Jake Arrieta has been nothing short of spectacular over the last two months. You probably know the numbers, but they bear repeating.
In 16 starts since June 21: 117 innings, 1.00 ERA, 0.761 WHIP, two HR allowed In 11 starts since the All-Star break: 77⅓ innings, 0.93 ERA, 0.828 WHIP, 81 strikeouts In eight starts since August 1: 58⅓ innings. 0.46 (!) ERA, 0.703 WHIP, one HR allowed
Zack Greinke of the Dodgers has been the presumptive Cy Young winner for most of the year. His numbers are also otherworldly, and his teammate Clayton Kershaw leads the National League in strikeouts and has an ERA just below Jake's.
Cy Young voters, as you know, don't usually delve into advanced metrics, but David Pinto of Baseball Musings did and noted that Arrieta is very, very close to the Dodger pair in WAR:
Clayton Kershaw actually leads in fWAR int he NL, while Greinke leads in bWAR. If you take the average of the two: Kershaw 6.9 Greinke 6.7 Arrieta 6.5
Pinto also looks at two different tracking numbers for "Cy Young Points," Bill James Points and Tango Tiger Points. Arrieta's Friday performance put him in the lead in both, though by a very small margin.
It's close enough so that the performance for the rest of the season for these three could still make or break the award. Arrieta has four regular-season scheduled starts remaining: Wednesday vs. the Pirates at Pittsburgh, September 21 vs. the Brewers at Wrigley, September 26 vs. the Pirates at Wrigley and October 1 vs. the Reds at Cincinnati.
Greinke's next start should be Sunday against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers' probable-pitcher list doesn't yet show it, but Kershaw should be on target to start Monday against the Rockies in Los Angeles.
Arrieta's numbers stack up well against both of these pitchers. The Cubs have had three Cy Young winners in their history: Fergie Jenkins in 1971, Rick Sutcliffe in 1984 and Greg Maddux in 1992. Though all had great years, I think Arrieta's 2015 is better than all of them.
Who do you think should win? Vote in the poll.