Edwin Diaz should be in the mix for NL Cy Young

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Edwin Diaz is putting up a season for the ages with the New York Mets this season, returning to his 2018 Seattle Mariners form, pitching like baseball’s premier relief pitcher

In 42 appearances, he has a 1.51 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched, with 84 strikeouts, 12 walks, a WHIP of 0.96 facing 160 batters. He is on pace to set the all-time single season records in strikeouts per nine innings (18.1) and strikeout percentage (52.5 percent). 

It is worth pointing out that Edwin Diaz is in the Cy Young conversation in the National League. This is significant because no relief pitcher has won the Cy Young in either league since Eric Gagne did it in 2003. Eight other relievers have also pulled that same feat in history

Since Edwin Diaz hasn’t pitched since last Friday in the comeback win against the Marlins, let’s remind ourselves of things regarding his special season, and where he ranks in the Cy Young race in the National League. 

Mets closer Edwin Diaz is in the mix for National League Cy Young

There are six starting pitchers that are in the discussion along with Diaz for Cy Young in the National League. You’ve got Max Fried and Kyle Wright of the Braves, Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers, Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins, and last year’s Cy Young winner, Corbin Burnes of the Brewers. But only one of those six has more strikeouts than innings pitched (Burnes), and one of them has an ERA under 2.00 (Alcantara).  

According to Bill James and ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer’s formula for the Cy Young, Diaz ranks fifth among All National League pitchers with 102.7 Cy Predictor units, trailing Gonsolin, Anderson, Wright, and Alcantara. He will be the only reliever in the majors that’ll be discussed because of his historic strikeout rate and total domination.  

Wright is ahead because of his 13 wins, but we learned from Jacob deGrom in 2018 and 2019, that the voters now don’t view wins as relevant anymore. deGrom won a combined 21 games in his back-to-back Cy Young seasons over pitchers who had 17 or 18 wins in a season those years. 

The game is essentially over when you hear the trumpets when Edwin Diaz enters games.  

Right now, Alcantara is the leader after throwing a shutout last night against the Reds, with Burnes behind in second. After that, you consider Gonsolin, Fried, and then Diaz. Diaz is in the 3 to 5 range right now in the Cy Young race. 

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