- Mets ace Jacob deGrom had a second half for the ages
- The reigning NL Cy Young winner posted a 7-1 record with a 1.51 ERA in his last 15 starts
- The latest (and likely final) NL Cy Young odds have deGrom as a -500 favorite
While the American League Cy Young contest is very much a two-horse race between Houston teammates Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, there is far more intrigue over on the Senior Circuit.
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom leads the way in the National League Cy Young odds, but you can make a credible case for a number of other pitchers, including Washington teammates Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
2019 National League Cy Young Odds
|Jacob deGrom, Mets (11-8, 2.43 ERA)||-500|
|Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (18-6, 3.32)||+500|
|Jack Flaherty, Cardinals (11-8, 2.75)||+550|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers (14-5, 2.32)||+1200|
|Max Scherzer, Nationals (11-7, 2.92)||+1200|
*Odds taken on 10/03/19
If deGrom does indeed capture back-to-back Cy Young Awards later this month, he’ll join a pretty select group of pitchers to win at least two in a row. Only 10 men have previously pulled off the feat, including the likes of Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux.
Truly the best in the business. pic.twitter.com/gZCYjTUci4
— New York Mets (@Mets) October 2, 2019
But it’s tough to say it won’t be well deserved. Though this season’s 2.43 ERA may be some way off last season’s absurd 1.70, it was still good enough to place him second in the NL in the category.
His 204 innings pitched was the third-most in the NL, while his 255 strikeouts was the highest mark in the league and his 0.97 WHIP was tied for first.
Ten years after the Nationals made him the No. 1-overall pick in the MLB draft, the Nationals right-hander has his best chance to pick up his first Cy Young.
Most seasons with 15+ wins and a .750+ winning % (expansion era). Stephen Strasburg (18-6) just had his third in four years to move into a tie for sixth place. pic.twitter.com/29k1ChxSHu
— Dan Daly (@dandalyonsports) October 3, 2019
A workhorse in the Washington rotation, Strasburg led the NL in both innings pitched (209) and wins (18). However, the 31-year-old trailed deGrom in strikeouts with 251, and his 3.32 ERA and 1.04 WHIP were only good enough to finish 10th and fifth in the NL, respectively.
Rookie Jack Flaherty brought a dose of youthful energy to the St. Louis Cardinals mound this season, as the 23-year-old right-hander led the team to its first division title in four years.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 25, 2019
But it wasn’t just youth that was being served. The youngster proved to be dominant on the mound, especially in the second half. For the year, he lead the NL in opponent batting average at .192, while his 0.97 WHIP tied for first alongside deGrom.
In addition, his 2.75 ERA was good enough for fourth best in the NL, and his 231 Ks were the sixth-best mark.
With the NL ERA title bolstering his case, one would think the 32-year-old South Korean would have a pretty good shot at his first Cy Young title. Not Ryu, however. The dominant Dodger thinks the award should go to deGrom, and if there’s any truth to the idea that players should naturally know more than anyone else just how good these players are, maybe it will.
Now that the regular season is officially over we just want to say congratulations to Ryu on winning this years ERA title! pic.twitter.com/wqeme6h9Bs
— Dodger Yard (@DodgerYard) September 29, 2019
However, it’s not just his 2.32 ERA that jumps off the page when assessing the likely 2019 NL Cy Young winner. Only teammate Clayton Kershaw had a better quality start rate than Ryu (76%), and while his 163 strikeouts were only good enough to rank him 22nd, his 1.01 WHIP was placed him third in the league.
With 251 strikeouts, the Washington right-hander surpassed 200 Ks for the eight consecutive season. On top of that, the 35-year-old led the league with a 7.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while his 12.69 strikeouts per nine innings was also good enough for tops in the category.
First strikeout of the night for Max Scherzer.
Going into tonight, Scherzer struck out 35 percent of batters this year.
It was his career high and the highest rate in the NL. pic.twitter.com/XJyPxXnStE
— Post Sports (@PostSports) October 2, 2019
However, a couple of injuries proved costly, and his resulting 172.1 innings placed him 25th in the NL. In addition, his 2.92 ERA and 1.03 WHIP were good enough for sixth and fourth respectively.
Prediction: It certainly seems like the NL Cy Young is deGrom’s to lose. While his 2019 season wasn’t as dominant as his 2018 campaign, all signs point to the New York Mets likely having two MLB award winners in their lineup for 2020.
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