Justin Steele Did Not Win NL Pitcher of the Month, Which is a Crime

Today, MLB announced its various award winners for the opening month of the season, and I am OUTRAGED! I am INDIGNANT! I am ACCUSATORY!

National League ERA leader Justin Steele did not win pitcher of the month honors in the National League.

CRIME! YOU HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw got the award on the strength of his first six starts of the year, posting a 1.89 ERA over 38.0 innings. Steele didn’t quite match Kershaw’s innings total, but he was hardly far off (36.1). Kershaw also had the WAR lead (1.2 to 0.8) by virtue of some better K/BB numbers. It’s not like Kershaw wasn’t deserving if not for Steele.

Steele, whose average game score for the month matched Kershaw’s (66), posted an ERA 0.65 runs LOWER than Kershaw. That is not a small difference! For me, it’s more than enough to overcome any other stats to which you might point for Kershaw being better. Steele was the ERA leader in the league for the month, over the same number of starts and approximately the same number of innings. It doesn’t matter, but it should’ve been Steele.

(Although I couldn’t make quite the same level of case for Cody Bellinger to beat out Ronald Acuña Jr. for NL Player of the Month honors, it was actually REALLY close across the board. Speaks to the very impressive month Bellinger just had.)

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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