With Major League Baseball’s final games being played tonight, it’s time to look forward to the postseason. Besides crowning this year’s champ, the month of October shall reveal who wins some of the MLB’s most prestigious awards.
As for the National League Cy Young Award race, there are 3 candidates that are all deserving of the award. The finalists are: Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jake Arrieta, the Cubs’ young phenom, and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ other ace.
Earlier today, Kershaw wrapped up the innings pitched title, and struck out his 301st batter of the season. Only Pedro Martinez in 1999 had a 300-K season with fewer innings pitched. Kershaw finished 17-6 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta was a huge part of the Cubs’ postseason run. Since the beginning of August, Arrieta has a 0.41 ERA (12 starts). For the season, he racked up a league-leading 22 wins (as opposed to 6 losses), a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 232 strikeouts. There has never been a more dominant finish to a season than what Arrieta has accomplished. But is that enough to win the award?
Our last contender is Zack Greinke. Greinke is looking to add a second Cy Young to his trophy case, after posting a ridiculous 19-3 record with a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Greinke finished with an even 200 strikeouts on the year, relying more on his defense than Arrieta and Kershaw. His pitch location was right on point from April until now. Not once did Greinke’s ERA jump above 2 the entire year. In fact, his ERA didn’t reach 1.00 until May.
If this award was based on a stretch of the season, I’d probably have to give the award to Arrieta. Kershaw struck out a crazy number of hitters on the year, but still gave up almost a half run more per 9 innings than who I’m predicting will become a 2-time winner: Zack Greinke.