With his league-leading 1.78 ERA and in the midst of an otherworldly season, Mets ace Jacob deGrom is the favorite to win the Cy Young award.
But Nationals ace Max Scherzer is still visible in deGrom's rearview mirror, and the Mets can likely put an end to any chance Scherzer has by hitting him hard on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. While that might be easier said than done, Scherzer's recent struggles have been glaring.
Scherzer has allowed 17 runs (all earned) over his last 32 innings spanning five starts as his ERA has risen from 2.11 to 2.53.
In Scherzer's only start this season against the Mets, he was solid but not spectacular, allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five in 7.0 innings on July 12 at Citi Field.
The Mets offense ordinarily goes into hibernation when deGrom is on the mound, so perhaps it's a good thing he won't be opposing Scherzer on Thursday night. The two were initially supposed to face one another on Friday, but the Nats chose to move Scherzer up a day.
The stats for Scherzer and deGrom as of Thursday afternoon:
Jacob deGrom: 1.78 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 0.950 WHIP, 10 HR allowed, 251 strikeouts (11.2 per 9) in 202.0 innings (30 starts) while amassing 8.3 fWAR and 9.1 bWAR
Max Scherzer: 2.53 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 0.915 WHIP, 21 HR allowed, 277 strikeouts (12.1 per 9) in 206.2 innings (31 starts) while amassing 7.5 fWAR and 9.1 bWAR
In a recent poll, 30 of 33 BBWAA voters said they would vote for deGrom (with the other three voting for Scherzer) in a potential Cy Young vote.