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Jacob deGrom ends 2018 with 1.70 ERA

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Mets starter Jacob deGrom finished his 2018 season with a flourish, tossing eight scoreless innings against the NL East champion Braves. He held them to two hits while walking none and striking out 10 on 110 pitches. The Mets went on to win 3-0.

deGrom finishes with a 10-9 record despite a 1.70 ERA and a 269/46 K/BB ratio in 217 innings. The right-hander’s ERA is the lowest since Zack Greinke put up a 1.66 mark for the Dodgers in 2015. Before that, no starter had pitched enough innings to qualify for the Cy Young Award and put up an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in the strike-shortened 1994 and ’95 seasons (1.56 and 1.63, respectively). deGrom is just the fifth pitcher to post an ERA of 1.70 or lower since 1969. The others, besides the two aforementioned Maddux seasons and Greinke: Dwight Gooden (1.53 in 1985 for the Mets) and Nolan Ryan (1.69 in 1981 for the Astros).

deGrom is the presumptive favorite for the Cy Young Award in the National League. His competitors are the Phillies’ Aaron Nola and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. deGrom may also pick up some MVP votes, deservingly. If he does win the Cy Young, he would have the fewest wins by a starting pitcher who won the award. Félix Hernández currently holds the record with 13 wins in 2010 with the Mariners. Before him, Tim Lincecum won 15 en route to the Cy Young in 2009 with the Giants.

Dellin Betances to open season on injured list

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Tuesday that reliever Dellin Betances will begin the regular season on the injured list due to inflammation and impingement in his right shoulder, the YES Network’s Jack Curry reports. Curry adds that Betances will try throwing again in three to five days.

Betances, who turns 31 years old later this month, has allowed two runs on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings this spring. He has experienced diminished fastball velocity, which is now explained by his injury. The right-hander is coming off of another excellent season in which he posted a 2.70 ERA with 115 strikeouts and 26 walks across 66 2/3 innings.

Fortunately, the Yankees have more than enough depth in the bullpen to withstand Betances’ absence. Aroldis Chapman, Adam Ottavino, and Zach Britton will handle the late innings and Betances will slot back in whenever he is healthy.