Tuesday, November 6, 2018
2018 MLB Cy Young predictions
It's Cy Young time again, as the finalists for both leagues have been announced. This year, it's half familiar faces, half new stars. In the AL it's Rays' LHP Blake Snell, and two RHPs in the Indians' Corey Kluber and the Astros' Justin Verlander. In the NL it's three RHPs in the Mets' Jacob DeGrom, the Nationals' Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola of the Phillies.
A 25 year old who never had a winning record until 2018, Snell had an amazing breakout campaign, leading the MLB in wins with 21, then the AL in ERA with a 1.89 number. Hitters hit just .178 against him, a league best. But, just 180.2 inning pushed him to just 11th in the league in strikeouts with 221.
Looking to become the third pitcher ever with three Cy Youngs (Roger Clemens, Jim Palmer), Kluber may not even be with the Indians when he would hypothetically win the award, as he may be traded. In an AL high 215 innings pitched, Kluber struck out 222 batters, with a 2.89 ERA to earn recognition.
Still hanging on at age 35, Verlander led the American League with 290 strikeouts in 214 innings. His 2.52 ERA was third in the AL behind Snell and Trevor Bauer, and was first in WHIP with a .90 showing. Verlander is still elite.
I think the ordering should be Snell, Verlander, then probably Indians RHP Trevor Bauer, before his teammate Kluber, but looks like Kluber beat Bauer, so Kluber 3, Bauer 4, then Gerrit Cole, Verlander's teammate, 5th.
In one of the best individual efforts of all-time, DeGrom won just 10 games and lost 9 on a lowly Mets team that provided no run support. An insane 1.70 ERA led the MLB, and his 269 strikeouts was second. He was tied for first with a .91 WHIP, and tied for third in opponent batting average, with .196.
Scherzer is a finalist once again, after leading baseball in innings pitched (220.2), and strikeouts, hitting the ultra-impressive 300 K mark. He led the league in opponent batting average with .188, and was tied with DeGrom in WHIP, and finished third in ERA.
Another big breakout, Nola finished second in ERA, with a 2.37 number, 5th in strikeouts with 224 Ks and 5th in opponent batting average, one point behind DeGrom at .197. He was also third in WHIP at .97.
I think the order should be DeGrom, Scherzer, Nola, then Mike Folynewicz and Patrick Corbin, with Miles Mikolas trailing Corbin by a little.