As we get into the first week of August, the Cy Young race for the AL and NL are ever-changing. Some pitchers are approaching or are at the twenty-start milestone thus far in the season, which is really when the race for this award heats up. In this blog, I will provide my Cy Young Award “ladder” for both leagues, listing out my top-5.
1. Lance Lynn
At this point in the season, Lynn is undoubtedly the leading candidate to win the American League Cy Young Award. Over 18 starts, he has a 10-3 record, a terrific 1.91 ERA, and 115 strikeouts over 103.2 innings pitched. He has been a vital piece to the White Sox and their success. Given how well Lance has aged, there is a chance he accumulates 200 wins and 2,000 strikeouts. This surely could put his name into Hall of Fame consideration, and a Cy Young Award would greatly bolster his case.
2. Carlos Rodon
Rodon is the number two in that great White Sox starting rotation, and he is putting together an excellent season. After his no-hitter earlier this season, Carlos was destined for a great year. He has a 9-4 record, a 2.24 ERA, 145 strikeouts, and an excellent 0.92 WHIP. Given the lack of innings, he has pitched in his Major League career, the sustainably of his success is up in the air. However, what he has done thus far in the season puts him in the second spot for this award in my rankings.
3. Robbie Ray
Ray became a household name in 2017 while with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as he was an All-Star that season, and had a couple of good years in his tenure for that organization. After struggling mightily in 2020, Ray has been terrific for the Blue Jays this season. He has a 3.04 ERA, 150 strikeouts over 118.1 innings pitched, and a 9-5 record. I expect him to maintain this success, and I’m sure he will garner a ton of attention in the upcoming offseason as he once again hits the open market.
4. Gerrit Cole
Regardless of opinion on the Yankees’ ace, it is a fact that he is an absolute workhorse. He leads all of baseball with 176 strikeouts and is tops in the AL with 14 quality starts. Over 130.1 innings, he sports a 3.11 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Cole has yet again been a breath of fresh air for this struggling Yankees rotation and is looking at yet another top-5 Cy Young finish.
5. Kyle Gibson
The Rangers could not have asked for more out of Gibson this season, as he has been outstanding thus far. He has a 6-3 record, a 2.87 ERA, and 94 strikeouts over 113 innings pitched. This success earned him an AL All-Star nod, the first of this veteran’s career.
1. Jacob deGrom
New York’s ace is currently on the IL with forearm tightness, but he has been nothing short of historic this season. Though he has made just 15 starts and compiled 92 innings pitched so far, his 1.08 ERA and 0.554 WHIP are unreal. At this point, Jacob’s injury-ridden season has made his Cy Young path that much tougher, but it is hard to bet against the chances of the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
2. Corbin Burnes
Burnes has a better ERA than his teammate Woodruff at 2.12, but his WHIP is significantly higher. With that being said, Corbin carries a 0.90 WHIP which is still very good. At age 26, I expect Burnes to crack this top-5 list for many seasons to come, and maybe even win the award one day.
3. Walker Buehler
The three spot in this list was tough to select, but I eventually concluded that Buehler deserves this spot. He has an 11-1 record and leads all of baseball with 18 quality starts. His 2.19 ERA is also terrific, as is his 0.90 WHIP. Though his strikeout numbers are down this year, it has not affected his dominance.
4. Brandon Woodruff
Woodruff has been a key piece to the success of Milwaukee all season, as he is becoming a household name in Major League Baseball. He is tops in baseball with a 0.84 WHIP, which pairs nicely with his 2.14 ERA.
5. Freddy Peralta
Peralta has emerged as the three starter on this loaded Milwaukee staff, and he is having a Cy Young-worthy season as well. He has an excellent 0.89 WHIP, a 2.29 ERA, and a 7-3 record. The future is bright for this young Brewers staff, and I foresee Peralta staying dominant for years to come.