Another look at deGrom, Scherzer: The bad Mets, the not-so-bad Nats

baseballJacob deGrom, or Max Scherzer? Momentum has long since been building for the New York Mets ace to win the NL Cy Young despite posting just 10 wins on the season.

Part of the argument: deGrom pitches for the awful Mets, while Scherzer pitches for a better team, the underachieving, but still better, Washington Nationals.

Funny thing about baseball is there are lots of numbers you can look at.

First, deGrom. Lots of good numbers, outside of the 10 wins. His ERA is 1.70, WHIP is 0.91, strikeout-to-walk is 246-46, fielding independent pitching is 1.98.

Next, Scherzer. He won 18. ERA is 2.53. WHIP is 0.91. Struck out 300, walked 51. Fielding independent pitching is 2.65.

DeGrom’s advantages are ERA and FIP. WHIP is a push. Scherzer struck out more and had a slightly better strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Scherzer has a better opponent batting average. DeGrom has a better opponent OBP.

We all knew that already. Much space online and in print has been devoted to laying out this case.

One thing that has not: the notion that deGrom pitches for the bad Mets, and Scherzer for the better Nats.

Looking at their game logs for 2018, the Mets were 14-18 in deGrom’s starts. In games deGrom didn’t start: 60-66.

The Nats were 22-11 in games Scherzer started in 2018. In games he didn’t start: 59-67.

DeGrom had awful luck in terms of run support in 2018. The Mets scored 113 runs in his 32 starts: 3.53 runs per start.

In their other 126 games: 4.41 runs.

Scherzer got much better run support from his Nats: 5.27 runs per start.

In their other 126: 4.63.

Even accounting for two starts in which the Nats scored 15 and 18 in support of Scherzer, he still got 4.55 runs per start the rest of the way.

Much better support than deGrom.

The Mets lost 12 times in deGrom starts in which they scored 0, 1 or 2 runs.

The Nats lost six Scherzer starts in which they scored 0, 1 or 2 runs.

I’m not telling you how to interpret those numbers, on top of the counting and advanced stats. Just trying to complete the picture.

Column by Chris Graham


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