Las Vegas oddsmakers are making Max Scherzer the 3-2 favorite to win the Cy Young award.
But there’s another set of numbers to suggest he may not win it: 3.19.
That figure represents his ERA, which even his MLB team, the Detroit Tigers, admit is a little too high for someone gearing be named the League’s best pitcher. He’s 13-1 and seems likely to get 21 to 23 wins, which might get him the honor regardless of his ERA. But the ERA, late in the season, needs to be low as temperatures start to cool off in September. All pitchers start to get better control, meaning that Scherzer can’t expect to win many 6-5 or 5-4 games. It will have to be more like 2-1 and 3-2.
If Scherzer’s ERA doesn’t get below 3.00, he’s likely to suffer some tough losses and might find himself charged with as many as eight or nine setbacks.
He’s gotten off to a good start, but can Scherzer also have a strong finish? If the Tigers find themselves in a tight race for the divisional title going late into the season, they’ll need Scherzer to be at his best.
Throwing a perfect inning in the All-Star Game was a strong way for Scherzer to showcase himself to the rest of the nation. It’s almost a given that he’ll have more wins and fewer losses from his 16-7 record a year ago, which are so far his best numbers as an MLB pitcher.
If Scherzer keeps winning ballgames the rest of the season, the Cy Young race will be lopsided. If he struggles, it’s anyone’s award.