The Battery Power staff weighs in on who will take home the Cy Young Awards
BBWAA Awards week will continue Wednesday night with the announcement of the winners of the Cy Young Awards for the National and American Leagues. The winners will be announced at 6 p.m. live on MLB Network and Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried is among the finalists for the Award in the National League.
While no one on the Battery Power staff has a vote in the actual awards, below are our thoughts and who we would vote for if we were given the opportunity. (Note: Roundtable participants were not required to vote for one of the BBWAA finalists)
National League: (Finalists: Sandy Alcantara, Max Fried, Julio Urias)
Kris: I think there is way too much talk of a pitcher’s workload in regards to the Cy Young Award which stems from Corbin Burnes beating out Zack Wheeler last season. With that said, Sandy Alcantara is still my choice in that he had the most dominant season beginning to end of anyone. I’m happy to see Max Fried as a finalist, but for the life of me can’t figure out how Carlos Rodon didn’t finish in the top three.
Sam: Alcantara. Pretty much all season long it was Sandy and everyone else. It’s even more impressive that he held up the rate stats he did while leading the league in innings pitched
Eric: I think it is Sandy by a pretty significant margin here. He was putting up some silly starts all season and the numbers plus the eye test has him as the best NL pitcher to me. Also, Aaron Nola and/or Rodon probably should have been a finalist here.
DJourn: About those finalists … I get two of the three. I’m not sure how Julio Urias got the nod over Aaron Nola or Carlos Rodon. My choice here would be Rodon. If you want to ding Rodon because he threw less innings than other top options, fine, then go with Nola.
Cassidy: Sandy is the clear choice with complete games and just pure dominance! I do think that Rodon was a big time snub because he was a personal rally killer with strikeouts (237) and the inconsistency with Giants staff as a whole.
Ivan: This set of finalists is about as dumb as we’ve seen for a league in this award. Either Rodon or Nola, none of these guys. Nola if you want the best pitcher that was ridden like a horse without much care for protecting him from the times through the order penalty, Rodon if you want the pitcher who did the best stuff with a bit more caution about his usage. Urias being a finalist is hilariously bad given that he was third on his team in fWAR among starters.
Daniel: This list of finalists does a good job illustrating why we all should put very little stock into these awards, as my top two choices (Aaron Nola and Carlos Rodon) are missing. Alcantara is the most deserving of the three finalists, but I think Nola was the best combination of quantity and quality of pitching in the 2022 season by a very thin margin over Rodon.
Shawn: Sandy Alcantara should win the award. From start to finish, he was the most consistent performer in terms of dominance. Both from a counting stats and advanced stats perspective, his production stacks up pretty well to almost anyone else. He was the clear front runner early on, and only made his case stronger as the season went on.
Demetrius: It’s Sandy Alcantara, 100%. One of Aaron Nola or Carlos Rodon should’ve been a finalist instead of Julio Urias but at this point we’re just splitting hairs. Alcantara quite clearly had the best season of the three finalists remaining so this is a no-brainer. You know the awards are starting to backslide a bit when we’re all talking about how the finalist choices were nonsensical.
American League: (Finalists: Dylan Cease, Alek Manoah, Justin Verlander
Kris: Justin Verlander would get my vote. To do what he did, coming off of Tommy John surgery at his age was very impressive.
Eric: I would be genuinely shocked if Verlander didn’t win it as he has a healthy fWAR lead over Manoah and Cease. I would have put Ohtani as a finalist over Manoah at the very least for what it is worth.
Sam: What Cease did with strikeouts this year was bonkers, but he walked too many guys. The way Verlander kept runs off the board all year long wins it for me.
DJourn: Shohei Ohtani. If he was just a pitcher, he should be a finalist. He is a two-way player who struck out almost 12 per nine innings in 166 innings while posting a 1.012 WHIP. Unreal performance by Ohtani.
Cassidy: Verlander. He was coming off Tommy John at age 39 it was insane how dominant he was under 2 ERA and having the ability to get 99 whenever he needed it. Incredible!
Ivan: Another set of incredibly dumb finalists. I think you can make a case for any of Verlander, Kevin Gausman, or Shohei Ohtani here, but Cease and Manoah shouldn’t be particularly near any set of finalists. Manoah had a 101 xFIP-, for crying out loud. Anyway, each of Verlander/Gausman/Ohtani have decent enough reason to win. Verlander is the Nola-esque guy whose numbers are super-impressive because he was basically thrown in there without much regard to his usage, while Ohtani is the opposite but still pitched phenomenally given how he was babied. Gausman continues to be a somewhat weird case given that his peripherals are awesome but the contact management is just never there, so if you completely disregard contact management as a thing he could be the choice for you. Please stop letting people vote for these awards.
Daniel: See my colleagues above for why the finalists are dumb and Ohtani and Gausman should be in this shortlist alongside Verlander. I will go with Ohtani because all three are right there together, but all of Ohtani’s ERA/FIP/xFIP/xERA numbers paint a picture of an elite pitcher, while Verlander’s xFIP and Gausman’s ERA and xERA are slightly less impressive.
Shawn Coleman: Justin Verlander should win the award. The numbers are there to support him being the choice, but when you also consider that he did this at 39 after coming off TJ surgery, it is even more impressive.
Demetrius: I’d give the nod to Verlander for the reasons Shawn just mentioned. Absolutely absurd that he was able to go from “Is this it?” to the season that he just had on the mound. Fantastic work on his part.