Kershaw among 5 NL Final Vote candidates

Kershaw among 5 NL Final Vote candidates

LOS ANGELES -- Defending National League MVP Award and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will keep his All-Star Game streak alive if he wins the voting in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Kershaw

If the 27-year-old Kershaw is elected, he would be an All-Star for the fifth consecutive season. The last Dodgers pitcher to have more than that was Fernando Valenzuela (1981-86).

A Kershaw win also would give the Dodgers five All-Stars this season for the first time since 1995. The others named on Monday were Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal.

Nomar Garciaparra is the only Dodger to make an All-Star team via the Final Vote (2005). Matt Kemp (2009), Andre Ethier (2011), Gonzalez (2013), Yasiel Puig (2013) and Kenley Jansen (2014) also have been Dodgers Final Vote candidates.

Kershaw said he would be honored to make the club.

"It's always an honor and one I never take for granted," said Kershaw. "It would definitely be a huge honor. I always want to go. You never know, it might not happen again. I said that last year, I'll say it again."

Kershaw was diplomatic when asked if he felt Giants and NL manager Bruce Bochy should have put him directly on the NL roster instead of leaving him the Final Vote route.

"I'm sure if he left [Madison Bumgarner] off, he'd get more flak from him than from me," Kershaw said. "If [Dodgers manager Don Mattingly] was manager, I'm sure he'd pick me."

Greinke, who might start the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, said Kershaw is a deserving All-Star.

"I'm never surprised what happens with the All-Star voting," Greinke said. "You can never predict. I voted for him in our player voting. I think he's deserving. His peripheral numbers are the best in the game, I think."

Other candidates on the NL ballot are Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, Mets closer Jeurys Familia, Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Here are five reasons why Kershaw should win the NL Final Vote and a spot on the NL All-Star Game roster:

1. Like strikeouts? Kershaw leads the league in them and is on pace to surpass his personal season-high total of 248.

2. He's among league leaders in innings pitched, opponents' batting average and WHIP.

3. Since 1920, he has the lowest all-time career ERA among pitchers with 1,000 or more innings and 100 or more starts. The names immediately behind him are Whitey Ford and Sandy Koufax.

4. It's not his fault. In his six losses, the Dodgers have scored a total of eight runs. He has quality starts in his last eight outings, but only three wins.

5. He's Clayton Kershaw. He's the first starting pitcher to be an NL MVP Award winner since Bob Gibson in 1968. Do you really want to see the All-Star Game without him?

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The 86th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.