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Breaking down the NL Cy Young Award ballot

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't take the top spot, but did finish with two of the top three in National League Cy Young Award voting for the first time in 41 years on Wednesday, with Zack Greinke finishing second and Clayton Kershaw third.

Jake Arrieta of the Cubs won the award, capturing 17 first-place votes, 11 second-place votes and two third-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Greinke was second, with 10 first-place, 17 second-place and three third-place votes. His 147 points were 22 points behind Arrieta, making this the closest voting in the National League since 2009. It also means Greinke would have needed four writers to change their minds, switching an Arrieta first-place vote to Greinke in order to win the award.

Points are awarded on the ballot on a 7-4-3-2-1 basis.

Nobody voted Arrieta or Greinke lower than third. Greinke's three third-place votes came from Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, and Bernie Miklasz, formerly of he St. Louis Post-Dispatch and now at 101 ESPN in St. Louis.

Kershaw nearly achieved that, with three first-place votes (from Baggarly, Nick Groke of the Denver Post, and Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News), two second-place votes and 23 third-place votes. Kershaw's one fourth-place vote came from Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald (Gerrit Cole was third on his ballot, behind Greinke and Arrieta) and a fifth-place tally from Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News and Fox Sports Ohio (his ballot had Arrieta, Greinke and Cole followed by Madison Bumgarner).

Kershaw and Greinke are the first Dodgers teammates to finish in the top three in Cy Young Award voting since Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith finished first and second in 1974.

For Kershaw, who has received at least two first-place votes in five straight seasons and 91 total during that span. received 101 total points, giving him a 48-percent award share (since there are 210 points possible, if one were to receive all first-place votes).

Adding Kershaw's 0.48 award share in 2015 gives him 3.82 Cy Young Awards shares, moving him past Roy Halladay and Jim Palmer for seventh all-time. This fun stat skews toward the modern voting, from 1970 to present, since in the first 14 years of the award there was only one vote. It expanded to three votes in 1970 and five in 2010.

Here are the top 10 in Cy Young Award shares:

  1. Roger Clemens 7.66
  2. Randy Johnson 6.50
  3. Greg Maddux 4.92
  4. Steve Carlton 4.29
  5. Pedro Martinez 4.26
  6. Tom Seaver 3.85
  7. Kershaw 3.82
  8. Palmer 3.57
  9. Halladay 3.50
  10. Tom Glavine 3.15