Despite not knowing exactly when the MLB season will resume, it is not a bad idea to look at the Cy Young Award and the NL pitchers who might be candidates to receive it.
Here are the five candidates for the senior circuit.
The right-hander has captured the last two Cy Young Awards, so why not throw him into the discussion again this season?
Jacob deGrom, 31, has been phenomenal in New York and posted a 2.43 ERA in 2019.
He also struck out 255 batters last year in 204 innings of work.
The 6-4, 180-pound ace has started at least 31 games over the past three seasons and should be in for another successful year
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Mad Max earned his first World Series ring in 2019 and should be a candidate to get his whopping fourth Cy Young.
The human torch blazed through opposing lineups last season and had 243 punchouts in only 172.1 innings pitched.
Max Scherzer also placed third in the Cy Young voting last year.
There’s not much this guy can’t do and he averaged 1.7 walks per nine innings.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
The one-time Triple Crown winner and eight-time All-Star will most likely be the primary workhorse for LA again this season, especially with the team’s ‘all-in’ mentality.
The 32-year old Clayton Kershaw went 16-5 and gathered a 3.03 ERA as the Dodgers reached the NLDS, where they fell to the Nats.
The 12-year veteran also kept his walks to a minimum and surrendered only 41 in 178.1 innings.
He may not win the 2020 Cy Young, but he should find his way into the discussion.
Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
There are a few young arms in St. Louis who I like, but Jack Flaherty stood out the most.
He has power and can dominate a ball game. He may not be everyone’s first choice for the Cy Young, but no one should forget about Flaherty.
The 24-year old and 2014 1st-round pick has plenty of upside.
Last year, Flaherty fanned 231 hitters in 196.1 innings of work.
He also started 33 games and averaged only 1.1 homers per nine innings.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
Aaron Nola started more games last year than deGrom, Scherzer, Flaherty, and Kershaw.
The 26-year old struck out 229 batters in his league-leading 34 starts last season as he was once again the Phillies ace on the bump.
Nola knows how to command his pitches and showed that, especially during the second half of 2019.
Yes, the LSU product might be lost in the shuffle since he doesn’t throw the hardest and doesn’t play for a franchise that’s known for winning (at least not since 2011).
However, Nola will figure to be the main man for the Phils and Joe Girardi‘s pitching staff. Of course, the stakes will be high since there are plenty of expectations surrounding the red pinstripes.
If Nola can get off to a hot start in 2020, he should be in the Cy Young conversation.
Who do you think will be candidates for this year’s NL Cy Young Award? Leave a comment below.
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