Later on Wednesday, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will win his third National League Cy Young Award, this is not in doubt. The only question surrounding the Baseball Writers of Association announcement, coming at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network, is whether Kershaw will win unanimously.
Kershaw captured 29 of 30 first-place votes in winning the award in 2013, and 27 of 32 first-place tallies in 2011. The only Dodgers to win the Cy Young Award unanimously were Orel Hershiser (1988) and Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966).
The last major league pitcher to win a Cy Young Award unanimously was Justin Verlander of the Tigers in 2011.
Hershiser captured all 24 first-place votes in the National League in 1988, when each ballot contained three names, with five points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place vote, and one for a third-place vote. This was the voting format from 1970-2009, before switching to a five-name ballot with points awarded on a 7-4-3-2-1 basis.
In the first 14 years of the Cy Young Award, the ballots only contained one name, and there was only one major league award from 1956-1966.
Kershaw will become the ninth pitcher to win at least three Cy Young Awards, and the sixth to do so in a four-year period, joining Koufax (1963-1966), Jim Palmer (1973-1976), Greg Maddux (1992-1995, four wins), Pedro Martinez (1997-2000) and Randy Johnson (1999-2002, four wins).
Kershaw is also climbing up the ladder in Cy Young award shares.
Award shares are measured as percentage of the maximum allowable points, with a maximum of one award share per person each season. For instance, in 2012 Kershaw finished second place in Cy Young voting, and received two first-place votes and 96 total points, or 42.9 percent of the maximum 224 points. So for 2012, Kershaw got 0.43 award shares.
In his career, Kershaw has 2.34 Cy Young award shares, currently 12th all-time, but will likely move up to ninth place on Wednesday, passing Tom Glavine (3.15) but behind eighth-place Roy Halladay (3.50). Roger Clemens, who won the most Cy Young Awards with seven, is also tops with 7.66 award shares.
The most award shares by a Dodgers pitcher is 3.05 by Koufax, who received one of 20 votes in 1964 in addition to his three unanimous Cy Young Awards. Kershaw will match Koufax with his third award on Tuesday, and will likely pass him in awards shares, too.