Clayton Kershaw is the 2015 NL Cy Young.
Zack Greinke is the 2015 NL Cy Young.
Jake Arrieta is the 2015 NL Cy Young.
All of those statements are true. You could also make a case that Arrieta is the National League Most Valuable Player (Bryce Harper is clearly the MVP, but he's not on a playoff team and that matters to some people).
Two of those pitchers are going to get screwed. There's just no other way around it. Major League Baseball is not going to cut the trophy in thirds and give each of those guys their fair share.
It's a shame. All three pitchers are having absolutely wonderful seasons. Unbelievable seasons. These are three of the best seasons compiled by a pitcher in baseball history.
And yet two of the pitchers are going to be left off the award, their names kept out of the record book.
It seems there are quite a few people who are looking just at the ERA and thinking it's a two-man race between Arrieta (1.82 ERA) and Greinke (1.68 ERA). But Kershaw is pitching out of this world, too.
Kershaw tossed a one-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night, striking out 13 and walking just a single batter. He improved to 16-7 on the season with a 2.16 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
The 27-year-old southpaw has won two NL Cy Youngs in a row and three of the last four (he finished second in 2012). He also is the reigning NL MVP and has claimed the league's ERA and WHIP title in four straight seasons.
Yet Kershaw has actually gotten better this season. He has 294 strikeouts (46 more than his next-best season in 2011) and 11.6 K/9 (his next closest was 10.8 K/9 last season).
FanGraphs also rates this as Kershaw's most valuable season, pegging him for 8.4 WAR, better than the 7.7 mark he put up in 198.1 innings last season.
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Advanced stats also show Kershaw may be the best of the trio this season, judging by FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and xFIP (Expected Fielder Independent Pitching) which essentially boils down to just pitching, taking real-life fielding and luck out of the equation as much as possible.
Kershaw: 2.16 ERA, 2.04 FIP, 2.14 xFIP
Arrieta: 1.82 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 2.66 xFIP
Greinke: 1.68 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 3.25 xFIP
The peripherals show Greinke has been more than a little lucky, while Kershaw has actually been a bit unlucky. It's not often a a pitcher of his caliber has a FIP and xFIP below his ERA.
At the end of the day, only one of these guys will walk away with hardware while the other two are left out in the cold.
And that just plain sucks.