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Why Justin Verlander Will Win the 2022 Cy Young

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The 2022 MLB season is approaching its third month, and while the awards are not going to be given out until October, it is never too early to make predictions. Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has been dominating so far this season and is on pace for another Cy Young Award, so here is why JV will add another Cy Young to his already stacked list of achievements.

Post-Tommy John Greatness

Justin Verlander suffered a season-ending injury during the condensed 2020 campaign that required Tommy John surgery. Verlander would spend the entirety of the 2021 season rehabbing and getting back into the rhythm that he had once built.

So far into the 2022 season, Justin Verlander has recorded eight starts and during those eight starts, his stats are as follows:

6-1 record, 1.22 ERA, .72 WHIP, 49 strikeouts, and 28 hits allowed.

It is safe to say that Verlander has some of, if not, the best stats currently for a pitcher this season. So what do the voters look for in a candidate? Which stats mean the most?

Cy Young Eligibility

The Cy Young Award is given to the best pitchers in the American and National League. Voters tend to look at a few critical stats: number of wins, earned run average, and walks-plus-hits-per-inning-pitched. Those three are the main ones; however, others, like number of strikeouts, losses, and overall team impact, are also taken into account.

Here are Verlander’s stats from his 2019 Cy Young Award-winning season:

21-6 record, 2.58 ERA, 300 strikeouts, .803 WHIP.

If Verlander keeps going at his current pace, he should be on track to win over 20 games this season and have an ERA at or below 2.50.

Why Verlander Should Be a Cy Young Lock

When is the last time you witnessed a pitcher comeback from Tommy John surgery and dominate as if nothing happened? Most pitchers tend to not perform as well as they hope during their first season back from TJ. Fellow Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr, for example, struggled mightily in 2020 before putting up career high numbers in 2021. What Verlander is doing is incredible considering his age and where he is at in his career.

Again, it is only May, and a lot can happen between now and October. Yet, if Verlander keeps this up, he is a lock for the Cy Young.

Whether he wins this particular prize or not, Verlander would certainly be nearly guaranteed to be named the comeback player of the year.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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