Max Scherzer, the defending NL Cy Young award winner, and one of six starters in MLB history to win the Cy Young in both leagues, finished the 2017 campaign (16-6) in 32 starts with a 2.51 ERA, a 2.90 FIP, 55 walks (2.47 BB/9), 268 Ks (12.02 K/9), and a stingy .177/.247/.319 line against in 200 2⁄3 innings pitched.
Scherzer’s 4.05 ERA in six starts in September/October may have hurt his cause as he goes for a third Cy Young, taking him from a 2.21 ERA up to 2.51.
Scherzer posted double-digit Ks in 15 of 32 starts on the season in 2017, led the NL in total Ks (268), and became just the fourth pitcher in major league history to reach 250+ Ks in four straight seasons, joining a short list that includes Randy Johnson (1997 and 2002), Ferguson Jenkins (1968-71), and Pedro Martinez (1997-2000).
The Nationals’ ace also led NL pitchers WHIP (0.90), opponents’ batting average (.178), opponents’ OPS (.566), and fWAR (6.0), and Scherzer finished second in the NL in ERA (2.51), K/9 (12.02) and opponents’ OBP (.247). Not bad.
Last night, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America named the Nationals’ 33-year-old starter one of three finalists for the 2017 NL Cy Young.
Also on that list of finalists? Scherzer’s rotation mate in D.C., Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg, 29, finished his eighth major league season at (15-4) in 28 starts, with a 2.52 ERA, a 2.72 FIP, 47 walks (2.41 BB/9), 204 Ks (10.47 K/9), and a .203/.265/.317 line against over 175 1⁄3 IP, with dominant second-half numbers (0.86 ERA, 1.96 FIP, 14 BB, 2.01 BB/9, 76 Ks, 10.96 K/9, and a .171/.231/.226 line against in 62 2⁄3 IP) lifting the right-hander into Cy Young contention for the first time... if he wasn’t there after the first half.
Strasburg’s 2.52 ERA (a career low) was the third-lowest in the NL, he was ranked first in the National League in HR/9 (0.67), and opponents’ SLG (.317), second in fWAR (5.6) and opponents’ OPS (.581), and third in WHIP (1.02), opponents’ OBP (.265), and opponents’ AVG (.203). Again, not bad.
Of course, the competition for the Nationals’ starters is three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers.
Kershaw, 29, went (18-4) in 27 starts, with a 2.31 ERA, a 3.07 FIP, 30 walks (1.54 BB/9), 202 Ks (10.39 K/9), and a .210/.246/.357 line against in 175 IP, leading the NL in wins, ERA, and opponents’ OBP, and finishing second in the NL in WHIP (0.95), third in opponents’ OPS (.604), fourth in opponents’ batting average (.212), fifth in opponents’ SLG (.357), and K/9 (10.39) and eighth in strikeouts (202).
Will Scherzer’s endurance lift him above Strasburg and Kershaw? Will Strasburg’s big second half lead to his first Cy Young award? Will Kershaw claim his fourth Cy Young and join a short list of four-time winners that includes the likes of Steve Carlton (4), Greg Maddux (4), Randy Johnson (5), and Roger Clemens (7).
Who’s your pick for the 2017 NL Cy Young award winner? The BBWAA will announce the 2017 Cy Young winner on November 15th...
Who will win the 2017 NL Cy Young award?
This poll is closed
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
Max Scherzer (WAS)