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.