Washington Nationals: Can Scherzer or Strasburg win Cy Young?

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Max Scherzer /

In Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals have two Cy Young Award finalists. Can either one of them win it?

When Major League Baseball announced the BBWAA Award finalists on Monday, the Washington Nationals were relatively well-represented. Both Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were named finalists for the National League Cy Young Award.

If Scherzer wins, it will be his second consecutive Cy Young Award since he won last year as well. When he won last year, he became just the sixth pitcher in MLB history to win the award in both leagues.

Scherzer appears to be the front-runner because he had the second-best ERA in the National League, behind only Clayton Kershaw, and had about 25 more innings pitched. While Kershaw is undeniably an outstanding pitcher, Scherzer had a better year and pitched more.

In addition to Scherzer, Strasburg was also named a finalist. This is Strasburg’s first nomination, and it is certainly well-deserved.

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Strasburg had the third-best ERA in the National League, finishing just .01 behind Scherzer, and was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the league in the second half.

Between August and September, Strasburg pitched 35 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Even more impressively, he was able to repeat this performance when the games matter most in October.

In two starts throughout the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, Strasburg did not allow an earned run in 14 innings. He was truly dominant, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo stated that Strasburg was the best pitcher he had ever seen after game one.

Opposing Scherzer and Strasburg for the Cy Young Award will be Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is widely believed to be the best pitcher in the league, and had another phenomenal season in 2017.

Kershaw already has three Cy Young Awards under his belt, including winning in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014. Oddly enough, he is the last pitcher to accomplish this feat, which is what Scherzer is aiming to do this year.

In 2017, Kershaw led the National League in ERA and wins, with 2.31 and 18, respectively. He is certainly deserving of being named a Cy Young Award finalist, but likely will not win the award due to missing a few starts due to a balky back.

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Scherzer and Strasburg were both honored as National League Cy Young Award finalists on Monday, and they are both deserving, but only one can win. As of right now, Scherzer is believed to be the front-runner because of his dominance and heavy workload. He has been worth every penny of his massive contract so far, and a second consecutive Cy Young Award would do an excellent job of confirming that.