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Mets' Jacob deGrom is an NL Cy Young Award finalist for the third straight season

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom against Atlanta on

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom against Atlanta on Aug. 3, 2020. Credit: AP/John Bazemore

For the third year in a row, Jacob deGrom is a finalist for the National League Cy Young Award.

But unlike the previous two times, he is not the favorite to win.

That status belongs to Trevor Bauer, who pitched to a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts in this shortened season for the Reds. The Cubs’ Yu Darvish also is part of the trio of finalists, announced Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The winner will be revealed Nov. 11.

Who will win the 2020 NL Cy Young Award?

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DeGrom won the award in 2018 and 2019, earning 29 of 30 first-place votes both seasons. This year, he was positioned well for a three-peat going into mid-September but petered out toward the end.

In this final three starts, one of which was limited to two innings because of a minor hamstring issue, he allowed eight runs in 14 innings, a 5.14 ERA. That upped his mark on the season from 1.67 to 2.38, fourth in the NL.

That was well behind Bauer (1.73, first) and Darvish (2.01, second).

DeGrom also was among the leaders with a 0.96 WHIP (tied for third), 104 strikeouts (first), .190 opponents’ batting average (third) and 5.78 strikeouts per walk (fourth).

Bauer, a free agent who turns 30 in January, won NL Outstanding Pitcher, a union award voted on by players. He led the league in WHIP (0.79) and opponents’ batting average (.159) and ranked second in strikeouts (100), third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.88) and sixth in innings (73) — three behind Darvish, five ahead of deGrom.

Darvish had a 0.96 WHIP, like deGrom, and had 6.64 strikeouts for every walk, second in the NL.

If there is a case for deGrom, it might center around having faced better lineups in the East divisions relative to what Bauer and Darvish saw in the NL (and AL) Central.

Of the 10 East teams, eight ranked in the top half of the majors in runs per game. Of the 10 Central teams, nine rank in the bottom half.

Seven Central teams made it into the playoffs (two division champions, five wild-card teams). None made it out of the first round.

Votes for the Cy Young and other major awards — MVP, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year — were cast by select BBWAA members before the start of the playoffs.

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