Halfway through August and this year’s Major League Baseball season is headed into its most important stretch. Postseason play and awards are on the line as teams and players try to finish the year strong. The Cy Young has always been an important award and this year’s NL award has a few veterans with plenty of experience and an up-and-comer all vying for the honor. To win the award takes a big year from start to finish. The team’s performance takes a back seat as the award will always be given to the pitcher, going out start after start, that puts up the numbers that get the outs. It’s no easy feat to say the least. This year’s batch of NL contenders are more or less chasing the man at the top. We’re far from finished but will anyone catch him?
Jon Lester +1000
For years, Jon Lester has been one of the elite pitchers in the Majors and yet, he’s somehow never won a Cy Young award. He does everything else though with postseason MVPs, All-Star appearances, and even a no-hitter his rookie season. This season has been another solid year in his great career and he has been the ace of the Chicago Cubs staff on their way to another playoff appearance. However, the summer has not been kind to Lester as he has hit something of a rut as of late. The lefty has an ERA over 10 since the All-Star break and was shelled again by Washington over the weekend. He is giving up dingers at an alarming rate and will need to get back on track to help the Cubs have any success in the playoffs because any postseason award may have already been lost.
Jacob deGrom +450
No one is having as good as a year with nothing to show for it more than Jacob deGrom. He leads the Majors in Earned Run Average and is top two in the National League in strikeouts and innings pitched. This guy does everything right but hard-luck loss after hard-luck loss have piled up to a terrible 6-7 record. The Mets simply don’t score any runs in support when deGrom is on the mound. While the Cy Young is an individual award and team play rarely figures into the winner, this poor team performance has hurt. Not only did he find himself on the trading block earlier in the year, he may now be in danger of being shut down for the rest of the lost season. His numbers are there for a Cy Young, too bad his teammates aren’t.
Aaron Nola +350
The Philadelphia Phillies are enjoying a breakout year not many predicted and one of the reasons for the success has been the pitching of Aaron Nola. The 25 year-old is top three in the National League in wins, ERA, innings pitched and top five in strikeouts. 13-3 with a 2.28 ERA will get you into the Cy Young conversation pretty quick. That’s for sure. The Phillies find themselves in a very tight playoff race and will need Nola to keep it up to keep their playoff spot. +350 is a nice value number but it still might not be enough to convince people to take Nola as the last guy is almost a deadlock for the award.
Max Scherzer -200
The Washington Nationals’ ace is that guy and he’s looking to win his fourth Cy Young in his Hall of Fame career. His numbers speak for themselves and all seem to be top five in the Majors. Not the National League, but all of Major League Baseball. Collecting 15 wins with a 2.28 ERA while striking out 216 is impressive stuff that can not be denied. But more importantly, he has been doing it all season long and hasn’t experienced the slightest hiccup in his play. The Nationals haven’t been much help with their lackluster defense and here-today-gone-for-a-week offense, yet he still collects the wins and eats up innings. It has been a disappointing season for the Nats but they are hanging on and have a chance to see the postseason so expect Scherzer to keep throwing just as he has, better than everyone else.