NL Cy Young: How Yu Darvish stacks up among contenders

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The numbers: 11 starts, 73 IP, 5-4 W-L, 1.73 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 2.87 FIP, 100 K, 17 BB, 2.5 fWAR, 2.8 bWAR

Case for: Bauer looks like the favorite here after his last start — he tossed eight innings of four-hit, one-run ball on Wednesday, striking out 12. Among starters, he leads the NL in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts. He’s third in WAR, according to FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.

Case against: Bauer’s surrendered nine long balls, most among this group. His last start was especially important because he got his record over .500. Pitcher wins aren’t as highly valued as they once were, and Bauer’s Reds underperformed much of this season. 

But if voters look for a negative, they could knock Bauer for his five wins, as they are important in this short season. 


The numbers: 11 games (8 starts), 56 IP, 4-0 W-L, 1.77 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 1.79 FIP, 83 K, 22 BB, 2.6 fWAR, 2.2 bWAR

Case for: Burnes has a 1.25 ERA in his eight starts and his overall ERA is second to Bauer among NL starters. He’s No. 1 in FIP and second in K/9. 

When counting his time as a reliever, Burnes is tied for second in fWAR among NL pitchers.

Case against: Burnes will be knocked for his number of starts and innings pitched. He’s averaged less than six innings when starting. If this were a longer season, he certainly would get more consideration by carrying on this performance. 


The numbers: 11 starts, 63 IP, 4-2 W-L, 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 1.99 FIP, 94 K, 16 BB, 2.6 fWAR, 2.5 bWAR

Case for: Ho hum, another season where deGrom could win this award. He’s been his usual dominant self; among NL starters, he’s fourth in ERA and WHIP, and second in FIP, strikeouts and fWAR.

Case against: deGrom was the favorite for the award at one point this month, when he held a 1.67 ERA going into his 10th start. But he only pitched two innings that outing due to a right hamstring spasm, allowing three earned runs.

deGrom has one final start this weekend to bolster his numbers. A good performance could swing some votes in his direction. He may not beat Bauer’s ERA, but his WAR and all-around excellence could carry him.


The numbers: 11 starts, 56 IP, 7-0 W-L, 2.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 3.09 FIP, 50 K, 19 BB, 1.6 fWAR, 2.9 bWAR

Case for: Fried’s undefeated and is tied for first among NL starters in bWAR. He’s only allowed two home runs this season, both in his most recent start on Wednesday.

Case against: The innings stand out — Fried has only pitched deeper than five innings four times. He left his Wednesday start after an inning due to an ankle ailment, hurting his cause.

Fried’s ERA was a big part of the argument for him here for much of the season. In September, he’s allowed six earned runs in 11 innings (4.91 ERA), bumping his overall figure up — it was 1.60 entering the month. 


The numbers: 9 starts, 54 1/3 IP, 6-2 W-L, 2.15 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 2.94 FIP, 59 K, 8 BB, 1.6 fWAR, 1.9 bWAR

Case for: Kershaw’s final start is this weekend, and a great performance could really throw a wrench into this race. His ERA is solid, his WHIP is pristine and he has the fewest walks here.

Case against: Kershaw’s won this award three times, but the odds are against him this year. He’s made the fewest starts of this group (outside of Burnes) and by extension has thrown the fewest innings.


The numbers: 11 starts, 65 1/3 IP, 3-1 W-L, 2.07 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 2.51 FIP, 89 K, 19 BB, 2.3 fWAR, 2.3 bWAR

Case for: Lamet’s numbers across the board are good. He’s third in ERA, second in WHIP, fourth in strikeouts, fifth in fWAR and tied with Bauer for seventh in bWAR. He’s been great this month, holding a 1.67 ERA in four starts.

While he may not beat Bauer’s ERA, one final start this weekend really could pad his numbers further.

Case against: Of this group, Lamet has the fewest wins, though San Diego is 9-2 when he starts. However, he’s averaged less than six innings per start, and three of his no decisions came when pitching just five innings.


The numbers: 11 starts, 69 IP, 7-3 W-L, 2.22 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.22 FIP, 88 K, 13 BB, 2.7 fWAR, 2.2 bWAR

Case for: No pitcher has been as valuable as Darvish this season, at least according to FanGraphs’ WAR metric. Darvish is fifth in ERA and strikeouts among NL starters. He’s thrown nine quality starts in 11 outings.

Darvish’s seven wins are second-most in MLB, tied for first in the NL.

Case against: Like deGrom, Darvish was a favorite for the award earlier this month — after his first start of September, he held a 1.44 ERA. But he holds a 4.26 ERA in his last three outings (nine earned runs, 19 IP).

That stretch may put Darvish out of the running for first place.

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