Cy Young: Aaron Nola
Unlike last year, the best Phillies pitcher is not so clear-cut. However, the team’s first-half Cy Young yet again goes to Aaron Nola.
Nola had his worst month on the mound since 2016 to start the year with a 5.68 ERA through the end of April. This was a stark contrast from his Cy Young-caliber 2018 season and gave some early cause for concern.
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However, Nola has since turned things around and looks much more like the pitcher he was the last two years. Since May started, Nola has a 2.96 ERA, 1.190 WHIP, 92 strikeouts, and 31 walks in 13 starts. He gave up seven home runs in April but has allowed just eight since then.
Nola finished the first half strong by allowing just two earned runs in his last four starts. He struck out 34 batters and walked only eight in 29.2 innings.
Walks plagued Nola early in the year; by limiting them in the last few weeks, he has elevated his performance significantly.
Nola is Philadelphia’s most valuable pitcher this year with 2.2 pitching wins above replacement. Zach Eflin is the only other Phillies with more than one pitching win above replacement, while J.T. Realmuto is the only Phillie with a higher overall WAR total.
With Nola trending upwards and Eflin trending downwards, Nola is the best choice for the first half Cy Young. The team needs Nola to pitch like he did last year if they have any shot of making a serious playoff run.