Ronald Acuña Jr. was just named NL Player of the Month for his outstanding April stretch. In the first month of the season, Acuña hit .352 with four homers, a .986 OPS, and 13 steals. But what if I told you the Braves should’ve had both the Player of the Month and the NL Pitcher of the Month? Spencer Strider may have been snubbed.
Clayton Kershaw was awarded the honor after posting a 1.89 ERA with 41 strikeouts while only allowing a .175 BAA, finishing with a 5-1 record. It’s very impressive but inferior to what Spencer Strider did. The Braves’ hard-throwing righty posted a 1.80 ERA with 49 strikeouts while only allowing a .136 BAA, finishing with a perfect 5-0 record.
Every single metric that the official MLB Twitter account promoted for Kershaw’s incredible month was worse than what Strider accumulated.
Gerrit Cole: 5-0, 44 Ks, 1.11 ERA, .169 BAA
Clayton Kershaw: 5-1, 41 Ks, 1.89 ERA, .175 BAA
Your AL and NL Pitchers of the Month! pic.twitter.com/FruSQBFRdW
— MLB (@MLB) May 3, 2023
And if we want to get even deeper in the argument, Kershaw has given up more home runs (4) than Strider (1), and his 3.05 FIP suggests his ERA is fool’s gold, while Strider’s 1.73 FIP suggests he’s been a bit unlucky.
Kershaw is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, so perhaps he has earned some grace when it comes to these awards, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was gifted April’s Pitcher of the Month.
I feel safe in saying the Braves starter was snubbed, but it won’t matter at the end of the year when Spencer Strider is the club’s first pitcher to win the Cy Young since Tom Glavine won it in 1998.
Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire
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