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Mets' Jacob deGrom favored to win third NL Cy Young Award in 2022

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

February 21st, 2022

The MLB players and owners are still enveloped in intense negotiations, but fans can hold out hope of watching a full season unfold. Mets fans in particular will be hoping for a full season from staff ace Jacob deGrom, the two-time Cy Young winner who made some short trips to the IL in 2021 before missing the entire second half of the campaign with right elbow inflammation.

deGrom has been set as the +450 betting choice to win the 2022 NL Cy Young, but is he the best available wager at this point? Let’s dig into his case below.

National League CY Young Award 2022

Fri, September 30 2022, 10:00 PM

deGrom, Jacob

+450

Burnes, Corbin

+750

Scherzer, Max

+800

Wheeler, Zack

+800

Buehler, Walker

+850

Woodruff, Brandon

+850

Nola, Aaron

+1000

Fried, Max

+1300

Flaherty, Jack

+1600

Webb, Logan

+1600

The case for deGrom

deGrom was on pace for a historic season in 2021, as he went 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA through his first 15 starts. He also had a career-high 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings, and an absurdly-high 13.27 strikeout to walk ratio. Simply put, deGrom was practically untouchable when he was on the mound last season.

As a two-time Cy Young winner already, it’s obvious that deGrom has what it takes to put a successful full season together. When he won the award for the first time in 2018, deGrom led the majors in ERA at 1.70. In 2019, he led the senior circuit in strikeouts (255). He made 32 starts in each campaign, more than acceptable in this day and age.

The case against deGrom

deGrom has already had Tommy John surgery in his career, and the fear is always there that he may need it again, especially after the scare he had with his UCL last summer.

Even if Tommy John isn’t required, it’s fair to wonder if the rash of minor injuries deGrom suffered in 2021 will impact his game in 2022. The former award winner will have a white-hot spotlight burning on him each time he takes the mound. Small mistakes will be amplified, opening the door to other contenders.

Furthermore, former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (+800 third-choice) is now a Met, and if he pitches at an elite level in 2022, he could snare votes from his New York teammate.

Wheeler is worth a wager

Zack Wheeler (+800) of the Philadelphia Phillies had a very strong case to be named NL Cy Young winner last season, but was denied by Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers. The two tied for first-place votes (12 each), but Burnes – who led the majors in ERA at 2.43 – won by 10 vote points.

Wheeler may not have won in the ERA race, but he had a significantly higher WAR than Burnes (7.6 to 5.6), who pitched 46 1/3 fewer innings than Wheeler. In addition to leading the majors in the pitcher WAR in 2021, Wheeler also paced baseball in innings pitched (213 1/3) as well as complete games (three) and shutouts (two). He also had an NL-high 247 strikeouts, and this all came despite Wheeler making half his starts in the hitter’s haven that is Citizens Bank Park.

A similar campaign could land Wheeler the hardware at a fair price.

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