The start of the 2021 season has been pitcher dominant. We’ve already seen four no-hitters thrown and we haven’t even entered the summer season. With about five weeks of the regular season already filled with wild results, it is time to start breaking who are the top pitchers in the National League who are in the running for the Cy Young award.
Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins
After an impressive spring training where he finished 3-0 and a 2.84 ERA, Trevor Rogers was in prime position for a potential breakout season. Rogers is currently rolling with a 1.89 ERA along with a 4-2 record. His most notable outing was against the Mets where he finished with a 10 strikeout shutout, one of three non-complete game shutouts he’s already had. The 2017 first-round pick also qualifies for NL Rookie of the Year this season as well. He will likely be a lead frontrunner for that award as long as continues to produce these numbers.
Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants
Alex Wood has had inconsistent seasons since his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wood’s peak was his all-star season in 2015 where he led the National League in winning percentage, earning 16 wins with only three losses. But since then, it has been disastrous until he joined the Giants, where it looks like he’s turned around his career. Wood is currently 5-0 with an ERA of 1.75, which ranks sixth-best in the league. Wood could be looking at another all-star season if he keeps up this consistency over the next couple of starts.
3. Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants
Kevin Gausman had a great 2020 season, finishing 3-3 with an ERA of 3.68 and a career-high of 11.9 strikeouts over nine innings in his first season with San Francisco. This was enough for Gausman to earn a qualifying offer from the Giants after playing for three other franchises beforehand. Despite many questioning whether Gausman was worth a qualifying offer, he has only disproved that to start the new season. Through eight starts, Gausman is 3-0 with an impressive 1.84 ERA. He’s also on track to have career lows in WHIP at .84 and hits over nine innings. His stellar pitching has helped the Giants have a better-than-expected start to the season, currently sitting at 24-16 and first in the NL West. Gausman will be in line for a big payday if he continues this production and can show interested franchises that all of his inconsistencies from seasons prior are behind him.
2. Jake Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
Jack Flaherty struggled in the shortened 2020 season. He was only able to make nine appearances and finished 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA. 2019 was a much better season for Flaherty where he finished 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA. Flaherty needed a comeback season in order to stay in the conversation of best pitchers in the National League. His start to this season has been just what he needed, if not better than expectations. Flaherty is leading the league in wins, starting off 7-0. But he has also maintained a solid 2.47 average. His WHIP is also at a career-low at only 0.944. Only being 25 years old is also a huge advantage for Flaherty when trying to readjust his career back on track. Flaherty’s pitching will be key if the Cardinals would like to punch their ticket to the postseason season again and their 13th straight winning season.
1. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
For obvious reasons, the already two-time Cy Young winner is easily the frontrunner in 2021. Jacob deGrom has been off to an insane start to the season despite the Mets’ batting problems. deGrom is number one in ERA with a 0.68 and WHIP with 0.60. He’s also pitched a complete game shutout where he finished with 15, yes 15, strikeouts against the Washington Nationals on April 23rd. But it is also worth mentioning his prior two starts both concluded with 14 strikeouts. deGrom has already struck out 65 batters while walking only seven in his first six starts. He is also maintaining a career-high in strikeouts over nine innings with 14.6, which is also first in the entire league. The stats speak for themselves for deGrom as he’s not only looking to earn NL Cy Young for the third time but he is very likely in the conversation for National League’s Most Valuable Player Award.