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On the heels of Sandy Alcantara’s dominant performance over the Mets, is he the favorite to win this year’s NL Cy Young Award?
Sandy Alcantara was unsurprisingly lights out once again in last night’s win over the Mets, as he went eight strong innings, allowing two earned runs and a walk with eight strikeouts.
His ERA on the season has now dropped all the way down to 1.72 and his ERA+ currently sits at 239, good for second in the NL amongst qualified starters.
As we recently covered in a piece ranking the ace of each NL club, the National League is absolutely stacked with pitching talent behind Alcantara of the Miami Marlins.
What do the NL Cy Young power rankings look like as of today?
#5 – Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Julio Urías
Julio Urías has lived in the shadows of teammates Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler over the past handful of seasons. He seemingly came out of nowhere last year, finishing the season with a 2.96 ERA and a jaw-dropping W-L record of 20-3, good enough to earn him seventh place in the Cy Young voting.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the presence of Urías in the Dodgers rotation. So far this year, the 25-year-old southpaw is 4-6 with a 2.56 ERA. His home runs are up a bit from previous years but he continues to be a reliable option that will show up and give it his all every fifth day for the Dodgers.
Honorable mentions: SFG Carlos Rodón (6-4 2.84 ERA), ARI Merrill Kelly (6-4 3.46 ERA), MIA Pablo López (4-3 2.85 ERA), STL Miles Mikolas (5-4, 2.62 ERA), LAD Tyler Anderson (8-0 2.82 ERA)
#4 – Philadelphia Phillies RHP Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola, much like Urías, has been a bit underrated due to the presence of Zack Wheeler since Wheeler joining the Phillies, but he continues to be one of the stronger arms in the whole National League.
The 29-year-old Nola has been dominant this season, posting a 4-4 record in 14 starts with an ERA of 3.11 and a 2.94 FIP. He currently leads the National League is WHIP (0.870) and SO/BB (9.00) thanks to his 99 strikeouts against just 11 walks. He is also only one of seven pitchers in the NL to have made all 14 of his starts on the season, showing off his early-season durability.
#3 – Milwaukee Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes
Corbin Burnes has continued to baffle opposing hitters in 2022 but has been just a tick behind the top two pitchers on the list. Burnes, 27, leads the NL in strikeouts with 100 and has allowed just 17 walks through his first 78+ innings of the year.
The proud owner of an 11.4 SO/9, Burnes has received a criminally low amount of run support this year so his 4-4 record doesn’t tell the whole story. With a sparkling 165 ERA+ and 0.953 WHIP, Burnes is doing all he can to make it two consecutive trophy-winning seasons and certainly possesses the tools to leapfrog the remaining two names and capture another Cy Young Award.
#2 – San Diego Padres RHP Joe Musgrove
Years of mediocrity in an Astros and Pirates uniform came to a head last year for Joe Musgrove as he finally broke through, topping 200 strikeouts and throwing his first career no-hitter along the way.
To begin 2022, Musgrove has continued to cement himself into the conversation of best pitcher in the league. In 12 starts, the 29-year-old is 8-0 with an MLB-leading 1.59 ERA and 240 ERA+. He’s not the biggest strikeout pitcher in the league but he has 81 in 79 innings and has limited the walk and longball so far, giving up 17 walks and just five home runs.
#1 – Miami Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara
At this point, it’s awfully difficult to pick anybody but Sandy Alcantara for the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award. The race was much closer about a month ago before Alcantara put together one of the most dominant stretch of starts in recent memory.
The young righty has gone 7+ innings in each of his last eight starts, throwing a complete game and another nine-inning start along the way, and has allowed just seven earned runs over those starts.
The 26-year-old hurler currently leads the majors in starts (14), innings (99.1) and batters faced (381) while leading the National League in H/9 (6.1) and HR/9 (0.4) to begin the season. It’s one thing to be the best workhorse in the majors by going deep into ballgames every fifth day but it’s even more impressive that Alcantara has allowed just four home runs along the way.
If this stretch of play continues for Sandy Alcantara, he will not only be the starting pitcher for the NL in this year’s All-Star Game but he will also be a first time Cy Young Award winner when all is said and done.