The Los Angeles Dodgers won 82 games last season, finishing 11 1/2 behind first-place Arizona.
Leading the league in wins, ERA (2.28) and strikeouts (248), the 23-year-old lefty with the nasty curve ball captured the National League’s pitching triple crown.
Kershaw earned 27 of 32 first-place votes and 207 points and was followed by Philadelphia aces Roy Halladay (133) and Cliff Lee (97) and Arizona’s Ian Kennedy (76).
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is a leading candidate for National League MVP after he finished first in the league in home runs (39) and RBI (126), second in OPS (.986) and steals (40) and third in average (.324).
If Kemp can hold off Arizona’s Justin Upton and the Milwaukee Brewers duo of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to win the award, the Dodgers would own the top two individual league awards following a season in which they made more headlines for the court battle between owner Frank McCourt and MLB than the team’s play on the field.
According to ESPN and The Los Angeles Times, Kemp and the Dodgers are closing in on an eight-year deal worth $160 million. Locking up Kershaw — who like Kemp is eligible for arbitration — is likely the team’s second priority.