An outspoken Ace from Cincinnati, a silent killer in Queens, and a resurgent star in Chicago. All three of the BBWAA’s NL Cy Young Finalists have had incredible seasons, and rightfully deserve to be lauded for their efforts. However, let’s not forget the darker sides of their seasons. Let’s look at the best and worst stats for each finalist, and see who comes out on top.
Yu Darvish – SP – Chicago Cubs
Best Stat: 8 Wins.
Yu Darvish led the National League in wins. While wins don’t necessarily mean too much in regards to the Cy Young award nowadays, that’s alright. In a shortened season, where every game matters twice as much, Darvish was able to put the team on his back and secure a W more than any other pitcher. That’s a great feather to put in your cap, especially after a few relatively disappointing seasons in Chicago.
Worst Stat: 3.79 ERA with 0-2 Run Support
While Darvish was able to secure 8 wins, and post a 2.01 ERA with a 0.961 WHIP, when the Cubs offense couldn’t get the job done, he sputtered. Having almost a 2-run jump in your ERA depending on the amount of pressure put upon you isn’t a good look for anyone, especially when you’re in the hunt for a Cy Young victory.
Jacob deGrom – SP – New York Mets
Best Stat: 13.8 K/9
Jacob deGrom has been dominant over the last few years, or deGrominant, as we say in Queens. And now, for the second year in a row, deGrom led the NL in strikeouts. Somehow, in 2020 he upped the bar. In 2019, a season that won deGrom his second Cy Young, he averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2020, he improved to 13.8 strikeouts-per-9, which is stunning.
It’s always good to push yourself when you’ve hit a career plateau. It’s just not every year that you’re pushing yourself to consistently throw triple-digits and rack up double-digit strikeouts each game.
Worst Stat: 2.38 ERA
Out of the three finalists, deGrom’s ERA is the highest. That’s not ideal for an award that is generally broad statistic based. Despite winning last year with a 2.43 ERA, the competition is stiffer in 2020. So while deGrom still has a shot at winning, his ERA is a clear marker that he might relinquish the Cy Young crown.
Trevor Bauer– SP – Cincinnati Reds
Best Stat: 5.1 Hits/9
Let’s be upfront about this: Trevor Bauer should 100% be the 2020 NL Cy Young winner. His 1.73 ERA leads the NL, as does his 0.795 WHIP, and his two complete-game shutouts. However, the notion that Trevor Bauer was virtually unhittable lives in his hits-per-9 innings, which sits at an MLB best 5.055, which is nuts. Even the likely AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber has a hits/9 of 5.353.
This award is his to lose, but there’s only one thing that could stop him from doing just that.
Worst Stat: 1 Beef with Rob Manfred
The BBWAA can be behind in the times. They have some members who feel the need to make statements with their votes for trivial reasons. And that could stop Trevor Bauer from winning some hardware in 2020.
Bauer is a loud critic of the league and of its commissioner, Rob Manfred. He’s not alone in his beef, as others have sparred with Manfred in the past, but this year saw Bauer poking and prodding the league at every turn. The Joe Kelly cleats, for one, was a moment where the league and Bauer squared off.
Bauer backed down and the league took some heat for not being fun, but Bauer kept going, wearing cleats with trash cans, and heading to Twitter to trash talk the league’s COVID housing for the NL Wildcard.
Personally, I am all about Trevor Bauer and his right to party. Very much in favor of Bauer’s swagger, no matter how loud he can be sometimes. But for some of the older, more traditional members of the BBWAA, that might be reason enough to take him down a peg.
Which sucks, but then again… it’s the BBWAA and they can be very behind the times.
So who wins the 2020 NL Cy Young Award?
Trevor Bauer. Anything else is an absolute joke, and we should tweet about it.
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