To no one’s surprise, Jacob deGrom is once again seen as the pitcher to beat for the NL Cy Young Award. DeGrom was incredible when he was healthy in 2021, but he was only able to throw 92 innings. If he struggles to stay on the mound once again, there are a half-dozen or more pitchers that all have a good chance to earn the honor.
There’s little doubt that Jacob deGrom would have been named the NL Cy Young winner if he had managed to throw 180 innings. DeGrom only made 15 starts, but he finished ninth in Cy Young Award voting last year. He had an impossible 0.554 WHIP with a 14.3 K/9, and his ERA was under 1.00 for most of his starts. If he is healthy, he will likely be the favorite for most of the season.
Walker Buehler is the new ace in Los Angeles. Buehler finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season despite finishing with a .0968 WHIP. There are few concerns about his durability, but his strikeout numbers aren’t great, and we have seen voters look at K/9 more and more in recent years.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is always a threat to win this award. Scherzer has finished in the top five in voting in eight of the last nine years, and his Baseball Reference page is full of bolded and italicized stats. There is a realistic chance that Scherzer and deGrom can cannibalize each other’s vote totals though since they both play for the New York Mets.
Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes narrowly edged out Zack Wheeler in last year’s voting. Burnes led the majors with a 2.43 ERA, a 176+ ERA, a 1.63 FIP, a 12.6 K/9, and a 6.88 K/BB ratio, yet he only received 12 first-place votes for his incredible season. Milwaukee’s ace has only thrown more than 60 innings once in his four-year career though, so this is too short of a price.
Sandy Alcantara is 20-34 in his MLB career. Alcantara has been much better than his win/loss record indicates though, and he was one of the top pitchers in the NL last season. Miami’s ace has steadily improved over his four years with the Marlins, and he finished last year with a 1.075 WHIP and a 4.02 K/BB ratio. Alcantara threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, and he had four pitches that hitters averaged under .230 against in 2021. That makes him a nice longshot bet at 20-1 on DraftKings.
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