MLB has entered the back end of the season and prize races are taking shape. The Cy Young Awards is no different, with a fun race that could come down to the final few games
That Cy Young Prize is fascinating in that many of the voters have very different views on what their vote should be worth. Is it ERA, wins, strikeouts or a combination of many stats like WAR? It really comes down to voter interpretation.
With that in mind, we will attempt to give the power rankings of the top 10 Cy Young Award hopes, whether they are in the NL or AL.
It should be noted that this is not a list of who earned the most, but rather the ranking of how they would receive voting points. That’s not the same.
SP, Cleveland Guardian
At the time of writing, if Zack Wheeler had been serving more than 138 innings, he would have taken that spot.
With Wheeler, this is the winner of Cy Young 2020 Shane Bieber at number 10. Bieber is having a fantastic year.
Aside from a shaky July in which he had a 4.23 ERA, Bieber has had a very good season overall.
He is 7th among all pitchers with a 4.0 fWAR. He has a 2.96 ERA (129 ERA+) with 9.22 strikeouts per 9 innings and a 5.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB). He has 171 total strikeouts, which is good for 6th in the AL.
Part of the reason he’s 10th in the power rankings is because he has an expected ERA (xERA) of 3.52, so there’s a chance he might fall behind. However, we can’t really give him credit for that as it’s not reflected in his field results
RP, New York Mets
Very rarely does a relief pitcher win the Cy Young Award. In fact, only 9 helpers have won so far, most recently Eric Gagne in 2003 when he had 55 saves and was on the verge of making a record of 84 consecutive saves.
Chances are slim for Diaz to be next to win, but he was absolutely dominant. He leads all relief pitchers in fWAR with 2.5. Second best is Ryan Helsley with 2.0. In other words, Diaz was 25 percent better in terms of fWAR than the second best pitcher in that category. That’s crazy.
In terms of fWAR, the leader in fWAR is Aaron Nola with 5.3 in 177.1 innings. If Diaz had pitched that many innings, we’d have 8.3 fWAR.
Diaz is currently making 29 saves, with an insane 17 strikeouts per 9 innings. His K/BB ratio is also very good at 5.94. He has an ERA of 1.52, which translates to an ERA+ of 258 (158% better than the league average).
https://fansided.com/2022/09/08/mlb-power-rankings-cy-young-candidates/ Ranking of Cy Young candidates without leagues