You are going to notice a trend as you go through the list that will make you understand why I’m saying that 2018 might be one of my favorite years in sports even though every team I love has broken my heart. I still hate you, Sonny Gray.
Of course, I still managed a way to sneak a few New York athletes on this list. Blame the way I was raised.
But anyway, here are the best athletes of 2018:
10. Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGrom had one of the greatest seasons that a starting pitcher has had since they lowered the pitching mound in 1969. He went 10-9 in 32 starts with a 1.70 ERA and he ended the season on a streak of 29 straight starts of allowing 3 runs or fewer which is the longest streak in MLB history.
Out of every player in Major League Baseball this past season, Jacob deGrom objectively had the best year and it wasn’t particularly close. Mookie Betts can win all the MVP awards his tiny little heart wants but deGrom is the best player in baseball.
9. Saquon Barkley
Let’s make this extremely clear, the only reason why Saquon Barkley isn’t the MVP is because he’s a rookie and no, I don’t mean that a rookie can’t win an MVP. I mean the New York Giants are 5-8 right now and it would be insane to get the MVP award to a team missing the playoffs.
But next season, the MVP trophy will belong to him because hopefully the organization has found out that they found a star so they are going to spend the summer building the perfect team and offensive schemes around his talent. Don’t be shocked if he ends up number one of the 2019 list.
8. James Harden
After finishing second place in MVP voting 2 out of the last 3 seasons, Harden finally took home the trophy leading the league in scoring and 3-pointers and taking the Golden State Warriors to 7 games in the Western Conference Finals.
The Houston Rockets set a new franchise record with 65 wins thanks to Harden’s historic year and this is probably the only time I’ll be able to put Harden on this list because as I write this, the Rockets stink.
7. Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald leads the league in sacks after holding out all summer because he deserved to be the highest paid defensive player in the league. One of the few times a guy demanded more money and then instantly proved he was right all along. (Khalil Mack would be the other example).
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) April 1, 2018
Aaron Donald is out here training with fucking KNIVES. Of course he’s on this top 10 list.
6. Simona Halep
While everyone was watching Serena Williams scream at that umpire during the US Open, Simona Halep quietly had the best season of the year as she started the season ranked No. 1 in the world and ended the season as No. 1.
In 2018, Halep took home both the French Open and Australian Open titles and led the WTA with a nearly 50% rate of breaking serve. That means she scored half of her points when it wasn’t her round to serve which is how you end up on this list written by a tennis nerd.