The Cy Young Award is an annual award given to the best pitcher in each of the American and National Leagues. It is among the most prestigious awards in all of sports, and it just so happens that New York Mets‘ ace Jacob deGrom is once again one of the favorites to take home the hardware.
Despite the fact deGrom will be 33-years-old in 2021, the Mets pitcher is only getting better. The shortstop-turned-starting pitcher has been arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball over the past three seasons, having won back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019.
This past season, despite coming in third place for the award, he posted a 2.38ERA with an absurd 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings over 68 innings pitched. As he continues to age, he is only getting better, and it is a scary sight for opponents.
Taking a look at Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s top competition for the 2021 National League Cy Young Award
It may be easy to see why deGrom is the man to beat for the honor, but there is surely plenty of competition. Let’s take a look at the Mets’ superstar’s competition for the 2021 National League Cy Young…
Now, anybody can breakout and challenge deGrom for the award. Who knows, maybe even teammate Marcus Stroman even returns from his one-year hiatus with elite numbers.
Nonetheless, some players simply are viewed as that tier 1B pitcher, a guy who is All-Star caliber, but trailing the 1A All-Star and Cy Young level players. Two of those are Philadelphia Phillies starter Aaron Nola and San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell.
The to-be 28-year-old Nola owns a career 3.47ERA, and just posted a career-high 12.1 strikeout per nine-inning mark in 2020. Yet he has not come close to matching his 2018 stats where he finished third in Cy Young voting. Similarly, Blake Snell has been fantastic in recent years, though not the shutdown starter he was when he won the 2018 American League Cy Young.
Three other guys on that 1B pitching tier are Jack Flaherty, Luis Castillo, Max Fried, and Dinelson Lamet. All four have flashed that top-notch capability yet has not yet ironed out to be tier-one contenders.