Marlins-Mets rainout could have a big impact on Jacob deGrom's Cy Young chances

Thanks to Mother Nature, the Mets and Marlins will not begin their four-game series at Citi Field as scheduled on Monday. Heavy rain in New York has postponed Monday's series opener. The two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday.

Here is the official announcement:

Both the Mets and Marlins are out of the postseason race -- the Marlins have been officially eliminated already and the Mets will be in the coming days -- so Monday's rainout has no real impact on the rest of the league. A scheduling wrench hasn't been throwing into the postseason race or anything like that.

Monday's rainout could, however, have an impact on the NL Cy Young race. Jacob deGrom, arguably the Cy Young front-runner and inarguably a Cy Young candidate, was originally scheduled to start Monday before the rain. In fact, he was supposed to start Sunday, but rain delayed the start of that game, and the Mets didn't want to send their ace out there on a wet field.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
Monday's rainout will cost Jacob deGrom a start as he makes his Cy Young case. USATSI

So, rather than start Sunday or even Monday, deGrom will instead that start Tuesday. That will cost him a start at the end of the season. If the Mets keep deGrom on an every fifth day schedule going forward, he has four starts remaining this year:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 11 vs. Marlins
  • Sunday, Sept. 16 at Red Sox
  • Friday, Sept. 21 at Nationals
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26 vs. Braves

The regular season ends Sunday, Sept. 30, meaning deGrom would have to pitch on three days' rest at some point to get back that one start he's losing to the rainout. Either that, or the Mets would have to get saddled with one of those weird day-after-the-end-of-the-regular-season makeup games that have an impact on the postseason race. The Mets do have series remaining against the Red Sox, Phillies, and Braves, so it's not impossible.

More than likely though, Monday's rainout will cost deGrom a start. The Mets are out of the race and there is no reason to push your best and most valuable player hard late in September. Why risk an injury when the game is meaningless? It makes no sense. That start and those innings could cost deGrom in the Cy Young race, however.

Here are the top three NL Cy Young candidates and their ranks among the league's qualified pitchers:


Jacob deGromAaron NolaMax Scherzer

IP

188 (3rd)

188 2/3 (2nd)

202 2/3 (1st)

ERA

1.68 (1st)

2.29 (2nd)

2.31 (3rd)

ERA+

220 (1st)

182 (3rd)

186 (2nd)

WHIP

0.96 (3rd)

0.95 (2nd)

0.88 (1st)

Strikeouts

230 (2nd)

196 (3rd)

271 (1st)

K/BB

5.48 (2nd)

3.92 (7th)

5.89 (1st)

WAR

8.1 (3rd)

9.3 (1st)

8.9 (2nd)


deGrom has a huge edge on Nola and Scherzer in terms of run prevention. He has both beat comfortably in ERA and ERA+ (ERA+ is adjusted for ballpark), and that's without getting to face the Mets! Imagine if deGrom was able to make five or six starts against the Mets this year? His numbers would be even better.

That said, deGrom is already 14 2/3 innings behind Scherzer for the league lead, and now that he's lost an extra start, he could finish 20-something innings behind him. The rate stats will be fine. deGrom would suffer in counting stats like wins, strikeouts, and WAR though. Plus some Cy Young voters weight innings pitched heavily. You can't just be great. You have to be great and pitch a ton to win the Cy Young.

There's nothing the Mets or deGrom can do about the weather, and while it would be tempting to start him on the three days' rest on the season's final day, it's not worth it. He's too important to the franchise. A Cy Young would be very cool. A healthy and productive deGrom in 2019 and beyond would be even cooler.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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