He will finish in the top 15 in National League Cy Young voting
Carrasco has already accomplished this feat twice in the American League, finishing 13th in AL Cy Young voting in 2015 (Dallas Keuchel took home the hardware that year for the Houston Astros) and 4th in 2017 (teammate Corey Kluber won it that season). This season, if he wants to vault himself into the NL Cy Young conversation, he’ll have to take on such formidable opponents as deGrom, last year’s winner Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, and brand-new members of the San Diego Padres Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.
Nonetheless, Carrasco is fully capable of being in the upper echelon of the National League this season. His 2.91 ERA in the AL last year would have been 8th in the NL, and his 2020 strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings totals also would have been among the NL leaders.
Of course, one cannot examine how Carrasco performed in the AL and assume that his numbers will translate perfectly to the NL. Still, in the NL this year, Carrasco will be likely be blessed with facing no DH in the large majority of his starts, which should further improve his statistics. Since most NL batters are unfamiliar with what crumbs Cookie brings to the table, he may have an even bigger advantage earlier on in the season over his opponents.
Carrasco will need a truly outstanding season to make a strong case for a top five finish in the Cy Young voting, and though he is a very good pitcher, I am not sure that he will be quite that elite in 2021. Nonetheless, I believe he will add to the Mets’ rich history of pitching and finish up among the National League leaders in several categories this season, leading to some Cy Young votes.
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Carrasco is just one of the many notable offseason additions the Mets have made in recent months. When the Mets traded for him back in January, he immediately became a top-end starter in their rotation, and he has certainly pitched like a top-of-the-rotation pitcher many times throughout his career. I have very high hopes for Carrasco’s debut Mets season, and I look forward to watching Cookie do his thing for the orange and blue in 2021.