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The battle of Cy Young Award winners

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — It’s a Cy Young fest on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, with Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer starting the series opener between the Dodgers and Nationals.

Both are three-time Cy Young Award winners, with Scherzer winning the last two National League honors, with Kershaw finishing second and fifth. Scherzer has five straight years finishing in the top five, while Kershaw has seven straight.

Kershaw’s 95 career first-place votes leads active pitchers, and Scherzer is second with 81. The next closest is 2011 American League Cy Young winner and two-time second-place finisher Justin Verlander, with 56.

Most first-place Cy Young votes, active pitchers

Pitcher First place votes
Pitcher First place votes
Clayton Kershaw 95
Max Scherzer 81
Justin Verlander 56
Corey Kluber 48
Felix Hernandez 36
Zack Greinke 35
Tim Lincecum 34
David Price 26
C.C. Sabathia 23

Since the start of 2013 Kershaw leads all major league pitchers in ERA (1.95), ERA+ (193) and FIP (2.23). Scherzer is second in ERA (2.83), ERA+ (146) and tied for third in FIP (2.87). Scherzer is first in strikeouts (1,358) and wins (92), with Kershaw third (1,177) and second (84), respectively.

Friday’s battle between Kershaw and Scherzer is the 13th meeting between three-time Cy Young Award winners, and the 10th during the regular season. The first four such meetings featured Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver between 1981-83, and the last two saw Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens face off. They’re last meeting was an Astros-Cubs game on July 19, 2006 two weeks before Maddux was traded to the Dodgers for the first time.

Both Friday starters are off to good starts in 2018:

Kershaw: 1.73 ERA, 26 IP, 31 strikeouts, 3 walks

Scherzer: 1.35 ERA, 27 IP, 38 strikeouts, 4 walks

Scherzer has allowed nine total runs in his last six starts against the Dodgers, with four of those coming in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS.

Kershaw has allowed 15 runs in his last 11 starts against the Nationals dating back to 2012, and is 10-0 in those games. His last loss to the Nationals was Aug. 6, 2010.


The Dodgers enter this series with the Nationals on a high, with four straight wins and 37 runs in their last four games. Getting tested with Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the first two games of this series increases the incline on the treadmill a bit.

With seven or more runs in their last four games the Dodgers have their third-longest such streak since moving to Los Angeles. The only longer runs were a seven-game streak in 2001 and five straight games in 2017.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA