Now on to the Cy Young candidates! There have been several superb first halves for starting pitchers across the league, but who really separated themselves from the rest of the pack in their league to be considered a Cy Young-worthy pitcher halfway through the season? Let’s take a look.
Chris Sale, Chicago: Through 17 starts, Sale has accumulated 2.9 WAR according to Fangraphs and a stellar 14-2 record. Sale owns a 2.93 ERA and a 8.85 K/9 rate.
Cole Hamels, Texas: Last year’s Trade Deadline acquisition, Hamels is 9-2 with 1.2 WAR this season. He owns a 2.93 ERA and a 8.78 K/9 rate.
Danny Salazar, Cleveland: Through 15 starts, Salazar is 10-3 with 2.4 WAR. He owns a sparkling 2.22 ERA and a 10.32 K/9 rate.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles: It wouldn’t be a real discussion about the Cy Young-worthy pitchers if you didn’t include perennial candidate Clayton Kershaw. At this point, these numbers really aren’t surprising anymore. Through 16 starts, Kershaw is 11-2 with a league-leading 5.5 WAR. He has an incredible 1.79 ERA and a 10.79 K/9 rate.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago: Last year’s Cy Young winner is 12-3 this year with 2.9 WAR. He owns a 2.33 ERA and a 9.55 K/9 rate through 17 starts.
Johnny Cueto, San Francisco: The Giants made a brilliant move during the offseason by signing Johnny Cueto. Outside of last year, Cueto has been a perennial Cy Young candidate in the National League and this year is no different. Cueto is 12-1 with 3.3 WAR this season. Cueto has a 2.57 ERA and a 7.87 K/9 rate as well.
Jose Fernandez, Miami: With 3.6 WAR and a 10-4 record, Jose Fernandez is back. After injury-shortened seasons, Fernandez has returned with a vengeance. He has a 2.69 ERA and an astonishing 13.10 K/9 rate.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington: The last three pitchers who started a season 11-0 won the Cy Young, and Strasburg aims to do just that in his contract year. After returning from the DL just yesterday, he went on to pitch 6.2 no-hit innings before being pulled. He has 2.6 WAR, 2.71 ERA, and a 11.11 K/9 rate.
Noah Syndergaard, New York: Syndergaard is 9-3 with 4.1 WAR (second only to Kershaw in the NL) this year in 17 games. He has a 2.41 ERA and 10.96 K/9 rate.
Well, those are most of the Cy Young candidates this year throughout the Majors. There are of course others that garner recognition, but these were the best candidates. Who will win the Cy Young this year in your opinion? Anyone not listed here that you believe deserves attention?