The 2018 season is over, and that means the debates for some of Major League Baseball’s prestigious regular-season awards — the Most Valuable Player, the Cy Young, the Rookie of the Year, the Gold Glove, the Silver Slugger, and the Manager of the Year — are happening right now.
In this series, we are going to make cases for those players and managers who are in the running for these awards to come away with the hardware in their respective leagues. We will continue our series by examining the candidates for the National League Cy Young award.
- Jacob deGrom, New York Mets — Though he may have been the most hard-lucked starter this year in terms of wins, deGrom was simply sensational on the mound for the struggling Mets. The 30-year-old right-handed led the majors in ERA (1.70), WAR (8.8), win probability added (5.85) and home runs per nine innings (0.4), and tied for first in the NL in WHIP (0.91) despite posting a 10-9 for New York. He also ended 2018 with 24 consecutive quality starts and 29 straight outings of three runs or fewer, both MLB single-season records. deGrom will try to join three-time winner Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975), Dwight Gooden (1985) and R.A. Dickey (2012) as the only Mets pitchers to win the Cy Young award. If he does win the award, deGrom will be the first starter in MLB history to capture the Cy Young while only having won 10 games in a season.
- Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals— Scherzer will try to earn his third consecutive Cy Young award and fourth one of his career after having another strong season on the hill for the Nationals. The 34-year-old righty led the majors in strikeouts (300), innings pitched (220 2⁄3), and ranked (or tied for) first in the NL in wins (18), strikeouts per nine innings (12.2), strikeouts per walk (5.88), WHIP (0.91) and opponent batting average (.187). Scherzer will try to become the first MLB pitcher to win three Cy Young awards in a row since Randy Johnson won four of his five awards from 1999-2002. Scherzer will also try to become only the fifth MLB pitcher to win four Cy Young honors in a career, along with seven-time winner Roger Clemens, Johnson, and four-time winners Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux.
- Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies — Nola not only made a name for himself as one of the game’s best starters this season, but also became a Cy Young finalist for the first time in his young career following his best year to date. The 25-year-old right-hander put together a 17-6 mark with a 2.37 ERA (second in the NL), a 4.84 win probability added (tied for second in NL) and a 0.97 WHIP (third in NL) in 212 1⁄3 innings pitched across 33 starts for the upstart Phillies. Nola will look to join Carlton, John Denny (1983), Steve Bedrosian (1987) and Roy Halladay (2010) as the only Phillies pitchers to win the Cy Young.