieved twice—in 2000 and 2002. Here are all players who have earned 25 or more Box-Toppers points in a single season since 1995, ranked by their single-season Box-Toppers point total.
|1||Randy Johnson||Diamondbacks||pi sp||2000||33.7|
|1||Randy Johnson||Diamondbacks||pi sp||2002||33.7|
|3||Pedro Martinez||Red Sox||pi sp||2000||33.5|
|4||Randy Johnson||Diamondbacks||pi sp||1999||31.5|
|4||Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||pi sp||2014||31.5|
|6||Pedro Martinez||Red Sox||pi sp||1999||31.4|
|7||Randy Johnson||Diamondbacks||pi sp||2001||29.4|
|8||Jake Arrieta||Cubs||pi sp||2015||29.1|
|9||Pedro Martinez||Red Sox||pi sp||2002||28.8|
|10||Curt Schilling||Diamondbacks||pi sp||2002||28.4|
|11||Roger Clemens||Blue Jays||pi sp||1997||27.4|
|12||Johan Santana||Twins||pi sp||2004||26.8|
|13||Pedro Martinez||Expos||pi sp||1997||26.7|
|13||CC Sabathia||Indians/Brewers||pi sp||2008||26.7|
|15||Randy Johnson||Mariners/Astros||pi sp||1998||26.4|
|16||John Smoltz||Braves||pi sp||1996||26.1|
|16||Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||pi sp||2011||26.1|
|18||Roger Clemens||Blue Jays||pi sp||1998||25.8|
|18||Corey Kluber||Indians||pi sp||2014||25.8|
|20||Johan Santana||Twins||pi sp||2006||25.7|
|20||Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||pi sp||2015||25.7|
|20||Max Scherzer||Nationals||pi sp||2016||25.7|
|23||Cliff Lee||Phillies||pi sp||2011||25.4|
|24||Chris Sale||Red Sox||pi sp||2017||25.1|
|25||Max Scherzer||Nationals||pi sp||2017||25.0|
In each of the past two seasons, Kershaw has racked up Box-Toppers points so quickly in the first half of the season, it looked inevitable he would not only break, but shatter Box-Toppers’ single-season record of 33.7 points set by Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks in both 2000 and 2002.
In 2016, Kershaw had 20.0 Box-Toppers points on June 30, on pace to earn 40.0 points for the season. However, hampered by injuries, he only earned 4.4 more points that year, finishing with 24.4.
In 2017, Kershaw had 18.1 Box-Toppers points on June 30, on pace to earn 36.2 points for the season. But again, injuries slowed him and he earned 5.0 more points that year, finishing with 23.1.
By contrast, he had more points in an entire season in 2015 (25.7), when he started his season with fewer first half points (8.0). Kershaw finished that year with his strongest second half of the season (17.7).
Kershaw followed his strongest second half of a season in 2015 (17.7) with his strongest first half of a season in 2016 (20.0). If those two halves were treated as an entire continuous season, Kershaw’s point total of 37.7 would have broken Johnson’s 33.7-point single-season record.
Kershaw has earned slightly more career Box-Toppers points in the first halves of seasons compared to second halves. Of his 210.8 career points, he’s earned 110.8 in the first halves of seasons (52.6 percent), compared to 100.0 in the second halves of seasons (47.4 percent).
His average point total in the first halves of seasons is about a point more than in the second halves. From 2009 to 2018, he averaged 11.1 points in the first halves of seasons. From 2008 to 2017, he averaged 9.9 points in second halves of seasons.
Tracking who most helps their teams win the most games, based on box score stats. A method to measure & compare baseball's top players.
Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. Players earn Box-Toppers points for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.