Mets: At this rate, Jacob deGrom is most deserving of NL Cy Young
By Emmanuel Pepis
A paltry win total is the only possible deterrent but a precedent was set for New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and his Cy Young case eight years ago.
The brilliance exuded by Jacob deGrom has deservedly picked up more steam in the National League Cy Young race. The New York Mets ace has been nearly impossible for teams who have the misfortune of facing him every fifth day. The question still remains though: can a pitcher with a lower winning percentage actually win the award for best pitcher in the league?
Not only is the answer “Yes” but it’s happened before. See 2010 with Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez was 13-12 in 2010, but he was far ahead of the pack in other categories. He led that year’s second and third place finishers (David Price, CC Sabathia) in ERA+, WHIP, strikeouts, and had a supreme advantage in Wins Above Replacement. Hernandez’s WAR was 7.2 compared to Price (4.7) and Sabathia (4.8).
So when someone laughs for suggesting deGrom could be a Cy Young winner with around a .500 record, they may not be having the last laugh when awards are dished out.
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Admittedly, deGrom’s win total is going to have to spike a little and we’ve seen how tough that is with an offense that doesn’t generate runs, especially in his starts. There is no doubt that deGrom can continue to put his team in position to win every fifth game with how he’s performed. The question ultimately rests in how much support he’ll get down the stretch to bump up the win total.
Not only is deGrom comparable to his main competition in Max Scherzer, but he has him beat in several categories. Before I continue, yes Aaron Nola is worthy of mention but he’s currently a notch below the top two in this discussion.
For instance, deGrom’s ERA and FIP are both a half run lower. Jacob also has a large advantage in WAR (7.6 to 4.7). Scherzer has thrown nine more innings, but that’s because he’s made one more start than deGrom. The one category Scherzer has deGrom really covered in is strikeouts. Max has 12.0 strikeouts per nine compared to deGrom’s 10.8.
The win differential is going to be something for voters to overcome I think because the difference is so big. Despite what one may think about wins and their value, Scherzer does have nine more of them than deGrom.
In the end that shouldn’t deter voters from looking deeper into the numbers. deGrom has been the most valuable pitcher in the National League. And to only have six wins out of all he’s done, not the least of which is lead the league in ERA and fewest home runs per nine allowed, is a shame.
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I have no clue how this race will wind up playing out. I just know if deGrom keeps up this pace, he should win the award hands down.