Top 5 National League Cy Young Award Candidates

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Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer is easily the favorite in a non-Kershaw world (as he was last season), and might be the favorite even if Kershaw wasn't on the disabled list.

Scherzer has been dominant in 22 starts this year. He has a 12-5 record, with 2.21 ERA, both of which are worse than Kershaw's. However, his underlying numbers highlight a fantastic campaign.

He has a gaudy 35.7% strikeout rate, as well as an impressive 2.83 FIP, a 2.74 SIERA and a 4.5 fWAR. He leads the National League (Kershaw included) in all four of these categories. On top of that, due to an impressive 6.4% walk rate, he is leading the NL with a 29.3% K-BB% (strikeout to walk ratio).

However, he might be dealing with a injury of his own. He left his last start abruptly, after throwing a single warm-up pitch prior to the second inning, due to a neck injury. After visiting a chiropractor about the issue, he's expected to make his next start soon.

Scherzer can create some distance between the two with a strong few weeks.