Out of a pool of six strong candidates, the 2017 Cy Young Award winners are Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer.
The finalists on the NL side of things were the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, and the Nationals’ top duo of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. For the AL, it was the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Yankees’ surprise performer this season, Luis Severino.
The AL award came down to Sale and Kluber. It’s his second Cy Young, having won in 2014, and he received 28 of the 30 available first place votes (with Sale getting the other two). Kluber led the league in ERA this year, with a 2.25 mark that led second-place Kershaw by .06 and third-place Scherzer by .26.
He also had 265 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings, an innings tally good for sixth out of all pitchers, and led the league in WHIP at 0.87. He went 18-4, even though wins don’t matter as we all know. Kluber’s win makes this the first time the Indians have had a pitcher win the award twice.
Scherzer also won in a landslide for his third Cy Young and second in a row after having won in 2013 and 2016. Never let weeks of random neck spasms keep you from achieving your dreams, kids.
He took 27 of 30 possible first-place votes. He went 16-6 in 2017 with a 2.51 ERA and 268 strikeouts, which put him second in the league after Sale’s 308. He also had the second-best WAR across both leagues with 7.3 according to Baseball Reference, coming in second only to Kluber’s 8.0.
There’s not much you can argue about with either winner. You could make a quality case for any of the finalists, but these two are certainly deserving of the honor. Kershaw supporters might not agree completely, but when it comes down to numbers (and also knowing the way BBWAA voters usually tackle these awards,) it makes sense.