These are our NL Cy Young Power Rankings as of 9/11/2020.
1) Trevor Bauer
4-3, 1.74 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, .155 BAA, 71 K, 2 CG, 2 SHO
We’re giving Bauer the edge over DeGrom currently. Their averages are almost identical, but Bauer throwing two shutouts definitely strengthens his case. As for expected stats, Bauer is actually even ahead of the clear AL frontrunner in Bieber.
Bauer is top 3 in almost every stat that matters for pitchers except for one, WAR. He has a total of 2.1 WAR currently which ties him for 6th among all pitchers, and 5th in the NL. And all 5 of them also rank on this list.
2) Jacob DeGrom
3-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, .177 BAA, 70 K
And DeGrom has made his way into Cy Young talks for a third consecutive year. Of course winning the last two. He’s looking to join the ranks of Maddux and Randy Johnson of three straight. And essentially all he can do is keep doing exactly what he’s been doing.
He’s only given up 2 earned runs in 3 of his 8 starts. The other 5 have been 1 earned run or less. He’s averaging just over 6 IP every start. He is a statcast dream.
We only have two arguments against him. One, he’s also lower in WAR with a total of 2 so far. And two, he has a divisional advantage. He’s pitched against the Marlins in half his starts. He also pitched against a week Red Sox and Braves lineup early on.
He did just shut down a potent Phillies offense (and it was disgusting how good he was), but that was arguably his first difficult matchup of the year. But if his competition slips up, chances are Degrom won’t.
3) Yu Darvish
7-2, 1.77 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, .190 BAA, 72 K
Yu is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year. He’s been the undisputed ace of a division winning hopeful Cubs team. And he’s doing it as a 34 year old. He has the highest WAR of our top 3 at 2.3 on the year.
He’s relying on his cutter more than ever, and his 4 seam less and less. Apparently it is exactly what he needed because it correlates exactly with his comeback going back to the second half of 2019.
However his last start was his worst of the year, albeit a quality start. He’s a start ahead of his competition, so he’ll need to outduel both Bauer and Degrom for the rest of the year for a chance. Still, as of now he’s a no doubt finalist.
4) Corbin Burnes
3-0, 1.99 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .142 BAA, 64 K
Burnes is perhaps the biggest surprise on this list. He forced his way into the Brewers rotation this year, and they probably waited longer than they should’ve. Burnes is fantastic, and seems to be getting better. Here’s his last start.
As a starter (6 starts) he has an ERA of 1.38 , WHIP of 0.83, and a BAA of .140. He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last 3 starts. He is an early contender for Pitcher of the Month.
The only thing holding him back is his innings total. He’ll need to finish the year strong and pitch deep into his games. The odds are against him, but not impossible with how he’s been pitching.
5) Clayton Kershaw
5-1, 1.98 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, .164 BAA, 44 K
The last pitcher we’ll talk about is Kershaw, and yes we have him in our top 5. And quickly we’ll tell you why he’s above certain pitchers. Max Fried is the only pitcher we considered above Kershaw, but he’s injured with no return date in sight. Lamet seems to be getting lucky and just has innings pitched and strikeouts on Kershaw. And although Gallen has kept it under raps mostly he’s allowed a lot of base runners this year.
But the point is Kershaw is pitching at a Cy Young level. After his trip to driveline, he seems more in control of his body than ever.
He’s had a couple games this year where he was clearly thinking no hitter. His velocity has ticked back up. He’s already had a nice little scoreless streak. And outside of his last start (probably his worst of the year), he’s barely been walking batters.
The only thing holding him back is qualifying and it’s a long shot after his late start. He’s going to need to pitch at least 7 innings in all of his remaining starts while pitching at the same level.
And Dave Roberts doesn’t care about Kershaw qualifying, he wants him hot and ready for a World Series run. Meanwhile he’s starting to pass a lot of notable pitchers in the record books at only 31.
But if he can do that he’s pitching almost exactly as well as Bauer. Like everyone on this list, he’ll need to essentially outduel those above him to have a shot. The odds of winning are definitely against him, but it should be interesting to see if Kershaw can once again be a finalist.
6) Max Fried
6-0, 1.98 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .206 BAA, 47 K
7) Dinelson Lamet
2-1, 2.24 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, .176 BAA, 68 K
8) Zac Gallen
1-1, 2.29 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .190 BAA, 60 K
9) Aaron Nola
4-3, 2.74 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .191 BAA, 67 K
10) Adam Wainwright
4-0, 2.68 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, .192 BAA, 31 K, 1 CG
- Zack Davies
- Zach Wheeler
- Kyle Hendricks