Nationals stars Scherzer, Rendon among MLB award finalists

Washington pitcher Max Scherzer, a finalist for his fourth career Cy Young Award as best pitcher, helped the Nationals capture the World Series trophy for the first time in club history (AFP Photo/ELSA)

New York (AFP) - Washington ace pitcher Max Scherzer and third baseman Anthony Rendon, who helped the Nationals win their first World Series, were among the 2019 Major League Baseball award finalists named Monday.

Scherzer could capture his fourth career Cy Young Award as best pitcher, joining South Korean Ryu Hyun-Jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets as finalists in the National League.

A fourth Cy Young Award would put Scherzer in elite MLB company with former Atlanta ace Greg Maddux, who won four in a row in the 1990s, and retired 1970s and 1980s Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton.

The only pitchers with more career Cy Young awards are Roger Clemens with a record seven and Randy Johnson, who captured five.

Rendon, meanwhile, was among the NL Most Valuable Player finalists along with Milwaukee's Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers.

MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year award winners will be announced next week by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Voting took place after the end of the regular season, so playoff performance was not a consideration in the media balloting.

The MVPs will be named November 14 with Yelich seeking a repeat in the NL after batting .329 with 44 home runs, 30 stolen bases and 97 runs batted in (RBI) for the Brewers.

Rendon led MLB with 126 RBI, batting .319 with a league-best 44 doubles. He and Houston third baseman Alex Bregman each drove in eight runs in the World Series, in which the Nationals won the first title for Washington in 95 years by taking the best-of-seven series in seven games.

Bregman is a finalist for the American League MVP award along with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien.

AL Cy Young Award finalists included Houston pitchers Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay's Charlie Morton.

Rookie of the Year finalists included Houston's Yordan Alvarez, Tampa Bay's Brandon Lowe and Baltimore pitcher John Means in the AL and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Atlanta Pitcher Mike Soroka and San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. in the NL.

Manager of the Year finalists in the NL were Milwaukee's Craig Counsell, Atlanta's Brian Snitker and Mike Shildt of St. Louis.

AL managerial finalists were Minnesota's Rocco Baldelli, Tampa Bay's Kevin Cash and Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees.