The 2021 regular season is nearing the end and the NL Cy Young chase has become a whole new ballgame.
With Jacob deGrom being hindered with injuries, his name has been taken out of the Cy Young discussion. While he was the one projected to win for the National League, all his time missed has put him out of contention.
However, the Milwaukee Brewers have provided a couple of legitimate contenders for that prestigious award. Corbin Burnes has once again put himself in that conversation and could potentially be the winner in the end.
It comes to no surprise to any baseball fan that the Brewers have an elite starting rotation. Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta have all been electrifying this season; All three are within the top five among NL ERA leaders and have put themselves into the Cy Young conversation.
ERA Leaders Across MLB:
Walker Buehler (2.09)
Brandon Woodruff (2.18)
Corbin Burnes (2.23)
Lance Lynn (2.26) & Freddy Peralta (2.26)
Is it possible that Burnes is the best pitcher in baseball? It wouldn’t be a hard argument to make; While Zack Wheeler and Walker Buehler have also been names thrown in there, Burnes really has been the stand out to many.
In terms of rankings and stats, Burnes is in the top five. Sitting third behind Gerrit Cole and Walker Buehler in strikeout rates at 176. He sits behind deGrom who’s walked 11, while Burnes has only walked 21. (Note: These stats are just starting pitching, there are closers who have fewer, but this is in terms of starting pitching.)
The Brewers wouldn’t be at a 71-47 record without their three elite starters in Woodruff, Peralta, and Burnes. The team is quite literally built around those three as they become the faces of the franchise.
Come the end of the season, only one pitcher will get the title of the NL Cy Young Award recipient. With Corbin Burnes breaking records and putting himself in the book with legends, it shouldn’t be hard to decide who the NL Cy Young should be.
Burnes is Elite Status
Corbin Burnes continues to elevate as an elite ace. Two years ago proved to be disastrous, but Burnes has used that as fuel to be greater. In his last start in Chicago, he joined Aaron Nola and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, striking out 10 consecutive batters in a game. Seaver held the record for 51 years until Nola came and tied it on June 25 against the New York Mets. Burnes joined them on Wednesday; And also broke a Brewers’ franchise record striking out 15 batters without issuing a walk.
His success last season definitely carried into this season. He started the season with 58 strikeouts before issuing a walk, which was a record at the time. He has been throwing his curveball more often, walking fewer batters, and he continues to get better.
Brewers fans have seen what Burnes can do; He would be the first Brewer to win the Cy Young Award since 1982. It would definitely be memorable and historic for the crew if they were to make the World Series and have a Cy Young winner on their roster.
If Burnes can continue to pitch how he does, set more records, and have incredible starts like the one against the Cubs, it’ll be no doubt who should win the NL Cy Young.