Having put some more high-quality innings under his belt, Jacob deGrom enters his start tonight—very likely his last of the season unless some crazy things happen with the Mets and Brewers over the next few days—as the favorite to win the Cy Young award in the National League. If he does so, he’ll join a pretty small group of pitchers who have won the award in back-to-back years.
While deGrom’s season hasn’t been as otherworldly as what he did last year, he has been pretty, pretty good. Having thrown 197.0 innings over the course of 31 starts thus far, he has a 2.51 ERA and 2.72 FIP. Among qualified starting pitchers, that puts him second in ERA, where he trails only Hyun-Jin Ryu’s 175.2 innings with a 2.41 ERA, and second in FIP, where he trails only Max Scherzer’s 172.1 innings with a 2.46 FIP. Thanks in part to his innings total, deGrom flat out leads the National League with 248 strikeouts.
Depending on how his start against the Marlins goes tonight, deGrom could finish the year as the ERA leader in the NL. It’s also possible that Mike Soroka, whose 2.60 ERA ranks third, could pass him between now and Sunday, but like several of deGrom’s Cy competitors, his 169.2 innings are significantly less than deGrom’s.
WAR doesn’t determine awards on its own, either, but deGrom’s 6.9 bWAR is the best mark in the National League, seven-tenths of a win ahead of Patrick Corbin, who ranks second. And FIP-based fWAR has deGrom at 6.6, also the best in the National League, though with a lead of one-tenth of a win over Max Scherzer.
There aren’t any guarantees, of course, but deGrom should have the best case for the award even if he isn’t dominant tonight. And if he is dominant, there’s no way another pitcher should beat him out for the award.