The case for Jacob deGrom to win NL Cy Young

Jacob deGrom has won back-to-back NL Cy Young awards, and he’s done so pretty convincingly. This year he’s up against some stiff competition.

The New York Mets actually have a shot to make the postseason with the new playoff expansion this season. Part of the reason they’re in the hunt for a playoff spot is because of their ace, Jacob deGrom.

With Noah Syndergaard undergoing Tommy John surgery and Marcus Stroman electing to opt out of the 2020 season, the weight of the entire pitching staff rests on deGrom’s shoulders. Thankfully for the Mets he has not disappointed, and now probably the only thing standing in the way of him and a third straight Cy Young award is probably his own performance.

Right now in eight starts, deGrom is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 48 innings. For surface level numbers, those are pretty ridiculous. When you dive deeper into his numbers, you start to realize why he’s gunning for a third straight Cy Young.

Jacob deGrom has a good case for the award

Right now, deGrom leads the National League in FIP (2.00), xFIP (2.32) and SIERA (2.65). Both of those stats are designed to measure the actual effectiveness of a pitcher and things they can control, such as walks, strikeouts and home runs. SIERA also uses balls put in play but takes into account what kind of balls that are put in play. deGrom’s 49.5 percent ground ball rate, which is a full nine percent higher than Yu Darvish, does wonders for his SIERA when it’s paired with this high strikeout rate.

Speaking of strikeout rate, his strikeout rate of 37.6 percent currently leads the National League, ahead of Trevor Bauer. Bauer and deGrom are the only two pitchers in the NL with multiple 12-plus strikeout games this season.

In deGrom’s last start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, he finished the day with a line of seven innings, three hits and 12 strikeouts. He produced 35 swings and misses, which equates a 53 percent whiff rate. That’s the most in any game since 2008. The previous record is held by, yes, Jacob deGrom, in his previous start against the Miami Marlins, at 50.8 percent.

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If deGrom continues to put together incredible starts like he has recently, then the award might be his to lose. He currently trails Darvish in fWAR by 0.1 points, so it’s pretty likely that he’ll catch Darvish in his next start provided Darvish doesn’t put together an incredible start.

With less than a month left in the season, guys only have about three or four starts left. The chase for the NL Cy Young award is going to be a tight one.

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