As we run through a quick look at the current races for the major awards, it's time to look at the NL Cy Young. Right now, there appear to be two men head and shoulders above the rest of the competition and each is looking to do something very few have ever done before. One is injured, though, thickening the plot and possibly allowing for some other candidates to emerge as serious threats. 

By way of reminder, we aren't necessarily revealing how we'd vote but instead using recent BBWAA voting history as a guide to how the vote would likely shake out.

The front-runners, chasing history

Clayton Kershaw
LAD • SP • #22
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Kershaw likely was cost his fourth Cy Young last season due to a back injury and here we are again, with him having a back injury. As things stand, however, he'd probably win it. He leads the majors in wins and ERA. With 141 1/3 innings pitched, he's not really lagging far behind the leaders. In fact, he's still in the top 10 in the NL in innings pitched. If Kershaw comes back in time and pitches like himself, he's staring at a possible fourth Cy Young. The only pitchers in MLB history with four Cy Youngs are Roger Clemens (seven), Randy Johnson (five), Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux. 

Max Scherzer
TEX • SP • #31
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Scherzer returned from a neck injury on Monday night and looked the part, so he's probably the favorite to win the award right now (given Kershaw's injury). He leads the league in strikeouts with a whopping 210 in 153 1/3 innings pitched. Scherzer won the award last year and he's pretty much across-the-board better in nearly every aspect. If Scherzer wins this time around, he'll join Clemens, Johnson, Carlton, Maddux, Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver as the only pitchers in history to win at least three Cy Youngs. He would join Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Koufax, Martinez, Palmer, Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Denny McLain as the only pitchers to win the Cy Young in back-to-back seasons. 

Also in the mix

Zack Greinke
KC • SP • #23
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Another familiar name here, as Greinke won the AL Cy Young in 2009 and has gotten votes in three other seasons, finishing second to Jake Arrieta in 2015. This time around, Greinke is posting his best strikeout rate (9.9 K/9) since all the way back in 2011. He sits fourth in the NL in ERA and third in WHIP. In many ways, Greinke appears to be the third-best option here, albeit a distant third behind two guys who are, to this point, lapping the field. 

Gio Gonzalez
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Gonzalez finished third in the NL Cy Young vote all the way back in 2012, but he hasn't been elite since. That is changing this season, as he sits in third in the league in ERA behind the two titans at the top. It seems pretty doubtful he'd have a shot to take out his much more studly teammate Scherzer, but being third in the league in ERA gets one in the mix. 

Alex Wood
OAK • SP • #57
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The voting body is much more new-school than old these days, but a sparkling record like 13-1 will turn some heads. Wood's ERA would be third in the league, too, if he qualified for the ERA title. Alas, he doesn't yet due to having just 104 1/3 innings pitched. He probably needs to get his innings total well above 160 in order to garner serious consideration. If he can get to around 170 with, say, an 18-2 record and his rate stats (the ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 9.7 K/9) staying in the same ballpark, he'll have a shot to get into the top three. 

Kenley Jansen
BOS • RP • #74
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It's tough for relievers to crack the top five in Cy Young voting these days, due to voters having mostly come to the conclusion that a player impacting, say, 75 innings in a season is not nearly as valuable as impacting around 200 innings. In order to get serious consideration, a closer needs to be having a historic season. Jansen's got a shot. He's saved 28 of 29 chances with a 1.30 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and -- most importantly here -- he's struck out 75 against only five walks in 48 1/3 innings. What if he strikes out over 100 hitters without walking 10 and goes something like 40 for 41 in save chances? 

Down-ballot candidates

Stephen Strasburg
WAS • SP • #37
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An elbow injury has Strasburg on the shelf right now and the longer he's out, the chances of him getting consideration lower. He's only thrown 121 2/3 innings.  

Jimmy Nelson
LAD • SP • #40
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The 6-foot-6 righty is enjoying a breakout campaign. Nelson ranks in the top 10 in the NL in WAR, ERA, K/9, innings, strikeouts and more. 

Robbie Ray
SF • SP • #38
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Another injury. Ray was hit in the head by a line drive just over a week ago and we can't be sure when he'll return. Ray sits with 151 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings. He also had a 27 2/3 scoreless innings streak earlier this season. 

Aaron Nola
PHI • SP • #27
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The former first rounder from LSU is on fire right now. It's been an extended stretch, too. In his last nine starts, he's 5-2 with a 1.76 ERA and 70 strikeouts against 17 walks in 61 1/3 innings. In those nine starts, he hasn't allowed more than two runs or worked fewer than six innings. If he stays this hot, he's got a shot to crack the top five. 

Jacob deGrom
TEX • SP • #48
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At least one of the Mets' star arms is healthy and productive this season. deGrom trails only Scherzer in strikeouts among NL pitchers. 

Lance Lynn
STL • SP • #31
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Lynn is sixth in ERA and fourth in WHIP. If that remains, it'll likely turn some heads in the 4-5 range on Cy Young ballots. Pretty good timing for the free-agent-to-be coming off Tommy John surgery. 

Greg Holland
TEX • RP • #40
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He leads the league in saves, has a good strikeout rate (53 in 41 1/3 IP) and is a great story.