With September just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at how the Cy Young Awards fights are going.
We asked the experts at MLB.com to list their top three nominees for the award in the American and National Leagues. Players received a total of points on a scale of 5-3-1 (five points to first-place votes, three to second, and one to third).
1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Yankees (31 first-place votes)
Cole has finished fifth or better in four career votes, including the past three years, but he is still looking for his first Cy Young. It could be a solid month away from getting there.
Cole had a tough stretch before the All-Star Game, but he’s had a 2.51 ERA in his last seven starts. Cole leads the American League in WHIP (0.99), FIP (2.72), K / 9 (12.16) and K / BB (6.25). In addition, he continues to be among the five starters of the Young Circuit with the most innings worked despite missing a couple of weeks due to COVID-19.
2. Lance Lynn, RHP, White Sox (24 first-place votes)
After finishing fifth and sixth in the AL Cy Young race with the Rangers for the past two years, respectively, Lynn appears to be better positioned in 2021 in his bid for the award. The right-hander not only leads the American League with a 2.20 ERA, but he’s more than half a career shorter than any other qualified pitcher. Lynn also has the best hits per nine innings (6.68), fourth in WHIP (1.05) and seventh in K / 9) (9.99).
3. Robbie Ray, LZ, Blue Jays (5 first-place votes)
After throwing a 14-strikeout gem Wednesday against the White Sox, Ray looks like a legitimate candidate in this fight. He has a better ERA (2.72) than Cole and has the third-best K / BB rate (5.19) in the AL, striking for a pitcher who had a 4.3 BB / 9 in his first seven seasons and just a year ago he awarded more. tickets (45) than any pitcher in the majors. The 29-year-old could enter free agency after this season with a Cy Young under his belt.
4. Chris Bassitt, RHP, Athletics (2 first-place votes)
Bassitt was hit by a ball to the face on Aug. 17, causing multiple fractures that required surgery, bringing a solid season to a halt for the right-hander. It’s unclear if it will launch again this year, but so far, it’s in the top five on our list. Bassitt is fourth or better in the AL in ERA (3.22), WHIP (1.05) innings (151), K / BB (4.40) and seventh in strikeouts (154).
5. Shohei Ohtani, RHP, Angels (3 votes for first place)
Ohtani may not have enough innings to win this award, but just being in the conversation is impressive, considering the offensive load he’s had to carry over the year. The MVP favorite has posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 127 strikeouts in 105 innings and has been even better lately, with a 2.20 ERA and a 44-to-4 strikeout rate per walk. in seven starts since he walked four and allowed seven runs in less than one inning against the Yankees on June 30.
Others with votes: Carlos Rodón, Nathan Eovaldi, Liam Hendriks, Zack Greinke, José Berríos.
1. Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers (35 first-place votes)
Although Buehler has been excellent all year, he’s really upped his game lately, posting a 1.19 ERA in his last nine starts to clinch the major league lead (2.02). In addition, he is second in innings in the National with 169, and in WHIP with 0.92 and is tied for third place in strikeouts with 178.
Buehler has pitched at least six innings and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in 21 starts this year. No other pitcher has had 16 such starts.
2. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Phillies (19 first-place votes)
If we’d done this poll two weeks ago, Wheeler probably would have been in first place, but he’s dropped a bit after his latest outings. In three starts since he threw a two-hit shutout against the Mets on Aug. 8, the mountaineer has had a 6.53 ERA and his ERA for the year (2.90) is nearly a career higher than Buehler’s.
That said, Wheeler continues to lead the majors in innings (176.2) and strikeouts (204), so he could beat Buehler if he improves his ERA.
3. Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers (7 first-place votes)
The only thing that could hurt Burnes’ candidacy is that he has thrown 36.0 fewer innings than Buehler and 43.2 fewer than Wheeler. But perhaps there has been no more dominant pitcher this year than Burnes, who leads the majors in FIP (1.65), K / 9 (12.18) and K / BB (6.92), while also limiting opposing hitters to an OPS. of .524, the best among pitchers with at least 100.0 innings worked.
4. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Giants (2 first-place votes)
When Mets ace Jacob deGrom entered the disabled list on July 18, Gausman appeared to be the favorite for the Old Circuit Cy Young. After all, he was coming off a first half in which he posted a 1.73 ERA and a 4.43 K / BB in 114.2 innings. But the veteran has fallen in the second half, with a 5.82 ERA.
5. Max Scherzer, RHP, Dodgers (1 vote for first place)
Here we have a pitcher who knows how to win a Cy Young. Scherzer has three and has finished four more times in the top five. He’s having another award-worthy season and he’s gotten even better since arriving in Los Angeles.
Scherzer has a 1.55 ERA with 41 strikeouts and four walks in his first five starts with the Dodgers. He is a leader in the Major Leagues with a WHIP of 0.88 and in hits per nine innings (5.79), in a year in which he is also second in the National in K / 9 (12.09) and K / BB (5.70).
Others with votes: Brandon Woodruff (1 vote for first place), Jacob deGrom, Adam Wainwright, Jake McGee, Josh Hader and Julio César Urías.