Fresh off being voted the National League Outstanding Pitcher by his peers, Zack Greinke was announced as one of three finalists for the 2015 NL Cy Young Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
He’s joined by Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta. Kershaw becomes the first pitcher to ever finish in the top three for Cy Young voting five straight years.
Greinke and Kershaw are the first teammates to finish in the top three of Cy Young balloting since then-Philadelphia Phillies starters Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee did so in 2011; they lost to Kershaw that year.
For the Dodgers, this is the third time they’ve placed two pitchers in the top three of Cy Young voting five straight years.
Kershaw has won the Cy Young in each of the last two seasons, and three of the last four. He finsihed second to R.A. Dickey, then with the New York Mets, in 2012.
Through the first half of the season it appeared Greinke would not only be named a finalist, but run away with the vote. However, Arrieta put together a tremendous second half, which included tossing a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 30.
The traditional stat lines for the trio are as follows:
Arrieta: 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 0.87 WHIP
Greinke: 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP
Kershaw: 16-7, 2.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
Opponents’ slash line against the three pitchers:
What further makes the race for the 2015 NL Cy Young Award intriguing is the three pitchers all have compelling cases, dependent on metrics used.
Greinke led the Majors in ERA, ERA+ (225) and WHIP. Meanwhile, Arrieta ranked first in wins and home runs allowed per nine innings (0.40), and tied for first with four complete games and three shutouts.
As for Kershaw, all he did was compile the first 300-strikeout season since 2002. His 301 strikeouts were 25 more than second-place Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.
Additionally, Kershaw was tops in FIP (1.99), xFIP (2.09), SIERA (2.24), strikeout percentage (33.8 percent), strikeout-to-walk ratio (29.1 percent) and innings pitched (232.2). Kershaw also matched Arrieta’s four complete games and three shutouts.
Arrieta and Kershaw tied for the NL lead with 33 starts; Greinke tied for second with 32. The winners of the NL and American League Cy Young Awards will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. PT.