This year, the Baseball Writers Association of America is revealing finalists for its eight major awards before actually rolling out the trophies next week. Those finalists will be announced in an hour-long special on MLB Network beginning at 6 p.m. ET. We’ll list the names as they come in…
Rookie of the Year
American League: Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout
National League: Todd Frazier, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley
Manager of the Year
American League: Bob Melvin, Buck Showalter, Robin Ventura
National League: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson
Cy Young Award
American League: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver
National League: R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw
American League: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout
National League: Ryan Braun, Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey
Rookie of the Year will be awarded for each league on November 12, Manager of the Year will be named November 13, the Cy Young Awards are set for November 14 and MVPs are announced November 15.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.