Happy off-season 2021/2022 to all you beautiful ballboys, ballgirls, and those who are new; WELCOME! This off-season, we are going to have a lot of fun. I love writing, I think about it daily, and between kids, work, school, the time has been limited. But it's my time to get back into more content and more writing!
Today, we will make a case for AL and NL Cy Young award finalists who I think deserve to take home the hardware. Before we jump into the post, I want to make a case for Dan-o's seasoning as the best seasoning on the open market. This winter, sign Dan-o's to your spice racks and thank me later. Simply click here to let them know I sent you.
AL Cy Young Finalists:
1: Gerrit Cole, NY Yankees
Cole had an amazing year leading the Yankees rotation and truly delivered in year two of his massive 9-year contract. Cole did what guys who make $30+ million are supposed to: 5.7WAR, 16-8 record, 30GS, 3.23ERA, 243K, 133ERA+, 2.92FIP, 1.059WHIP. He was also named to the All-Star team for the 4th time in his career. He also leads the AL in wins(16) and Complete Games(2), all in 181.1IP. For a true ACE and one of the best ACES in all of baseball. It's hard to deny the brilliance of Cole during the 2021 season.
2: Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays
I am with many of you when I say FINALLY! Finally, Robbie Ray put it together and got here. Ray bet on himself in 2021 and took the 1-year deal with Toronto, and it could not have gone any better than it did. Ray pitched his way to a 6.6WAR, 13-7 record, 32GS, 2.84ERA, 248K, 154ERA+, 3.69FIP, 1.045WHIP. He leads the AL in WHIP, ERA+, K, GS, and IP with 193.1. Ray was extended a Qualifying offer, and for a good reason. I would not want to lose him if I was Toronto. Simply brilliant from Ray.
3: Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox wanted Lynn and got him in a trade with the Rangers, and it paid off for both sides as the 34yo vet is now being considered for his first Cy Young award. Lynn hits the open market this winter and could do so with some hardware after his incredible season. The season I am talking about includes a 5.4WAR, 11-6 record, 28GS, 2.69ERA, 179K, 161ERA+, 3.32FIP, 1.070WHIP, and his second All-star appearance. This is Lynn's 3rd straight top 6 Cy Young finish.
NL Cy Young Finalists:
1: Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
Wheeler, the second player on this list in the 2nd year of his massive contract, DELIVERED! The Phillies fought all season long for the playoffs and fell just short, and Wheeler did his part all season long. Wheeler pitched to a 7.7WAR, 14-10 record, 2.78ERA, 32GS, 247K, 150ERA+, 2.59FIP, 1.008WHIP. Wheeler also leads the NL is BF(849), K, SHO(2), CG(3) as well as IP with 213.1. Everyone, including myself, had doubts about Wheeler's health, consistency, and if he was worth the money the Phillies gave him. I would say after two great seasons and now a potential Cy Young, the answer is YES.
2: Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Winning the ERA title in the NL is no easy accomplishment by any means, but Burnes did it, even against his competition on his team. Burnes, the true ACE of the Brew-Crew, helped this team have a clear path to the NL playoffs. Burnes's fantastic year ended with a 5.7WAR, 11-5 record, 2.43ERA, 28GS, 234K, 176ERA+, 1.63FIP, 0.940WHIP. Burnes led the league in ERA(2.43), ERA+, FIP, HR9(0.4), SO9(12.6); he got his first career All-Star nod as well. The Brewers have one of the most dominant rotations in baseball, and they are led by absolute greatness.
3: Max Scherzer, Los Angels Dodgers
Does 37yo Mad Max add his career FOURTH Cy Young to his resume? It's hard to argue Max with his current resume for the Hall of Fame and if he wins the 4th this season. He is all but guaranteed a spot in Cooperstown, and he isn't even done yet. After a season where he was traded at the deadline to LA from Washington couldn't have gone much better. The Dodgers competed through the NLCS and fell just short of the World Series. The biggest question was, would the outcome have been different if the dodgers didn't pull him at 5IP? Enough about Max, the numbers time to speak 5.3WAR, 15-4 record, 2.46ERA, 30GS, 236K, 166ERA+, 2.97FIP, 0.864WHIP. Mad Max led the NL in BB9(1.8), H9(6.0), WHIP. He also earned his 8th All-Star appearance.
Ball Boy Picks *insert drum roll*
My AL pick for the award goes to Robbie Ray; the Blue Jays rotation would have struggled without Ray. Ryu wasn't near the pitcher we expected after being a Cy Young finalist in 2020. The surprises from the Jay's were nothing less than exceptional and a result of excellent coaching. The consistent dominance with IP and GS is what confirms the award for me.
My NL Pick and I can't believe it's not Burnes, but it's Mad Max. Without Max, the Dodgers don't win 100+ games and make it to the playoffs with as much ease as they did for the WC. In 11 starts with the Dodgers, he had a 7-0 record, 1.98ERA, 89K-8BB. He was simply the absolute best pitcher in all of baseball from the deadline on. Without Max, the Dodgers are a 95-99 win team at best, which is still great, but not 106W with Mad Max.
Don't forget to watch or stream the awards on November 18th.