NEW YORK — Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers easily won the AL Cy Young Award on Wednesday after leading the major leagues with 21 victories.
Scherzer lost only three times and was the lone 20-game winner in baseball. He ranked second in the majors with 240 strikeouts and was fifth in the AL with a 2.90 ERA.
Scherzer drew 28 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers was second, marking the highest finish by a Japanese-born pitcher in Cy Young voting. Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners came in third.
The NL winner was to be announced later Wednesday evening.
The 29-year-old Scherzer won his first 13 decisions of the season and was the American League starter in the All-Star game.
Scherzer helped pitch the Tigers to their third straight AL Central title. He was joined in a deep rotation by Justin Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister.
Scherzer went 16-7 last year, then added a curveball to an impressive repertoire that already included a hard fastball, slider and changeup.
Voting for the award was done before the playoffs began. Scherzer twice beat Oakland in the AL division series, then went 0-1 in two starts against Boston in the AL championship series — he was pulled both times with the Tigers ahead.
Scherzer is distinctive for more than just his record. His eyes are different colors, with the right blue and left brown.
Darvish led the majors with 277 strikeouts and went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA. The Japanese-born Iwakuma was 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA and 185 strikeouts for the Mariners.