Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer was named the Players Choice 2017 National League Outstanding Pitcher. He was selected over Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kershaw, who won Outstanding Pitcher in 2014, and Scherzer, were also finalists for the award last season, which went to Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. Greinke won it in 2015, his final season with the Dodgers.
Scherzer went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 2.90 FIP over 200.2 innings pitched across 31 starts. He led the NL in WHIP (0.90), strikeouts (268) and hits per nine innings (5.7). Scherzer additionally led the league with two complete games and a 7.7 WAR (Baseball-Reference) among qualified pitchers.
Kershaw enjoyed another excellent season in 2017, leading the Majors in wins (18) and ERA (2.31). He threw 175 innings over 27 starts, with a 3.07 FIP, 0.95 WHIP and 202 strikeouts to 30 walks.
Kershaw accumulated a 4.6 WAR and earned his seventh consecutive All-Star nod. He overcame a second back injury in as many seasons.
Greinke finished the year with a 17-7 record, posting a 3.20 ERA, 3.31 FIP and 1.07 WHIP in the process. Among the three finalists, he made the most starts, with 32. Greinke’s 2017 season was a bounce-back effort after a disastrous showing in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Both Kershaw and Scherzer are among this season’s NL Cy Young Award finalists. The former is going for his fourth honor, while the latter is contending for his third. Also in the mix is Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals.