NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom , Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola are going pitch for pitch in the NL Cy Young Award race.Problem is, that prize might not do the trio justice. Not according to baseball’s advanced analytics.With 2½ weeks left in the season, it’s time to ask: Should one of those three be MVP?“It’s the best player in the league,” deGrom said. “If that happens to be a pitcher and they can win it, then it’s well deserved.”There’s no debating deGrom’s dominance, even if it’s not translating into wins for the struggling New York Mets. Scherzer’s awards-season resume is more traditional, bolstered by league-leading totals in victories and strikeouts. And Nola is right there, too, in a breakout season with the Philadelphia Phillies.But an MVP? For three pitchers who are going to miss the postseason? Some don’t think pitchers should even be considered for the award, though they’ve won 25 times before.The stats devised by sabermetricians suggest it would be a swing and a miss not to consider a pitcher — certainly not in a year when the crop of NL hitters just doesn’t add up.The National League has produced at least one hitter worth 6.0 wins above replacement (WAR) each season since the Chicago Cubs‘ Hack Wilson topped 1926 at 5.7, according to Fangraphs.This year’s group is equally underwhelming, strictly by the numbers. Milwaukee teammates Lorenzo Cain (5.4) and Christian Yelich (5.3) top the circuit, followed by Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt (5.2), St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter (5.2), Chicago’s Javier Baez (4.9) and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (4.8).For a catch-all stat like WAR — which measures contributions on offense, defense, baserunning and pitching — that 0.6 gap from Arenado on up is nearly negligible. Can’t go wrong choosing among them.But that group is far behind the league’s top pitchers by the same measure. DeGrom leads the NL with 8.1 WAR, and Scherzer, Nola and Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin are also ahead of the hitters. Over at Baseball-Reference, which has its own WAR formula, Scherzer (9.7) holds the top spot way ahead of Cain (6.3) Burch Smith Jersey , with Nola, deGrom and Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland all beating the batters.It’s unusual, but not unheard of, for a pitcher to lead a league in WAR. By Baseball-Reference’s math, Clayton Kershaw did it when he won NL MVP in 2014, as did Justin Verlander for his AL MVP in 2011. Corey Kluber, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke each did it over the past decade, too. But in the age of ever-tighter pitch counts and innings limits, it’s not as common as it once was and figures to keep getting tougher.Of the 25 pitcher MVPs, 14 were awarded before the Cy Young Award was introduced in 1956. Prior to Kershaw and Verlander, the previous pitcher winner was reliever Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the prior starter to take MVP was Roger Clemens in 1986.Marlins manager and 1985 AL MVP Don Mattingly was the runner-up to Clemens that year — and wasn’t thrilled about it.“Hard for me as a player, to kind of know I play 160 games or whatever it is and then somebody has 30, 35 starts,” Mattingly said.He’s changed his mind since becoming a manager. Doesn’t hurt that he was leading the Dodgers when Kershaw won MVP.“If you’re talking about them as Cy Young and MVPs, they’re guys that are basically taking care of your bullpen that day, stopping any kind of streaks, adding to streaks — a guy you know you can count on,” Mattingly said.Mattingly has seen plenty of deGrom, Scherzer and Nola in the NL East.“I can see where you could look at them as being most valuable player Blaine Boyer Jersey ,” he said.The cases for those pitchers are a little different from their predecessors — especially for deGrom.The Mets ace is just 8-9, putting him in the historic position of having more WAR than wins. According to Baseball-Reference’s records, deGrom would be just the second qualified pitcher ever to have more WAR than wins, following Eddie Smith (4-17 record, 4.1 WAR) with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1937.At this point, deGrom’s underwhelming win total probably won’t hurt him much in Cy Young balloting. Voters set aside the stat when crowning Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2010 despite a 13-12 mark, and the electorate seems to agree that victories aren’t paramount to being the best pitcher.But to be the most valuable? Voters might still be stuck on wins there. Opinions are all over the board on how to quantify value — some voters insist MVPs have to come from winning teams, others see winning as something of a tiebreaker, and a growing number of progressive writers try to separate a player’s performance from that of his teammates entirely.That’s where deGrom’s candidacy could fall apart. Of the 21 starting pitchers to win MVP, all of them won at least 20 games. DeGrom is going to have a hard time winning 10.That’s not deGrom’s fault, of course. He has a 1.71 ERA this season, and yet New York is 12-17 behind him thanks to minimal run support.DeGrom has taken to helping himself, driving in four runs since Aug. 3, including New York’s only RBIs in 2-1 losses to the Braves and Cubs.Scherzer has been even better with the bat. He’s hitting .270 with six RBIs and a stolen base. Those contributions won’t help him stave off deGrom in his pursuit for a fourth Cy Young and third straight in the NL, but it could sway some MVP voters.Nola’s pitch seems to have lost a little steam as the Phillies have faded out of the playoff picture. Philadelphia dropped 6½ games behind Atlanta in the NL East after getting swept by the Nationals in a doubleheader Tuesday. Nola was 16-4 with a 2.29 ERA prior to a start Wednesday and wasn’t far behind Scherzer with 8.9 WAR, per Baseball-Reference.Unless a hitter separates from the pack over the final couple weeks, one of those three just might be an MVP.“It’s been done before,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “They should be considered.” The New York Yankees came home Monday night with the American League Division Series tied against the Boston Red Sox, but they did not perform well in their first game of the series at Yankee Stadium.The home team simply could not compete in Game 3, as the Red Sox roared to a record-setting 16-1 victory over their archrivals. The Red Sox took a 2-1 advantage in the series and can close out the Yankees Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.Brock Holt, who did not play in either of the first two games of the series Trevor Cahill Jersey , started at second base and hit for the cycle. He became the first player in major league history to hit for the cycle in the postseason."Wow, that's the first one ever," the 30-year-old said on the TBS broadcast when he was informed of his history-making achievement. "We had a lot of fun tonight and put a lot of good at bats together."While Holt earned a spot in baseball annals with his performance, Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi had a magnificent game as he allowed just one run in seven innings. He threw 97 pitches in his time on the mound and 72 of them were strikes.Luis Severino had a brutal game for the Yankees, lasting just three-plus inning and giving up six earned runs before manager Aaron Boone pulled him from the game after three batters in the fourth inning.That inning proved decisive in the game, as the Red Sox stretched their lead from 3-0 to 10-0. Andrew Benintendi had the big hit when he drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double. That shot took the air out of Yankee Stadium.The crowd in the Bronx was roaring for the home team as the game started and in the early innings, but when the Red Sox took the lead and stretched it out, the noise lessened considerably as their team's chances for taking a 2-1 lead in the series disappeared.CC Sabathia is charged with keeping the Yankees alive in Game 4.Chris OMeara/Associated PressRick Porcello will take the mound for the Red Sox and the Yankees will send veteran CC Sabathia to the hill. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by TBS.The Yankees are minus-120 favorites to win and force a decisive fifth game in Boston Thursday,according to OddsShark. The Red Sox are even money to win. Those betting on the Yankees have to risk $120 to win $100, while Red Sox backers risk $100 to win $100.Porcello had a 17-7 record this year, and the former Cy Young Award winner had a 4.28 earned-run average with a 1.18 WHIP. He struck out 190 batters in 191.1 innings.Sabathia was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. He struck out 140 batters in 153.0 innings and gave up 19 home runs.Boone was low key after the game, and that's to be expected after his team suffered a 15-run defeat. "We have to flush this game right away," he said in the postgame press conference broadcast by the MLB Network. "We have no other choice." PredictionIt looks like the Red Sox have all the momentum after their huge win Monday night.However, it appeared the Yankees had all the momentum going into Game 3 after their win Saturday night at Fenway Park. They had displayed their power bats, and the Red Sox looked perplexed.That all changed as Eovaldi was on his game for the Red Sox, while Severino struggled badly for the Yankees.Sabathia is not likely to be intimidated by Boston's offensive show in Game 3. He will try to give New York four or five good innings and hope the Yankees can stay close.The Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and two more in the playoffs. If Porcello can give them the win and the series victory, they will be able to open the ALCS at home against the Houston Astros and ace Chris Sale will be on the mound.Look for the Red Sox to end the Yankees' season by winning the ALDS in four games.