Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout are once again set to go head-to-head in Major League Baseball's year-end awards.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced its finalists for its four top awards on Tuesday night, including Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues.
Trout and Cabrera – who were hotly-debated MVP candidates in 2012 – were once again announced as finalists for AL MVP alongside Baltimore Orioles first-baseman Chris Davis.
Davis led the majors in home runs (53) and runs batted-in (138), while Cabrera led the majors in batting average (.348) and finished second in the other two Triple Crown categories with 44 homers and 137 RBI. Trout led the AL in runs scored (109) and finished third in average (.323).
In the NL the finalists for MVP included Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Goldschmidt led the NL in RBI (125) and tied for the league lead in home runs (36) in addition to winning a Gold Glove. McCutchen finished top-10 in the NL in average (.317), steals (27), runs scored (97) and OPS (.911). Molina won his sixth-straight Gold Glove behind the plate and led all NL catchers in hits (161), doubles (44), average (.319) and OPS (.836).
Tigers starter Max Scherzer headlines the AL Cy Young ballot, where he is joined by Japanese imports Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners.
Scherzer won an MLB-leading 21 games and finished top five in strikeouts (240) and earned-run average (2.90). Darvish led the majors in strikeouts by a healthy margin with 277 and posted an AL top-five ERA (2.83). Iwakuma's 2.66 ERA was third-best in the AL in addition to a 1.01 WHIP.
Clayton Kershaw is up for the NL Cy Young for a third-straight year. He's joined on the ballot by Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez and St. Louis Cardinals vet Adam Wainwright.
Kershaw – who won the 2011 Award and finished runner-up to R.A. Dickey in 2012 – had an MLB-best ERA (1.83) and WHIP (0.92) as well as leading the NL in strikeouts (232) and tying for third in wins (16). Wainwright won an NL-best 19 as well as finishing third in strikeouts (219). Fernandez finished top-three in ERA (2.19) and WHIP (0.98) while holding opponents to an MLB-low .182 average.
Fernandez highlights the NL Rookie of the Year crop, but is also joined by Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig and Cardinals starter Shelby Miller.
Puig set the league on fire with his early summer debut racking up 122 hits, 19 homers and 11 steals in just 104 games, with an MLB rookie-best average of .319. Miller posted a 15-9 record for the NL-champion Cards, logging 173.1 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays teammates Wil Myers and Chris Archer are finalists for the AL Rookie of the Year along with Tigers infielder Jose Iglesias.
Myers led AL rookies in doubles (23) and RBI (53), while Archer logged the second-most innings among AL rookie starters (128.2) posting a sparkling 1.13 WHIP. Archer Iglesias hit .303 in 109 games for the Tigers.
John Farrell's worst-to-first tactics in Boston have him nominated for AL Manager of the Year alongside fellow rookie skipper Terry Francona and the Oakland A's Bob Melvin.
Clint Hurdle, who led the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first playoff berth since 1992, headlines the NL Manager of the Year candidates alongside Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the Braves' Fredi Gonzalez.
The Awards will be handed out next week, starting with the Rookie of the Year Awards on Nov. 11. One set of awards will be announced per day with Manager of the Year on Nov. 12, Cy Young on Nov. 13 and MVP on Nov. 14.