The NL Cy Young race has quite obviously become a two-man race between the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and our very own Matt Harvey. And although we may all be a tad biased towards Mr. Harvey, it’s important as baseball fans to give Kershaw a fair argument. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two:
Kershaw is sporting a sickeningly low 1.91 ERA, and is on pace to finish with the first sub-2 ERA in the MLB since Roger Clemens did it in 2005. Needless to say, Kershaw leads the entire pack in this category. His WHIP, at a miniscule .88, is second in the MLB to his competitor for the throne (we’ll get to him in a minute). He’s also second to his competitor in strikeouts, with 166 in 174.1 IP.
Kershaw has a frankly unimpressive 10-7 record. However, it would be hard to find someone who said he didn’t deserve a better one. He’s still tied for tenth in total wins (this ain’t no American League), and while that’s not great, wins are a non-issue at this point.
Speaking of wins being a non-issue, I now present candidate B:
Harvey has gone shot for shot with Kershaw this year, and to say he’s burst onto the scene would be the understatement of the century. He falls short of Kershaw in the ERA category, but still has a strong lead for second place at 2.09. Harvey leads the National League in strikeouts with 178, 12 more than Kershaw. More impressive is that Kershaw holds a 14.2 inning advantage over Harvey, while still falling short. Harvey leads all starting pitchers with an absolutely incredible .86 WHIP. Harvey has also allowed fewer hits than Kershaw, fewer home runs and walked less people.
Luckily for Harvey, his small win total (nine) due to the Mets’ lack of ability to score runs isn’t going to hurt him. It’s an obvious two-man race at this point, but Kershaw is only leading him with one win.
We might have been looking at a completely different scenario if the Dodgers had been the Dodgers we’ve seen as of late for the entire year; Kershaw might have 15 or 16 wins. But he doesn’t, and this is a race that’s going to go down to the wire.