Phillies

Phillies

Updated: 11 p.m.

As Aaron Nola continued to build on his Cy Young candidacy Tuesday night, MLB.com revealed the results of its Cy Young poll.

Phillies fans, you're not going to like these early results.

Nola was a distant, distant third to Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in the vote, which included 31 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. deGrom received 20 of 31 first-place votes, with Scherzer picking up the other 11.

As a result, deGrom led the way with 129 voting points, followed by Scherzer with 108 and Nola with 36.

The season doesn't end today, but these results are interesting because they give us an indication of how voters view this tight race. As dominant as Nola has been all season long, it hasn't yet been enough to sway voters' minds.

In many years, Nola would have already run away with the NL Cy Young award. He's 15-3 with a 2.10 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. Everything about his season, from the soft contact to the impeccable command, screams Greg Maddux. It's just that Nola has also struck out many more hitters than Maddux ever did.

As ridiculous as it sounds, Nola could finish something like 19-4 with a 2.15 ERA and finish third in Cy Young voting. 

Why? 

Because deGrom is having a historic season. He has a 1.68 ERA and has had one poor start all year. 

And because Scherzer, who has already won the Cy Young award three times, is having by far the best season of his career. Scherzer leads the NL in wins, WHIP, strikeouts and innings.

 

Nola's best case is that he's the only one of the three pitching for a National League contender, though that doesn't factor into Cy Young as heavily as it does MVP. Nola has been his team's unquestioned stopper, going 7-0 with a 1.45 ERA after a Phillies loss and posting a 0.65 ERA when he pitches after multiple losses.

Nola also has the lowest hard contact rate in all of baseball.

For Nola to win it, he'd need to continue pitching like this while deGrom regresses even slightly. If deGrom pitches to a 4.00 ERA the rest of the season, he'd finish right around 2.00. If Nola's ERA is 2.15 and he has 10 more wins and plays a large role for the Phillies in the season's final days ... not sure how you keep the award away from him.

As of now, Nola lines up to start the final game of the season against the Braves, which could be a game with win-and-you're-in implications. Don't underestimate the power of that storyline in voters' minds.

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