Throughout the 2017 season both Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were dominant for the Washington Nationals.
On Monday evening, Major League Baseball re-affirmed what Nationals fans already knew, naming both of them as finalists for the National League Cy Young Award. They account for two of the three finalists.
The other finalist was Clayton Kershaw from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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The Nationals are the only team this season to have two players nominated in the same category in the annual Baseball Writers' Association of America honors.
Picking up where the 2016 NL Cy Young winner left off last season, Scherzer finished with a 16-6 record. He stuck out 268 batters and a earned a career-high ERA with 2.51 and a career-high 0.902 WHIP. Night-in and night-out Scherzer always gave the Nationals a chance to win. If he were to win, it would be Scherzer's third time taking home this award.
For Stephen Strasburg, easily it was the best season of his career. Here is a list of the career highs for him: ERA (2.52), WHIP (1.015), WAR (6.5). He also tied his win total (15), allowed the fewest amount of hits (55) and home runs (13). It is the first time the 29-year-old has been named a Cy Young finalist. Statistically he was just as good as Scherzer, but Scherzer's overall command and intimidation was un-matched.
They both will go up against three-time Cy Young winner Kershaw, who helped lead the Dodgers to their first World Series berth in 30 years.
Below is how all three stack up based on regular season statistics:
Scherzer: 16-6, 2.51 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 12.0 K/9
Strasburg: 15-4, 2.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.5 K/9
Kershaw: 18-4, 2.31 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 10.4 K/9