Can Corbin Burnes capture his second National League Cy Young Award in 2022?
As it stands now, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara is the odds-on favorite to take home the NL Cy Young Award at +200 odds. Corbin Burnes currently is tied for the second-best odds at +600, so he still has a chance to catch Alcantara, but will it be enough for Burnes to capture his second NL Cy Young Award?
The body of work
By the looks of it, Burnes is on track to eclipse his Cy Young Award campaign last season. Among pitchers in the NL, Burnes is first in strikeouts (124), tied for second in WHIP (0.92), fourth in ERA (2.36) and fifth in WAR (3.1) and innings pitched (99.1).
Per usual, Burnes’ cutter is getting most of the work done, relying on the pitch 57% of the time. Batters are hitting .197 against it and 56 of his strikeouts have come from his cutter, so nothing has really changed in that department.
His sinker hasn’t been up to par like it was last year, with hitters batting .300 against it this year compared to .211 last season. Overall, Burnes has been his stellar self, he’s just had a few hiccups with some of his pitches.
In Burnes’ last five starts, he’s pitched 31 innings, struck out 40, has a 2.00 ERA and went 4-1. Burnes has only had two or three bad starts this year and it looks like he’s rounding into form. If he can continue on the path that he’s on, Burnes will give himself a good shot to become the 12th player of all-time to win back-to-back Cy Young awards.
As of now, the main competition is Alcantara who’s the favorite to win the award at +200. Alcantara is carrying the highest WAR in the MLB at 4.5 and has the second-lowest ERA in the NL at 1.95. Lately, Alcantara has tailed off a bit in terms of this year’s standards.
In his last four appearances, he has a 2.84 ERA in 31.2 inning pitched, and went at least seven innings in each outing. Alcantara has pitched 115.2 innings so far which is 11.2 innings more than any other NL starter. Innings pitched isn’t everything, but voters will love that Alcantara has been going against the grain this season.
The second player that is in contention with Burnes and Alcantara is San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove. Musgrove’s odds currently stand at +600 like Burnes, but he’s had a rough go at it lately. In his last three starts, Musgrove has a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings, losing two of those starts.
In the NL, Musgrove still has the fifth-best ERA (2.25) and has the fourth best WHIP (0.95). If Musgrove is going to stay in the conversation, he better hope his last few starts aren’t a sign for what’s to come.
The NL Cy Young Award race looks like it will go down to the wire and Burnes has as good a chance as anybody to take home the hardware.