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PlayLine MLB Projection: Clayton Kershaw, Friday 7/27

Josh Engleman



Awesemo's free expert MLB DFS live show with fantasy baseball news, picks and projections for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups today 10/1.
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Today, I’ll be projecting the expected pitches, strikes and strikeouts for Clayton Kershaw tonight against the Atlanta Braves. Kershaw is one of three pitchers (Chris Sale, Max Scherzer) in the “ Presents: $1,000,000 Perfect Line Bonus + $5,000GTD – Golden Boy ($2,000 to 1st!!!)“.

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Your PlayLine predictions are scored according to the chart below. It’s really simple. The closer your PlayLine is to the athlete’s actual performance, the more points you get. The more points you get, the better your chances of winning!

You will receive PlayLine points each time the featured athlete registers a stat that you predicted will occur. Once the athlete’s actual stat total in a particular category goes over your prediction, you will no longer receive additional per stat PlayLine points.


Clayton Kershaw

If you’ve been reading these articles for our NBA PlayLine contests, you’ll know we discussed correlations between stats. The process is similar in baseball, but the correlations are a bit more obvious. The three scoring categories (pitches, strikes and strikeouts) all have high positive correlations with each other. Clearly, the more pitches you throw, the more they will be strikes, and as you throw more strikes, you’ll get more strikeouts.

This morning, I took a look at Kershaw’s game logs from 2017 & 2018 to get an idea of his baseline. Below you’ll find his averages and standard deviations over that sample.

Average: 91 pitches, 62 strikes, 7.0 strikeouts

Standard Deviations: 18 pitches, 12 strikes, 2.8 strikeouts

For tonight’s game against the Braves, my model has Kershaw with 6.9 strikeouts, which is a match for his average performance over the past 1.5 years. Kershaw has not really been himself this season, so I’m a bit apprehensive of a big Kershaw game. The Braves have been good against lefties this year, with a 117 wRC+ to go with above average SLG and ISO rates. They’ve also struck out less than average this season. Ronald Acuna and Tyler Flowers are the only guys in the Braves line-up that project to strikeout more than league average. For those reasons, I’m going to be a bit pessimistic on Kershaw‘s outcome. For right now, my placeholder on PlayLine looks like this:

91 pitches, 59 strikes, 6 strikeouts.

This is still a solid game, but well below the stand we are expecting from Kershaw. My assumption is that this will be a valuable place to be, with more action coming in north of his averages. Next week, we’ll take a look at the ownership for Kershaw to see where we went “right” and “wrong”.

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Josh is Contributor for where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing [email protected].

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