2020 NL Cy Young Breakdown
Out of all of the MVP and the Cy Young Award races, this has to be the most difficult. Here are the stats for the hottest award race this year:
Max Fried (SP Atlanta Braves)
Fried is a newcomer to the Cy Young list. After his first full season as a starter last year (17-6, 4.02 ERA), Fried's effectiveness has increased. He pushes against the grain of the big fireballers in the league as a ground ball pitcher, averaging only 93MPH on his fastball. Thanks to the stellar defense behind him, Fried has a perfect 7-0 record with a career best 2.25 ERA.
Yu Darvish (SP Chicago Cubs)
What separeates Darvish from this group is his pitch arsenal. Darvish features four plus pitches with an above average changeup as his fifth pitch. Darvish's ability to throw all of these pitches effectively and with accuracy (the lowest BB/9 and SO/W ratio out of the group), always has Darvish near the tops of the league. This will be his first time back on the list since 2013 when he led the league in K's (277).
Aaron Nola (SP Philadelphia Phillies)
Nola's three pitches, fastball, changeup, and curve, all reside on average around 12mph in between each other. Because of this, Nola's opposition have an extremely difficult time picking out what's being thrown (92nd percentile in K%). He's upped his K/9 and lowered his H/9 for his career this year, and has tossed two complete games this year.
Jacob deGrom (SP New York Mets)
deGrom is coming off of back to back Cy Young awards, and for good reason. Even though his offense doesn't score much, as evident by his W/L record the past two years of 21-17, deGrom is completely dominant. He AVERAGES 99mph on his fastball, 92mph on his slider, and 91mph on his changeup. These are very impressive considering he's a starter. He's increased his fastball velo from last year, increased his whiff% and K%, and boasts an impressive 13.8 K/9. Just another year from possibly the best pitcher in baseball.
Trevor Bauer (SP Cincinnati Reds)
You have Fernando Tatis Jr on the batter side as a polarizing figure, and Trevor Bauer on the pitcher side doing the same. He's been outspoken throughout the Astros cheating scandal and the Joe Kelly suspension, so much so he was barred from wearing Joe Kelly themed cleats, which he later gave away to his fans. Out of the group, Bauer has the best ERA, the best H/9, and the best WHIP. His arsenal is a league average fastball, but his three other pitches (cutter, slider, curve) all reside within 5mph of each other. Much like Aaron Nola, Bauer's close velocities in his offspeed pitches make him extremely difficult to hit.