Could this be the year the Cy Young in both the National and American Leagues come to Chicago?
Lots of starts in the National League are getting more hype than the Cubs' Jake Arrieta, but he's absolutely put himself into the heart of the discussion. Entering Wednesday's games, Arrieta ranks highly among all Major League pitchers in most statistical categories. He ranks:
- 4th in WAR among pitchers - 5.5 (tied with Clayton Kershaw)
- 1st in Wins - 16
- 3rd in Hits Against per 9 innings - 6.621
- 3rd in ERA - 2.22
- 7th in WHIP - 0.983
- 7th in Strikeouts - 178
Perhaps most importantly, while Jon Lester was brought in to be the Cubs so-called savior via free agency over the winter, Arrieta has consistently been the workhorse on the North Side.
As the Cubs make a run for the postseason, Arrieta's continued dominance against good teams (see Tuesday night's performance in San Francisco) should continue to elevate his national profile.
On the South Side, Chris Sale is fighting an uphill climb once again this year because of the mediocre performance of the White Sox as a team.
Sale is having an historic season striking out opponents, averaging a major league-leading 12.158 whiffs per 9 innings pitched. He is only four strikeouts away from matching his previous career high of 226, which he set in 214.1 innings pitched in 2013; Sale has 222 in only 164.1 innings thus far this year.
Sale also leads the majors with a 2.38 FIP, and his WHIP of 1.028 is excellent once again.
Sale's WAR, however, is down to 3.0 this season. Last year, when he finished third in the AL Cy Young voting, Sale's WAR was 6.6 and his career low as a starter is 5.9 from the 2012 season. While ERA and Wins are no longer the supreme statistics they once were, Sale's 12-7 record and 3.34 ERA aren't helping his cause right now.
Who are the other names that could factor into the Cy Young races this season?
- Zach Greinke, LA
- Clayton Kershaw, LA
- Jacob deGrom, NY
- Max Scherzer, WSH
- Gerrit Cole, PIT
- Dallas Keuchel, HOU
- Sonny Gray, OAK
- David Price, DET/TOR
- Chris Archer, TB