LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had the best regular season of his career in 2014, and on Tuesday was recognized by the Baseball Writers Association of America as a finalist for both the National League Cy Young Award and NL Most Valuable Player, guaranteed to finish in the top three in each award.
Kershaw is joined by fellow finalists Johnny Cueto of the Reds and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals for the Cy Young Award, won by Kershaw in 2011 and 2013. The other two MVP finalists are Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, the latter winning in 2013.
The Dodgers' ace was 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 27 starts in 2014, which included a 41-inning scoreless streak and a no-hitter on June 18 against the Rockies with 15 strikeouts and no walks.
No National League pitcher has won the MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968, and the last NL pitcher to finish in the top three in MVP voting was Greg Maddux in 1995, who finished third.
Kershaw is a lock to his third Cy Young Award in four seasons, and he finished second in 2012. What we know is that Kershaw is in the top three for a fourth consecutive year, only the seventh player ever to do that. The last was Randy Johnson, who won four straight from 1999-2002, joining Pedro Martinez (1997-2000), Maddux (1992-1995, all wins), Dan Quisenberry (1982-1985), Jim Palmer (1975-1978) and Sandy Koufax (1963-1966).
Pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young Awards in the same season are Don Newcombe (1956), Sandy Koufax (1963), Bob Gibson (1968) Denny McLain (1968), Vida Blue (1971), Rollie Fingers (1981), Willie Hernandez (1984), Roger Clemens (1986), Dennis Eckersley (1992) and Justin Verlander (2011).
Kershaw will earn a $1 million bonus if he wins the Cy Young Award, and $500,000 if he finishes second or third.
The BBWAA will announce the Cy Young Award winners in each league on Wednesday, Nov. 12, and the MVP awards on Nov. 13, both with one-hour specials on MLB Network at 3 p.m. PT.