With Major League Baseball officially at the All-Star break, the unofficial MLB awards season is now underway. While the National League Cy Young race appeared to be one of the more interesting races in most MLB awards prediction articles to start the season, it has turned into a bit of a blowout. While a clear front runner has emerged, let’s look at some of the candidates for the National League Cy Young.
The Runaway Favorite
Sandy Alcantara has taken the National League by storm this season. At the All-Star break, he is 9-4 with a dazzling 1.76 ERA, striking out 123 hitters while only allowing 33 walks in an MLB-high 138 innings. He also leads the league with 2 complete games this season.
The National League Cy Young is just one of the MLB awards that Alcantara has been linked to this season. With the Marlins hovering around .500, if Miami makes a run at a Wild Card spot, it is certainly feasible that Alcantara could win the MVP award.
The Defending Champ
Perhaps the only player that can run down Alcantara is the 2021 National League Cy Young winner, Corbin Burnes. Currently with a 7-4 record, Burnes 2.14 ERA is better than last year while he leads the National League in strikeouts with 144 in 113 innings pitched. While he has been terrific this season, the one blemish for Burnes are the 12 home runs he has allowed this season.
If Alcantara were to slip in the second half of the year, Burnes should see his name skyrocket in the MLB awards races.
The King of San Diego
When looking back at the past few seasons, the Pittsburgh Pirates have to be kicking themselves for some of the names they traded away. One such name, Joe Musgrove, has continued his stellar form since heading west after the 2020 season. This year, he is 8-2 with a 2.42 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 104 innings.
While he trails Alcantara in the Cy Young race, he was named to his first All-Star Game and should be a name to watch in future MLB awards seasons.
Another Star in LA
Last year, Julio Urias rocked the baseball world when he led baseball with 20 wins. This year, Tony Gonsolin is doing his best Urias impression, as he leads the league with 11 wins and 0 loses with a 2.02 ERA. While his advanced metrics show that Gonsolin is in-line for a little bit of regression (his FIP is 3.39), a high powered Dodgers offense should make a frequent winner out of Gonsolin.
While his metrics likely won’t be good enough to compete with Alcantara and Burnes, Gonsolin could be the dark horse of this year’s MLB awards season.
The World Series Ace
Just like the Atlanta Braves surprised the baseball world by winning the World Series last year, Max Fried could once again shock baseball by winning the Cy Young this season. With a 10-3 record and a 2.64 ERA, Fried has led the Braves back in the National League East race as the team tries to catch the Mets.
If Fried and the Braves can claim the division title, it will likely be done on the arm of their young ace.
With the MLB awards season set to catch fire in the second half, let us know in the comments who you think will win the National League Cy Young award!
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