Halfway through May, the contenders and pretenders across the MLB are beginning to take shape. Can these pitchers keep it up until October?
The Good: Dallas Keuchel (Astros) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
For the first time this year, Keuchel has topped our AL Cy Young rankings, surpassing the red-hot Chris Sale. While Keuchel’s strikeout numbers aren’t as eye-popping as Sale’s 85, he has still made 50 batters whiff this season. But Keuchel’s number as a whole have been more impressive than Sale’s. They have both pitched 58 2/3 innings, and during that time, Keuchel has allowed three less runs, issued 10 less free passes. He has a better ERA (1.69) WHIP (0.87) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.57) than Sale.
For Kershaw, the gap is getting closer between him and Max Scherzer, but for now, we are still siding with the Dodger due to Kershaw’s superior ERA (2.43) and 7.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Bad: Matt Harvey (Mets) and Blake Snell (Rays)
Two years ago, the Mets thought they had a promising future due to their rotation, which included Harvey, who had pitched to a 2.53 ERA between 2013-15. Today, the wheels have fallen off and it appears that Harvey and the Mets are on the verge of an ugly breakup. “The Dark Knight” was suspended just hours before last Sunday’s scheduled start against Miami and his first appearance since the suspension was one to forget. He allowed five earned runs and three balls left the park over five innings last Friday against Milwaukee. ESPN’s Buster Olney even said that Harvey could be demoted to the minors in an attempt to salvage his value.
While sending Harvey to the minors was a suggestion, Snell going to Triple A actually happened. A year after a promising rookie season where he went 6-8 with a 3.54 ERA over 19 starts, he has struggled in 2017, owning a 5.96 ERA over his last five starts and failing to make it out of the sixth inning. While his WHIP matched his poor 1.62 total from last year, his strikeouts per nine innings too a huge dip, dropping from 9.91 to 7.29.
The Ugly: Chris Young (Royals) and Tyler Glasnow (Pirates)
Young was never supposed to be a starter in Kansas City, but injuries have taken their toll and the 37-year-old has taken the hill in a pair of starts this week, lasting just 6 2/3 innings, allowing nine runs, 2.70 WHIP and a 12.15 ERA. Unfortunately for the cellar-dwelling Royals, Ian Kennedy may not be back as soon as they had hoped.
Glasnow entered the season as one of the top prospects in baseball, but has been roughed up all season. He hasn’t even pitched 30 innings yet despite starting seven games and his 7.98 ERA is one of the worst in baseball. In Friday’s outing, Glasnow couldn’t get past the third inning, recording seven outs, allowing seven earned runs and a pair of homers. His fastball looks dead and with Pittsburgh in rough shape, they could send him back to the minors to work on his confidence.
Our Cy Young Watch will be on break for the next two weeks. We will return on June 5.