MLB Analysis, Insight: Clayton Kershaw Betting Streak Continues 10 Years Later

MLB Analysis, Insight: Clayton Kershaw Betting Streak Continues 10 Years Later article feature image

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound Sunday in a very familiar situation. And what's something the former Major League Baseball MVP has now done 240 consecutive times entering this latest start? Continue his streak of being a betting favorite against National League opponents.

To be more specific, this streak has been going on exactly 10 years, dating to July 24 of 2012.

That was the last time Kershaw started a game as an underdog against any National League club. On that day, Kershaw faced the St. Louis Cardinals and starter Adam Wainwright. Kershaw was listed as a +127 underdog (if you bet $100, you would win $127), while Wainwright was a -135 home favorite.

Now, he face the San Francisco Giants, which will extend that streak to 241 consecutive games as a favorite vs. the NL and is listed at -225 odds. Including this outing, Kershaw has been listed as the betting favorite in 42 consecutive starts against the Giants dating back to the 2011 campaign.

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In Kershaw's 240 consecutive starts as a favorite, he has faced 150 different starting pitchers for a win-loss record of 163-77 (67.9%) overall. A $100 bettor taking all 240 starts against ML foes would have put them up just $433 for a 1.8% return on investment.

Overall, Kershaw has been listed as the betting favorite in 279 of his last 280 starts. His only outing as an underdog in that span was against the Boston Red Sox and Chris Sale back in 2018. Kershaw was listed as a +162 underdog, which was the largest price of his MLB career.

According to Bet Labs, Kershaw has made 385 starts as the betting favorite in his career (257-128 record) and 34 starts as the underdog (17-17 record) or 8.1% of his total starts.

Since Kershaw's first start back in 2008, 95 starting pitchers have made at least 200 MLB starts. Here is the lowest pct of starts as underdog among those pitchers:

  1. Clayton Kershaw: 8.1% (419 starts — 34 as underdog)
  2. Stephen Strasburg: 12.2% (250 starts — 31 as underdog)
  3. Yu Darvish: 13.1% (237 starts — 31 as underdog)
  4. Gerrit Cole: 13.1% (267 starts — 35 as underdog)
  5. David Price: 14.3% (336 starts — 48 as underdog)
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