The 2020 MLB season may have been, at least so far, a total disappointment for the New York Mets as a whole, considering the roster and the expectations. However, for ace Jacob deGrom, it has been nothing different than what he has done in the last few years: dominating.
DeGrom, who has given the Mets two consecutive Cy Young Awards in the National League, has filled every box and every stat to be called an early favorite for the award. However, One other pitcher has been every bit as dominant as him in the old circuit: Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs.
The two veteran right-handers have clearly been in a tier of their own. The Mets’ strikeout artist has a 1.69 ERA and a 2.00 FIP in eight starts and 48.0 innings, producing a 2.0 fWAR as of Tuesday afternoon. His 13.13 K/9 are off the charts, and in line with his recent, dominating past.
The Mets’ ace has one big threat
However, Darvish has been just as good and represents a clear threat to deGrom’s three-peat intentions. The Japanese has a 1.44 ERA (2.01 FIP) in eight starts and 50.0 frames, with a 2.1 fWAR (leading the National League) and 11.34 K/9.
The two pitchers and Max Fried (1.98) are the only qualifiers in the National League with an ERA under 2.00. Fried is another dark-horse candidate for the award, but he is a distant third (1.8 fWAR) and just hit the injured list with a back issue, effectively ending his pursuit of the hardware.
It will be, it seems, a race of two horses for the award that recognizes pitching excellence. For his part, the New York Mets’ ace keeps doing his job. In his last start, he manhandled the Philadelphia Phillies and generated an eye-popping 35 swinging strikes, a modern record that he shares with Danny Duffy and Clayton Kershaw.
“That’s a personal goal of mine,” deGrom said to MLB.com about the possibility of winning the Cy Young a third consecutive time. “Winning two in a row honestly doesn’t even really feel like it’s set in yet.”
To achieve his goal, the Mets’ righty needs not to have a mediocre start, and he could use a Darvish clunker. Still, his chances are looking excellent.