Another day, another take on just how good Jake Arrieta has been. This FanGraphs piece puts together the components for an argument that Arrieta has had the best second half EVER. Pretty compelling stuff, and it’s not like Arrieta’s first half wasn’t also quite good. It’s just that his second half has been historically good.
Good enough for the Cy Young? I laid out my thoughts earlier this week, pending the outcome of the final starts of the year. I was a heavy lean Arrieta over Zack Greinke and a slight lean over Clayton Kershaw.
The latter made things a little tighter last night by pitching a holy-crap complete game shutout of the Giants, in which he walked one, allowed one hit, and struck out 13. Kershaw’s regular season now figures to be done, and his various WAR values have now swung back in front of Arrieta’s at BP and FanGraphs, though he still trails at Baseball-Reference (where Greinke is on top).
If Kershaw wins another Cy Young this year, I’m not really going to be able to yell too loudly. If Greinke tops Arrieta, however, I’m going to be very mad that many voters clearly made up their minds too early.
My guess? Absent one final absurd outing from Arrieta (like, a no-hitter type deal), it’s going to be as close as it gets between all three of these guys. I’d probably go Arrieta-Kershaw-Greinke, but I think Kershaw might come up third in the actual vote. I’m not sure anyone could accurately predict who will ultimately win, though, because I can’t remember a season with three guys performing *this* well. Just about any other year, each guy’s performance in 2015 is a no-brainer Cy Young win.
One more thing. Kershaw also did this last night (in addition to painting with 94mph fastballs):