The 33-year-old had a 0.50 ERA through 12 starts and didn’t allow more than a single run in any outing until June 26.
But over the past few weeks, a few things have changed, and the NL MVP race has opened up a little bit.
San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is becoming a name to watch in the race, and he might even be the favorite at this point.
Let’s break it all down.
Injuries May Sink deGrom’s Chances
This season alone, deGrom has dealt with four separate injury concerns.
He hit the injured list with a right side injury in May, he was listed as day-to-day with an elbow injury in June, he was listed as day-to-day with a shoulder injury later in June, and right now, he is on the injured list with a forearm issue.
It’s becoming a trend, and it’s a deeply alarming one for the Mets.
As a result, deGrom has made just 15 starts this season, and most healthy pitchers have made 20.
New York is hoping to have its ace back soon, but during his time on the shelf, deGrom has definitely lost some ground in the MVP race.
— Pat Ragazzo (@ragazzoreport) July 22, 2021
We Are Starting To See That deGrom’s Ridiculous Start Isn’t Sustainable
As mentioned, deGrom had a 0.50 ERA through 12 starts.
That was a ridiculous number.
However, over his three most recent starts before hitting the injured list, deGrom started to come back to Earth a little bit.
He pitched to a 3.15 ERA over those three outings and allowed multiple runs in each of them, which was something he hadn’t done at any point prior.
His overall numbers are still absurd—he has a 1.08 ERA, 362 ERA+, 1.23 FIP, 0.55 WHIP, and 5.0 WAR—but he probably won’t be able to finish the year with the sort of numbers he had after the first couple of months.
Tatis Has Been Electric During deGrom’s Absence
Tatis is becoming one of the faces of the game, and he might have a chance at adding an MVP award to his resume this season if he keeps up his current pace.
He currently leads the NL in slugging (.645), OPS (1.018), OPS+ (181), home runs (29), stolen bases (23), and runs (75).
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 17, 2021
He has the same WAR as deGrom at the moment (5.0).
The 22-year-old is the best player on one of the best teams in the NL.
He is making his case known.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to look at deGrom’s numbers and act like he doesn’t still deserve the award.
However, the longer he’s on the shelf, the easier it gets to look elsewhere.
Tatis and deGrom will likely have to battle this thing out for the remainder of the season.
It will be very interesting to see how the race unfolds.
Both the Padres and Mets have title aspirations, and with any luck, we could see the two clubs meet in the postseason.