The subject of the Cy Young races in both leagues has become extremely popular among those who study the MLB odds and in this article we determine who deserves to win the NL Cy Young Award this year.
Many National League pitchers had extraordinary seasons but the NL Cy Young Award will come down to three of them.
It's impossible to ignore what Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta accomplished this season. He had a decent first season with the Cubs in 2014, going 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA and an 0.99 WHIP but his performance this season was unbelievable.
Arrieta went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and an 0.86 WHIP over 229.0 innings, surpassing his previous career high of 156.2 innings pitched in 2014. He also set a record for the lowest second-half ERA in MLB history (0.75).
Free agent Zack Greinke was one of the favorites to win this award all season. His third year with the Dodgers was arguably his strongest season since winning the AL Cy Young award with the Royals in 2009. Greinke finished with a 19-3 record and an MLB-best 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP and he has a real chance of taking home his second Cy Young award.
Kershaw won three of the past four NL Cy Young awards and he was also named the 2014 NL MVP. This year he is part of the Cy Young discussion once again. Kershaw got off to a slow start by his standards but he had his best season in terms of strikeouts and peripheral numbers.
The left-hander went 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA and an 0.88 WHIP in 33 starts, Kershaw finished 16-7 with a 2.13 ERA and an 0.88 WHIP, which is impressive, but he also led the National League with a career-best 11.64 K/9 and 301 strikeouts.
Who Should Win This Award?
It's tough to say who deserves to win the NL Cy Young more. Arrieta had an amazing season and out of these three pitchers, he played the biggest role in helping his team get so far; after all, the Cubs reached the National League Championship Series after missing the postseason for seven straight years.
Greinke was very consistent all year long, so those who place MLB picks know that it wouldn't be wrong to give him this award. Leading MLB in ERA and WHIP is a remarkable feat and that accomplishment alone would have been good enough to win a Cy Young on most years.
However, if we go by the strikeouts and advanced numbers, Kershaw should win it again because pitchers don't get to the 300-strikeout plateau too often.
The problem is that at the end of the day, there can only be one winner and no matter what happens, two very deserving pitchers will miss out on this prestigious award.