Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Because Jacob deGrom's 2019 season has not been as eye-popping as his 2018 season, the incredible numbers he has put up have flown under the radar a bit. But as was the case in 2018, deGrom will enter his final start of 2019 as a heavy favorite to win the Cy Young award.
Entering Wednesday night's start, here's where deGrom stands in the National League:
6.9 bWAR: 1st
2.51 ERA: 2nd
0.99 WHIP: 2nd
248 Strikeouts: 1st
.589 Opponent OPS: 1st
2.72 FIP: 2nd
6.6 fWAR: 1st
When it comes to innings pitched, deGrom is fifth with 197.0, but ahead of all of the serious contenders for the Cy Young. Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty (more on him below) is at 189.1 IP, but deGrom is at least 20.0 innings ahead of Max Scherzer, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Max Scherzer, Mike Soroka, and Sonny Gray.
Earlier this season, Ryu was viewed as the strong favorite to win the award. But his ERA has risen from a pristine 1.53 on July 31 to 2.41 now. And his innings have been managed.
Ryu's 2.41 ERA is fantastic and leads the NL, but that minor advantage in ERA is not nearly enough to make up for the fact that deGrom leads him in pretty much every other important category (and no, wins still don't matter).
When it comes to Scherzer, an injury has limtied him to just 172.1 IP -- he has pitched into the seventh inning just once since returning from the IL on July 25.
Aside from the innings gap between deGrom and Scherzer is the fact that Scherzer has seen his ERA rise from 2.30 to 2.92 since returning from the IL -- including the five runs he allowed on Sept. 18 and four runs he allowed on Sept. 24.
Soroka has been fantastic in his rookie season for the Braves, and his 2.60 ERA puts him firmly in the Cy Young conversation. But his WHIP (1.09) and lack of strikeouts (just 135 in 169.2 IP) put him on the outside looking in. And unfortunately for Soroka, he will also almost certainly miss out on the Rookie of the Year award since it is widely expected to go to Pete Alonso.
Gray had a great season for the Reds after struggling badly with the Yankees in 2018, but he was behind deGrom in pretty much every important category before his season ended Wednesday after having arthroscopic elbow surgery.
Coming on strong, though, is Flaherty, who has a ridiculous 0.97 ERA since the All-Star break. Yes, 0.97.
Flaherty is also close to deGrom when it comes to innings (189.1). But if deGrom has a long start on Wednesday night (expected since it's his last start of the season barring the Mets being alive on Sept. 29), he will likely stretch that number a solid amount.
Still, Flaherty -- who is on the schedule to start the final game of the regular season -- still offers stiff competition to deGrom. His WHIP is identical to deGrom at 0.99 and his 225 strikeouts have him tied for seventh in the NL. So Flaherty is one to watch.
If deGrom dominates on Wednesday night, though, he will likely be cementing a second-straight Cy Young award -- something no other Met has ever accomplished.
When deGrom won the award last season with a 10-9 record, the voters proved that for most people, wins and losses for starting pitchers don't matter. That's as it should be, and it means that deGrom's current record (10-8) shouldn't hurt him.
That deGrom hasn't matched or exceeded what he did in 2018 should not hurt him, either, nor should any hesitancy the voters might have when it comes to voting for the same guy who won the award last year.
Simply put, the numbers show that Jacob deGrom has been the best pitcher in the National League this season. And he deserves a second-straight Cy Young. The gap between deGrom and the rest of the league is closer this year than it was in 2018, but that shouldn't change the outcome.