Even with Max Scherzer having won the past two National League Cy Young awards and his starting for the National League in the All Star Game, in a poll of the BBWAA members conducted by MLB.com, it was Mets ace Jacob deGrom who was named as the best starting pitching in the first half.
The BBWAA has deGrom edging Scherzer by a vote of 133 points to 102.
In many ways the choice of deGrom was obvious. After all, deGrom’s 1.68 ERA is the best in the majors by over a half run, and it is the best in the National League by almost a full run.
As you delve into the advanced metrics, deGrom fares even better with his 6.0 WAR being the tops in the majors. He also leads the majors in ERA+ (228) and WPA (3.7). While his 2.32 FIP does not lead the majors, it is the best in the National League.
Still, in some ways, it is surprising to see deGrom top the list. Mostly, it is because deGrom only has five wins this season. If he were to carry this 19 game pace over 33 starts, deGrom would only finish the year with nine wins, which would be four wins fewer than Felix Hernandez‘s 13 wins when he won the 2010 Cy Young. Those 13 wins were the fewest wins from a Cy Young award winning starting pitcher in a full 162-game season.
The selection of deGrom as the midseason Cy Young is indicative of what is becoming a more informed electorate.