Clayton Kershaw Has to Be a Hall of Famer Based on This Single Stat

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / John McCoy

If there was even a shred of doubt over whether or not Clayton Kershaw belongs in the Hall of Fame, this one stat ought to put the debate to rest.

The Dodgers southpaw ranks second all-time in adjusted ERA+ with a mark of 159, trailing only the great Mariano Rivera's 205.

It's a fantastic statistic that accounts for ballpark conditions and league trends while adjusting ERA on a scale where 100 is league average. Every point above 100 means the player is 1% better than league average and vice versa.

So in other words, Kershaw has been 59% better than league average for his entire 12-year career.

He's only finished below 100 once, when he posted a 98 ERA+ in his rookie year. Every year since, he's been at 133 or higher, and he hasn't finished below 140 since 2010.

Kershaw's mark stands at the top of the list for every qualified starter in MLB history, besting Pedro Martinez's 154 ERA+. In fact, he's one of just three starters to ever post a mark over 150.

It's a testament to his dominance and reflects the fact that he's established himself as one of the best pitchers in history despite playing in an era where offense has run rampant.