MLB: Ranking the Cy Young contenders outside of leagues

The MLB season is nearing its conclusion, and the award races are beginning to take shape. The competition for the Cy Young award is entertaining, and it can come down to the next few games.

Numerous voters for the Cy Young award have very varied opinions about who or what merits their vote, which makes this honor intriguing.

Is it WAR, ERA, wins, strikeouts, or a combination of multiple stats? The voters’ interpretation will ultimately determine the outcome.

With this in mind, we’ll try to rank the top 10 Cy Young contenders in order of power, regardless of whether they play for the National League or the American League.

It should be noted that this is a list of who would obtain the most vote points, not a ranking of who is most deserving. These are not equivalent.


Shane Bieber

SP, Cleveland Guardians

Zack Wheeler would have taken this position if he had pitched more than 138 innings at the time this article was written.

Wheeler’s absence places Shane Bieber, the 2020 Cy Young Award winner, in position ten. Justin Bieber is having a great year.

With the exception of a rocky month of July, when his ERA was 4.23, Bieber has had an excellent season.

His 4.0 fWAR places him seventh among all pitchers. He has a 2.96 ERA (129 ERA+), a strikeout rate of 9.22 per nine innings, and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 5.03. He ranks sixth in the AL with 171 total strikeouts.

He has an expected ERA (xERA) of 3.52, thus there is a risk that he could regress, which is one of the reasons he is ranked tenth in power rankings. However, since his on-field performance does not reflect that, we cannot really hold that against him.


Edwin Diaz

RP, New York Mets

A bullpen pitcher is extremely unlikely to win the Cy Young award. In actuality, only 9 relievers have ever won, with Eric Gagne becoming the most recent to do it in 2003 while leading the league with 55 saves and on pace to break the record of 84 straight saves.

Although there is a little chance that Diaz will triumph next, he has been completely unbeatable. He has the 2.5 highest fWAR of any reliever. Ryan Helsley comes in second with a 2.0. In terms of fWAR, Diaz has therefore performed 25% better than the second-best pitcher in that division. That is crazy.

Aaron Nola leads the league in fWAR with 5.3 over 177.1 innings played. We would have 8.3 fWAR if Diaz had pitched that many innings.

With a mind-boggling 17 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, Diaz presently has 29 saves. His K/BB ratio of 5.94 is also quite impressive. His 1.52 ERA results in an ERA+ of 258, which is 158% higher than the league average. Read More