Max Scherzer had another fantastic season at 37-years-old, excelling for both the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, and that earned him a place among the finalists for two categories of the 2021 Players Choice Awards.
Scherzer placed within the top three for both the National League Outstanding Pitcher Award and Marvin Miller Man of the Year.
Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers and Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies were the other finalists for the NL Outstanding Pitcher Award.
Andrew Miller of the St. Louis Cardinals and Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays are the other finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. The honor goes to the player “whose leadership most inspires others to higher levels of achievement.”
Clayton Kershaw is the only Dodger to win the Marvin Miller Award, which he received in 2014. Albert Pujols also won the award in 2006 while playing for the Cardinals.
The winners will be announced Thursday, Oct. 28, on ESPN.
Burnes may be the favorite to earn NL Outstanding Pitcher, as he posted a 2.43 ERA and 1.63 FIP in 167 innings while accumulating 7.5 WAR and striking out 12.61 hitters per nine with just 1.83 walks per nine.
Wheeler has the edge in innings pitched with 213.1, but trailed Burnes in ERA (2.78), FIP (2.59), strikeouts per nine (10.42), walks per nine (1.94) and WAR (7.3).
Scherzer does seem to be a distant third by the numbers, but the respect he has throughout the league could go a long way to helping him win.
In 179.1 innings, Scherzer pitched to a 2.46 ERA and 2.97 FIP while striking out 11.84 hitters per nine and walking 1.81 per nine with a 5.4 WAR.
After being traded from the Nationals to the Dodgers, Scherzer went on a historic run where he posted a 0.88 ERA, which is the lowest a pitcher has ever posted with a new team over their first eight starts.
During that time, he earned NL Player of the Week honors for Sept. 6-12 by going 2-0 with just one earned run allowed and 22 strikeouts in 16 innings. Scherzer also picked up his 3,000th career strikeout and became the second-fastest pitcher in history to reach the milestone.
No other Dodgers players were named finalists in other categories.
2020 Players Choice Awards
Last season, Mookie Betts was named a finalist for NL Outstanding Player, but he finished as a runner-up to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
During his first season in L.A., Betts batted .292/.366/.562 with 16 home runs, 39 RBI, 47 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 55 games while also playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in right field.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!