Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are the mid-season Cy Young favorites

With the regular season in the annual All-Star hiatus, it might be interesting to look at the one Met who has a shot at a major award this year. That would be Jacob deGrom. a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award if he keeps up his production for the rest of the season.

We always hear about modern baseball analysts discounting, to a certain extent, the value of wins in determining a pitcher’s performance, yet invariably that subject comes up in deGrom’s situation, since his win total is not impressive so far. The team is bad, deGrom gets miniscule run support, and the bullpen has been awful when finishing up for him. As a result of these factors, deGrom’s won-loss ledger stands at 5-4, when the win figure should be much higher. Since the season is more than half over, he may end up barely in double digits, if that, for wins for the season.

There is, however, precedent for a starter winning the Cy Young without accruing a lot of W’s. Felix Hernandez of Seattle posted a 13-12 season in 2010 for the last-place Mariners, and he did haul off the award. His ERA that year was 2.27, with a FIP of 3.04. To compare, deGrom has recorded an ERA of 1.68, and a FIP of 2.31.

So we have established that the lack of wins for deGrom is not an insurmountable barrier for him to win the Cy Young this year, if his performance continues the way it has. However deGrom is not battling the 2010 version of Felix Hernandez, he is facing off with the 2018 version of one Max Scherzer, who already owns three Cy Young trophies.

Scherzer is in the middle of yet another tremendous year. The likely future Hall of Famer has a 12-5 won-loss record, and is leading the League in wins at the break. His ERA is 2.27, fourth in the League, and his FIP is also fourth at 2.80. By the way, deGrom is first in both of those categories. Scherzer does lead the League in WHIP with 0.90, with deGrom a close second at 0.97. Scherzer leads the League in strikeouts with 182, deGrom is tied for second with 149K’s. As good as Scherzer’s stats are, deGrom’s are just a bit better, mainly due the telatively large amounts deGrom leads Scherzer by in the ERA and FIP categories.

NL All-Star manager Dave Roberts has announced that Scherzer will be the starting pitcher in the All-Star game tonight. It is likely that Scherzer was given the start because, although he and deGrom are close in production this year, the game is being played in Scherzer’s home park in Washington D.C. That home team status for Scherzer may well have been the deciding factor in his getting the start.

Of course, performance could change for either pitcher as the year goes on. But if both pitchers continue to produce as they have so far, there is a fighting chance that deGrom could join Mets Tom Seaver (three times), Dwight Gooden and R. A. Dickey as Cy Young winners.

9 comments for “Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are the mid-season Cy Young favorites

  1. July 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

    But if deGrom can’t win 10 games and Scherzer pitches well in the second half I don’t see how the baseball writers will pick deGrom. You need an offense behind you every now and then. I remember Seaver usually going up against another teams ace and yet the 2-1 wins were still in favor of the Mets

  2. Jennifer
    July 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I think the key is the ERA for Jake. If he keeps it below 2 and no one else has a below 2 ERA, I think he gets it. Everyone makes such a big deal of strikeouts and K/9, but those are gaudy stats. Being a pitcher is about run prevention and if Jake leads that, he should get the Cy Young. An issue might be innings because Jake is about 10+ below Max because of his DL stint. So, basically,Jake has to remain on fire (which seems unfair), while Max can fall off some. I’m telling you now, if deGrom’s ERA his 2 or above, they’re going to give to Max. If it stay below 2, the greatness and look of it is impossible to ignore.
    Finally, I really think being great on a bad team is a big deal for a starting pitcher. Think how bad the defense is behind Jake and he has a 1.68 ERA right now.

    • John Fox
      July 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Jennifer,
      It may brand me as a bit old school, but I also really like ERA as a great stat for comparing starting pitchers. Yes if deGrom can finish with a sub 2.00 ERA, that would really stand out.

  3. Steve S.
    July 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Also, deGrom’s ERA+ is 228 and Scherzer’s is 174.

  4. July 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    If Scherzer wins 20+ games, Leads the league in K’S and wins I don’t see how you cannot give it to him. deGrom might not even get 10 wins. Especially if the Mets start to dump salary.

    • Chris F
      July 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      I dont see that wins matter. And given this new world of everybody striking out, Im less inclined to be blown away by K counts….not like the Seaver generation. But I think voters have realized Ws as a metric have almost nothing to do with the pitcher – Jake has cured that.

  5. July 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    But the Nat’s are barely playing .500. It’s not like Boston or the Yanks. Or even the Astros. Not exactly a formidable offense Washington has so far this season. I am curious as to the run support he gets. I guess the 20 depends on your perspective.

  6. Name
    July 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Nola is firmly in the discussion too.

    He’s sandwiched between deGrom and Scherzer for both Innings pitched and ERA and has the same number of wins as Scherzer. The only stat he lacks both deGrom and Scherzer is in strikeouts.

    None can afford to miss time to injury in the 2nd half if they want to capture the award.

  7. TexasGusCC
    July 20, 2018 at 2:35 am

    The BBWAA has given DeGrom the half-way Cy Young. As the big names keep going to other teams, the Yankee fans will start getting antsy. Meanwhile, we have our second article in a week by the same writer in the Post telling us how amazing Torres is and how fortunate the Yankees are to have him. Coincidence, or the Yankees trying to gain fan understanding for when they don’t land DeGrom? If the Yanks pummel DeGrom on Sunday, then they’ll say he’s a product of the NL East and feel they could get away with not landing him. But, if JdG rocks, listening to Mike Francessa all week should be a hoot.

    https://nypost.com/2018/07/20/why-the-yankees-would-not-rest-until-they-finally-got-this-all-star/

    Meanwhile, Minaya keeps the real large shrimp on the hook while the big white fish with black pinstripes keeps circling it, knowing it wants the shrimp, knowing it needs the shrimp, but hating the price that will come with getting the shrimp.

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