MLB Awards: Top Contenders for 2017 NL Cy Young Award

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Clayton Kershaw /
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2. Max Scherzer: Washington Nationals

Since 2012, Max Scherzer has established himself as one of the top pitchers in the game. This year was no different.

A year removed from winning the National League Cy Young award, Scherzer was even better than he had been last year. Despite the Nationals strong rotation, he was still the top pitcher on in Washington, making over 30 starts and throwing more than 200 innings for the fifth consecutive year.

That workload has done nothing to slow Scherzer down. His season, he posted a solid 16-6 record, along with a career best 2.51 ERA and a 0.902 WHiP. In his 200.2 innings, Scherzer had a league leading 268 strikeouts, while issuing only 55 walks. He was close to untouchable, with only 126 hits allowed.

And yet, even with that excellent performance, the regular season does not matter. The Nationals are still searching for their first World Series appearance in franchise history, unable to get over the hump. With Scherzer, Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez firing on all cylinders at once, and an improved bullpen, this may be the year they break through.

If so, Max Scherzer will play a key part. His stellar 2017 campaign certainly helped the Nationals dominate the NL East.