CYA. 61 comments

The Cy Young awards winners will be announced today. These are always filled with controversy and second-guessing.

In the American League, there are two perennial candidates in Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander, and one newcomer in Blake Snell.

Cleveland’s Kluber won the award last year, and followed that up with another sparkling season: 20 wins (second-most in the A.L.), 215 innings pitched (most in the A.L.), a 2.89 ERA (fifth best), 222 strikeouts (also fifth best), and an impressive WHIP of 0.991 (third).

Verlander had another amazing year for Houston in his Hall of Fame-caliber career. His numbers were impressive: 16-9, 2.52 ERA, a career-high 290 strikeouts, and an MLB-best WHIP of 0.900. He had double-digit strikeout totals in thirteen games, the most in the A.L.

Then there’s the season Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell put up. A league-leading 21 wins and 1.89 ERA, with 221 strikeouts. In the second half, Snell was virtually unhittable, going 9-0 with a 1.17 ERA.

The National League is a three-horse race between Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola, and Max Scherzer. Actually, it’s a one-horse race. Nola and Scherzer had the misfortune of having excellent seasons the same year deGrom was historically remarkable.

It was almost impossible to score off deGrom this season. His 1.70 ERA outpaced all N.L. pitchers by miles. It was also the sixth lowest ERA by any major league pitcher since they lowered the mound in 1969. Unfortunately for deGrom, the Mets rarely scored when he pitched, accounting for his unfair win total of just ten. In 21 of his 32 starts, he allowed one run or zero runs. The Mets lost nine of those games. Anthony DiComo of calls deGrom’s year “one of the greatest seasons by any pitcher in the last half century.”

They need to have three candidates for the award, so the Phillies’ Aaron Nolan is one of the other two. He went 17-6 in 2018, with a sparkling ERA of 2.37, good for a distant second in the N.L. He allowed four or fewer hits in nineteen of his 2018 starts.

Max Scherzer has won the National League Cy Young award the past two years and has three total. Scherzer is a strikeout machine, notching 300 in 2018, or 12.24 for nine innings, and this is in a non-Rangers league. As dominating as his season was, Scherzer will strikeout in his quest for a third consecutive Cy Young award.

My predictions are Snell will win it in the American League and deGrom will win it in the National League. If deGrom doesn’t win, in fact, MLB should immediately cease operations.