Jun 9, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
First Half Cy Young: Max Scherzer
This almost takes no thought at all, because when you think Nationals pitching, Max Scherzer is the first person that comes to mind. Scherzer is easily putting together the best year of his career, even better than his Cy Young year in 2013. He has a pitched to a 10-7 record, 2.11 ERA, has had 150 strike outs to only 14 walks, and a 0.78 WHIP.
Coming into the 2015 season, Scherzer had only thrown one complete game. This season he has pitched three complete games, including a no-hitter. Scherzer is also doing a great job controlling his pitches, as he has only walked 14 batters in 18 starts, which is a good accomplishment.
Scherzer also leads the MLB with an 0.78 WHIP. Zach Greinke (0.84) of the Dodgers and Johnny Cueto (0.90) of the Reds are second and third in WHIP in 2015 respectively.
You could easily make a strong case for Scherzer to be the first half MVP as well, but as long as Scherzer continues to pitch this well he will cruise to his second Cy Young award.
Honorable Mention: Drew Storen
Drew Storen has been nothing short of fantastic out of the bullpen for the Nationals. He has a 1.89 ERA, converted 27 saves out of 29 opportunities, and has 38 strike outs. His 27 saves are tied for second in the NL behind only All-Star closer Mark Melancon of the Pirates with 29.
He is a much different pitcher in 2015 then he was in the past. Most people remember him in the playoffs in 2012 and 2014, blowing saves against the Cardinals and Giants, but that is not the case so far this year. He is attacking hitters with his fastball and slider, and not trying to be cute with his pitches.
Storen is the obvious leader of the Nationals back half of the bullpen and he’ll look to build off his strong start in the second half as he hopes to finish the season as the top closer in the MLB.
Next: Biggest Surprise