The NL Cy Young race is exceptionally close this season. There are about 15 pitchers in the National League that are in position to win the award, one of whom is Aroldis Chapman. The case for Chapman was laid out by Jayson Stark in this piece – http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8265725/the-case-aroldis-chapman-winning-national-league-cy-young-award.
The central argument is that Chapman, a reliever, is the dominant pitcher of the year, more so than any other starter. But is he even the best relief pitcher in the NL?
L.A. is off to an impressive start at 12-4 entering a six-game homestand against the Braves of Atlanta and the Nationals. This is partly a result of playing the Padres and Pirates, but still, the best record in baseball is the best record in baseball. It is also perhaps more directly the result of Matt Kemp’s early season barrage on National League pitching. Some numbers through Monday’s game:
Matt Kemp 2012 League Ranks:
• 1st in NL in BA (.460)
• 1st in NL in HR (9)
• 1st in NL in RBI (22)
• 1st in NL in R (18)
• 1st in NL in OBP (.514)
• 1st in NL in SLG (.952)
• 1st in NL in OPS (1.466)
At this pace, Kemp is on pace to hit 347 home runs and drive in 1,798. These numbers may be wrong given that I just made them up instead of doing actual math. But still, I think we all can all agree Kemp is not a terrible player.