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The final week of the regular season always brings lots of drama. But with just a 60-game season, so much can change in individual award races. Notably, with starting pitchers likely getting around 11-12 starts in a season, one amazing or atrocious start could totally swing things in the Cy Young race. 

And take a look at the crowded NL field for Cy Young. 

Below I'll list 10 NL pitchers who have a shot at taking home the hardware, though some obviously have a much better shot than others. Keep in mind, BBWAA voters have five spots, ranking their choices 1-5, on each ballot. We're bound to see an awful lot of pitchers get at least one fifth-place vote. 

I'm going to list the pitchers in alphabetical order, as to give everyone the chance to judge the pitchers against each other without any pretense of "bias." With each stat we'll list what place he is among NL pitchers in parentheses. Walks (BB) will exclude intentional walks. 

  • W-L: 4-4
  • bWAR: 2.4 (T-5th)
  • fWAR: 2.0 (T-6th)
  • ERA: 1.80 (2nd)
  • ERA+: 268 (1st)
  • WHIP: 0.82 (2nd)
  • K: 88 (T-3rd)
  • BB: 15
  • IP: 65 (9th)

Trevor Bauer's strength here obviously comes from the run prevention and strikeouts and he has a very strong case no matter one's preference in which stats matter most. I don't think the W-L matters too much, but I'd worry some voters seeing him merely at .500 would hurt Bauer's chances, so he might wanna grab that W in his last time out. 

Start remaining: Wednesday vs. Brewers

  • W-L: 4-0
  • bWAR: 2.1 (T-11th)
  • fWAR: 2.6 (3rd)
  • ERA: 1.77 (1st)
  • ERA+: 256 (2nd)
  • WHIP: 0.95 (5th)
  • K: 83 (8th)
  • BB: 22
  • IP: 56 (T-21st)

It wasn't until Aug. 18 that Corbin Burnes made his second start of the season, but he's been amazing since rejoining the rotation thanks to a reworked arsenal. His rate stats are all great, but does he have enough workload to draw the eye of enough voters? If voters are forced into nitpicking -- and with this group, they might have to -- the walks are awfully high for that low innings total. Still, you can't look away from that sparkling ERA. 

Start remaining: Thursday at Cardinals

  • W-L: 7-3
  • bWAR: 2.2 (10th)
  • fWAR: 2.7 (1st)
  • ERA: 2.22 (7th)
  • ERA+: 200 (5th)
  • WHIP: 1.00 (8th)
  • K: 88 (t-3rd)
  • BB: 12
  • IP: 69 (T-3rd)

Yu Darvish was probably the frontrunner for the award after one start in September, sporting a 1.44 ERA at the time, but he's allowed nine earned runs in 20 innings in his last three starts. He's still been excellent, but with how close this thing is, he might've missed his chance. A strong conclusion against a strong offense gets him back toward the top, though. 

Start remaining: Friday at White Sox

Jacob deGrom
SP •
  • W-L: 4-2
  • bWAR: 2.5 (4th)
  • fWAR: 2.6 (T-2nd)
  • ERA: 2.14 (5th)
  • ERA+: 198 (T-6th)
  • WHIP: 0.92 (4th)
  • K: 94 (1st)
  • BB: 16
  • IP: 63 (11th)

Leaving aside the 2020 on-field performance for a second, is voter fatigue still a thing? In the past, it has been. DeGrom has won two straight Cy Youngs. On the flip side, will history matter? Only Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson have won three consecutive Cy Youngs. 

Using the eye test, deGrom still seems like the best pitcher in baseball overall, but in this small sample of a season, he doesn't have a lead for the best numbers, though he's not necessarily trailing any one individual, either. A dominant outing Saturday against an easily beatable team gives him a great shot at a third straight win. 

Start remaining: Saturday at Nationals

  • W-L: 7-0
  • bWAR: 3.1 (1st)
  • fWAR: 1.9 (9th)
  • ERA: 1.96 (3rd)
  • ERA+: 244 (3rd)
  • WHIP: 1.06 (11th)
  • K: 50 (T-26th)
  • BB: 19
  • IP: 55 (24th)

There's a good argument to be made that Fried deserves the hardware based upon the rate stats, but look at the workload. He's not even in the top 20 in innings pitched due to missing time with an injury. Will that cost him? If he has interest in the individual award, he'll need to get as deep as possible in his final start. If he gets up to 63 innings pitched (that's eight in his final start), that's the rough equivalent of 170 innings in 162 games. Would that be enough in a normal season? Of course, he was limited to 80 pitches last time and it's hard to see Fried getting more than seven innings in his last start. 

Start remaining: Wednesday vs. Marlins

  • W-L: 6-4
  • bWAR: 1.8 (T-13th)
  • fWAR: 2.0 (T-6th)
  • ERA: 2.93 (11th)
  • ERA+: 151 (14th)
  • WHIP: 0.99 (7th)
  • K: 61 (T-14th)
  • BB: 6
  • IP: 73 2/3 (2nd)

The strength for Kyle Hendricks is keeping runners off base, specifically by not walking almost anyone. He also has a real shot to build that resume out by facing an awful offense in his final start of the season. Given how bad the Pirates have been, it's reasonable to believe Hendricks crawls into the top 10 in ERA while ending up in the top five of WHIP and leading the league in innings. That gives him an outside shot, though likely only gets him to the top five. 

Start remaining: Wednesday at Pirates

  • W-L: 6-2 
  • bWAR: 1.8 (T-13th)
  • fWAR: 1.6 (T-14th)
  • ERA: 2.15 (6th)
  • ERA+: 198 (7th)
  • WHIP: 0.76 (1st)
  • K: 59 (17th)
  • BB: 8
  • IP: 54 1/3 (26th)

We just mentioned the workload concern with Burnes and Fried and it's similar with Kershaw. He's already won three Cy Youngs and the Dodgers need a ring, so this isn't really a concern. He did warrant mention, though. 

Start remaining: Friday vs. Angels

  • W-L: 3-1
  • bWAR: 2.3 (T-8th)
  • fWAR: 2.3 (4th)
  • ERA: 2.07 (4th)
  • ERA+: 208 (4th)
  • WHIP: 0.87 (3rd)
  • K: 89 (2nd)
  • BB: 19
  • IP: 65 1/3 (8th)

Top 10s across the board. How about that? The Padres likely already have Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year locked up with two MVP candidates. Might they go for a sweep? We might've grown accustomed in recent years to think this upcoming matchup is favorable, but the Giants have been an excellent offensive team at home this year. A big Lamet outing really takes momentum into awards voting. 

Start remaining: Saturday at Giants

  • W-L: 5-3
  • bWAR: 2.4 (T-5th)
  • fWAR: 1.6 (T-14th)
  • ERA: 2.92 (11th)
  • ERA+: 158 (12th)
  • WHIP: 0.97 (6th)
  • K: 84 (7th)
  • BB: 17
  • IP: 61 2/3 (14th)

He needs a really strong finish, but as of this writing, he's the only pitcher with two starts left. Time to make up some ground. Or sink. Stay tuned. 

Start remaining: Sunday at Rays

UPDATE: Those above numbers were prior to his start Tuesday afternoon against the Nationals. Nola got pretty brutal support from his teammates, both offensively and defensively, but his overall line didn't help, either (6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). His ERA sits at 3.06 and though the 1.00 WHIP is outstanding, I'd say -- barring some help and a Sunday shutout -- he's now a non-factor. 

  • W-L: 4-1
  • bWAR: 2.9 (2nd)
  • fWAR: 1.8 (T-10th)
  • ERA: 2.67 (8th)
  • ERA+: 172 (8th)
  • WHIP: 1.13 (16th)
  • K: 45 (T-31st)
  • BB: 11
  • IP: 64 (11th)

It's been a strong first year in Philly for Wheeler. Barring a lot of help and a huge final start, he's bound to only get down-ballot support, but he's worthy of mention nonetheless. 

Start remaining: Saturday at Rays

Just missed: Luis Castillo, Reds; Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks; Antonio Senzatela, Rockies. The three are having excellent years, but this is just such a crowded field, the trio might even go without a single fifth-place vote.