I don’t want to hear it, I know we’re not even 30% into the MLB season yet, but I get excited. The reason I’m excited isn’t because Christian Yelich is having another MVP caliber season or the reemergence of Ryan Braun. I am excited because if the season ended today, Brewers starter, Zach Davies, would be a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award.
To say Davies has had a phenomenal start to the 2019 season is an understatement. I know it has only been 9 starts for the 26-year-old but he has been so good that he needs to be recognized. So far, the Brewer righty is 5-0 (Tied for 4th best in the league) and has a league leading 1.54 ERA (Also leads league in ERA+) in 52.2 innings pitched. He also has 36 strikeouts, only 16 walks, and a WHIP of 1.177. His 1.9 WAR is better than pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer right now. At Miller Park, Davies is even better considering he has started 4 games at home and has a 0.76 ERA. What is more impressive, Davies is having this success while being the leader of a dying breed of pitchers. Zach Davies has looked like the reincarnation of Greg Maddux this season. He has a wide variety of six pitches that he can locate wherever he wants much like the Mad Dog. Speaking of Maddux, Davies is having a better 9 game start to his 2019 campaign than Greg Maddux did during his 1993 Cy Young year. That year, Maddux was 3-3 with a 2.88 ERA in 65.2 innings throughout his first nine. Davies keeps hitters off balance by changing speeds and locations with ease. In a league where it seems every pitcher has to throw at least 95+ to be successful, Davies has proved the opposite considering his fastball average velocity is only 88.3 MPH. When hitters do time Davies and make solid contact, they still are not producing any power. Opposing batters have a .359 slugging percentage against the deceptive righty and are only hitting .240 against him which is his best mark since 2015. Little did I know when the Brewers traded Gerardo Parra for Zach back in 2015 that he would anchor down the starting rotation four years later. As long as he can keep it up and fend off Dodgers starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and the Reds, Luis Castillo, Zach Davies has a wide open race to the NL Cy Young Award.
*All stats accurate as of 2:00 PM, 5/17/19 thanks to baseball-reference.com*