Box-Toppers top NL pitcher Max Scherzer wins NL Cy Young Award; 2nd-ranked AL pitcher Kluber wins AL award

Box-Toppers postseason awards.png

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who led all National League players in 2017 Box-Toppers points, was voted NL Cy Young Award winner Wednesday.

Top 10 players

Here are final rankings of the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2017 season as of Oct. 1:  
 

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 25.1
2 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 25.0
3 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 23.1
4 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 22.5
5 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 22.0
6 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 21.8
7 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 21.1
8 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 20.1
9 Santana, Ervin 2005 pi sp min al 16.1
10 Ray, Robbie 3502 pi sp ari nl 16.0
What are those numbers after players' names?

However, Box-Toppers overall top player, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, finished second in voting for the American League Cy Young Award. He lost to Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, who ranked second among AL pitchers in Box-Toppers rankings, fifth overall.

The awards are voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Sale led all players in 2016 with 25.1 Box-Toppers points, ahead of Kluber’s 22.0 points. But Kluber received 28 first place votes for the AL Cy Young Award, while Sale received just two. (See the charts below for voting finishes and Box-Toppers rankings.)

While Sale earned Player of the Game honors 15 times in 2017 to Kluber’s 14, Kluber did better in the season’s second half than Sale. Since July 1, Kluber earned Player of the Game honors 10 times to Sale’s eight.

It is Kluber’s second AL Cy Young Award. He also won in 2014. That year, he led AL pitchers with 25.8 Box-Toppers points, his best season, finishing second to overall leader, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (31.5 points). Kluber also led AL pitchers in 2016 with 21.2 Box-Toppers points, but finished third in AL Cy Young voting, won by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, who only had 8.0 Box-Toppers points and ranked 31st among all AL pitchers.

Scherzer led NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points for the second straight year and also won his second straight NL Cy Young Award, his third overall—he also won the AL Cy Young Award in 2013 when he was with the Tigers.

Scherzer had 25.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, finishing second overall, just 0.1 point behind Sale’s 25.1. Scherzer ranked ahead of second-place NL pitcher Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (23.1 Box-Toppers points, third overall). Kershaw also finished second in voting. In fact, the top four NL pitchers in Box-Toppers rankings finished the Cy Young voting in order from first to fourth:

  • Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg finished third in voting and third among NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points with 22.5, fourth among all players.
  • Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke finished fourth in voting and fourth among NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points with 20.1, eighth among all players.

Scherzer received 27 of the NL Cy Young voters first-place votes. The other three went to Kershaw. Kershaw built a large early lead in Box-Toppers points and at the season’s halfway point was on track to shatter the single-season Box-Toppers record of 33.7 set by Randy Johnson twice, in 2000 and 2002. But Kershaw went on the disabled list for five weeks starting July 24 and only earned 3.0 Box-Toppers points after July 4.

Last season, Kershaw’s trajectory was similar—great early start followed by injury and a slow finish—but he still managed to rank second overall in 2016 Box-Toppers points, with 24.4—more than his 2017 total. Despite that, NL Cy Young voters ranked him fifth in 2016. It’s odd that voters seem to value his lesser 2017 season as more worthy of award.

Scherzer has led his league’s pitchers in Box-Toppers points three times and each time, he has won the Cy Young Award:

  • In 2013, Scherzer, then of the Tigers, earned 18.1 Box-Toppers points to lead AL pitchers. He ranked fifth overall.
  • In 2016, Scherzer earned 25.7 Box-Toppers points to lead all players.
  • In 2017, Scherzer earned 25.0 Box-Toppers points to lead NL pitchers, ranked second overall.

Scherzer joins nine other players (including Kershaw) who have won the award at least three times. The award was introduced in 1956.

Some group of Cy Young voters get it in their heads to always put a closing pitcher on their ballot in the third-, fourth- or fifth-place spots. This year, those voters centered around Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers in the NL (who finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting) and Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox in the AL (who finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting). Kimbrel finished 20th among AL pitchers in Box-Toppers points with 8.7 and ranked second among AL closers, behind Edwin Diaz of the Mariners (9.0 points). Jansen finished 34th among NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points with 7.0 and ranked second among NL closers, behind Greg Holland of the Rockies (8.0 points).

Nine of the top 10 players in Box-Toppers 2017 overall player rankings received Cy Young votes. Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray (16.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 10th overall) is the highest-ranked pitcher to receive no votes. Mariners pitcher James Paxton (13.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 19th overall) is the highest-ranked AL pitcher to receive no votes.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

Box-Toppers strives for accuracy. See a mistake in a post? A wrong name, wrong team, grammar error, spelling goof, etc.? Thanks for pointing it out! Contact Box-Toppers here. Let's fix it and make it right.

American League Cy Young Award voting

Corey Kluber of the Indians was voted AL Cy Young Award winner for the league’s top pitcher. Below are the AL pitchers in order of their voting finish, shown with their first- through fifth-place votes and their voting points total. Also shown are each player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2017 and their rank in points among AL pitchers.
 

AL pitcher Team Pos 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points BTP Rank
1 Corey Kluber Indians pi sp 28 2 204 22.0 2
2 Chris Sale Red Sox pi sp 2 28 126 25.1 1
3 Luis Severino Yankees pi sp 20 6 1 73 21.1 4
4 Carlos Carrasco Indians pi sp 1 16 8 43 21.8 3
5 Justin Verlander Astros* pi sp 3 6 11 32 14.7 6
6 Craig Kimbrel Red Sox pi cp 6 2 5 27 8.7 20
7 Ervin Santana Twins pi sp 3 3 16.1 5
7 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays pi sp 2 2 4.7 60
BTP: Box-Toppers points
* Justin Verlander finished the season with the Astros. He was traded from the Tigers Aug. 31.

National League Cy Young Award voting

Max Scherzer of the Nationals was voted NL Cy Young Award winner for the league’s top pitcher. Below are the NL pitchers in order of their voting finish, shown with their first- through fifth-place votes and their voting points total. Also shown are each player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2017 and their rank in points among NL pitchers.
 

NL pitcher Team Pos 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points BTP Rank
1 Max Scherzer Nationals pi sp 27 3 201 25.0 1
2 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers pi sp 3 25 1 1 126 23.1 2
3 Stephen Strasburg Nationals pi sp 1 23 3 2 81 22.5 3
4 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks pi sp 1 3 15 9 52 20.1 4
5 Kenley Jansen Dodgers pi cp 2 5 6 22 7.0 34
6 Gio Gonzalez Nationals pi sp 1 5 5 18 9.7 20
7 Robbie Ray Diamondbacks pi sp 1 4 6 16.0 5
8 Jacob deGrom Mets pi sp 2 2 15.7 7
9 Jimmy Nelson Brewers pi sp 1 1 14.0 10
10 Alex Wood Dodgers pi sp 1 1 15.7 8
BTP: Box-Toppers points