By: Ross Sutton
During this season, we have a witnessed a lot of great pitching from both leagues, so here are my thoughts on who will win the Cy Young Award from both leagues.
The top four candidates from the AL are Chris Sale (Red Sox), Blake Snell (Rays), Trevor Bauer (Indians), and Corey Kluber (Indians). Of these four, Sale has the lowest ERA (1.97), but he only has 12 wins to this point in the season and has missed time due to injury. Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays is right behind Sale in the ERA race, as Snell currently owns a 2.02 ERA and has 17 wins, but like Sale, Snell has also missed some time due to injury. Trevor Bauer of the Indians is an interesting candidate because he has gone pretty under the radar this season despite having an impressive 2.22 ERA, but he also only has 12 wins to this point in the season. Bauer’s teammate, Corey Kluber, could also win the AL Cy Young this year, as he has a 2.80 ERA along with 17 wins. Kluber also leads the American League in innings pitched this year with 186.2. This is significantly more than the other three candidates as Bauer has pitched 166 innings, Snell has pitched 151.2 innings, and Sale has pitched 146 innings. Kluber has been incredibly reliable and has been able to take the ball every five days this year, and pitch well. If Kluber can get hot during the final month of the season and lower his ERA a little more, I think Kluber will win the AL Cy Young for the third time.
In the NL, the top three candidates to win the Cy Young are Jacob deGrom (Mets), Max Scherzer (Nationals), and Aaron Nola (Phillies). deGrom has been the most impressive pitcher in the MLB this season, as he currently has an insanely low 1.68 ERA and is second only to Scherzer in innings pitched with 188. The biggest hole in the case for deGrom’s Cy Young candidacy is the fact that he plays on a really bad Mets team that has not played in a big game all year long, and their terrible offense and bullpen has given deGrom an extremely misleading 8-8 record on the season. “Mad Max” Scherzer is having yet another great season in 2018, as he is 16-6 with a 2.28 ERA and leads the MLB in innings pitched with 193.2. Much like deGrom though, Scherzer has not pitched in a meaningful game yet this season as the Nationals have struggled for much of the year. That being said though, Scherzer does have an impressive 16-6 record this season. Phillies ace Aaron Nola came out of nowhere this season but he has been dominant all year long, as he is currently 15-4 with a 2.23 ERA in 181.2 innings pitched. The strongest part of Nola’s candidacy is the fact that he has been in a divisional race the whole season, so there is a certain amount of added pressure every time he takes the mound for the Phillies. Not only that, but the Phillies are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, making his effectiveness that much more impressive. This is an extremely close race, but I believe that Max Scherzer will win the Cy Young for the forth time in his career and the third year in a row because of his great record and the amount of innings he has pitched this season.
Stats courtesy of mlb.com
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