Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw have one final chance Saturday to take the Box-Toppers points lead and win 2017’s Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors.
Scherzer of the Nationals starts Saturday against the Pirates and Kershaw of the Dodgers starts Saturday against the Rockies.
Top 10 playersHere are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2017 season as of Sept. 29:
|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|
Both players trail current Box-Toppers points leader, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who has 25.1 points for 2017.
Scherzer ranks second with 25.0 points, just 0.1 point behind Sale. He could pass Sale and secure Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors if he earns at least Player of the Game honors (worth 1.0 Box-Toppers point). That would give him 26.0 Box-Toppers points and put his lead out of reach, with the regular season ending Sunday, Oct. 1.
Kershaw ranks third with 23.1 points. He would need to earn overall Player of the Day honors (worth 2.0 points) to rise ahead of Sale. That would give him 25.1 points for the season, the same as Sale, but Kershaw would rank higher on a tiebreaker because he had more 2016 points than Sale—24.4 vs. 13.4. Still, even if Kershaw earned Player of the Day honors, giving him 25.1 points, Scherzer would rank ahead if he earns Player of the Game honors Saturday with 26.0 points.
Kershaw has finished first or second among all players for each of the past six seasons. He was Player of the Year in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He ranked second among all players in 2012, 2015 and 2016. With two days and one start left in the season, Kershaw has no chance of finishing in second place. Even if he earned NL Player of the Day (worth 1.7 points), he would have 24.8 points and would still trail Scherzer and Sale, even if Scherzer earns no points Saturday.
While Kershaw regularly earned Player of the Day honors in the early part of the season (six times through July 4), he has not done so since. He earned only 1.0 Box-Toppers point at a time as Player of the Game on July 9, July 18 and Sept. 1.
Kershaw’s standing in third place is surprising given that he spent five weeks on the disabled list (from July 24 to Sept. 1) with a bad back. On July 4, he had 20.1 Box-Toppers points. Remarkably, the 3.0 points he’s earned since keeps him in contention for Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors going into his final start of the season.
One of the three pitchers—Sale, Scherzer or Kershaw—will emerge after Saturday as Box-Toppers Player of the Year. No other player is close enough to contend with the season ending Sunday.