The MLB CY Young award is given out to the best pitcher from each league at the end of every regular season. Each month, TGH will release their top 3 pitchers in the National League in the Cy Young race, including a prediction of who will win the award. This is the MLB NL Cy Young Rankings for the month of June.
Mitch Keller, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
W-L Record: 6-1
Innings Pitched: 68.66
The first name on this list will come as a surprise to some. Mitch Keller has exploded on the scene in 2023, mainly due to a few changes in his pitch mix. In 2022, Keller had a sub 4 ERA, allowing 9 H/9, and striking out less than a batter an inning. Flash forward to 2023 and Keller ranks second in the NL in K/9 as well as lowering his WHIP to around a 1.000. How has he done it?
Like previously mentioned, Keller made a change with his pitch mix. Better yet, Keller made an addition to his pitches, adding a cutter and throwing it nearly 25% of the time. His cutter has been deadly, allowing around a .200 batting average so far and an average exit velocity of 83 MPH. With his cutter being so deadly, in addition to his sweeper that has dominated baseball as well, Keller is a dark horse for the NL Cy Young in 2023.
Spencer Strider, SP, Atlanta Braves
W-L Record: 4-2
Innings Pitched: 57.66
Spencer Strider has been outright incredible this season. His season isn’t just good for 2023 standards, but for historical standards. His current K/9 (15.1) would rank as the highest among starting pitchers in single game MLB history. He will be the first pitcher to 100 strikeouts as well as contending to strike out 100 batters this year.
To go along with that kind of dominance, he also hasn’t allowed hits as often as the average pitcher. He is allowing 6 H/9 and has a WHIP around a 1.000. His pairing of elite spin and elite velocity is unheard of. Strider was limited in 2022, as a rookie, but it appears the Braves are going to loosen the leash on him this year. Let’s see if he can lead them deep into the playoffs as well as securing himself a Cy Young award in his second year.
Zac Gallen. SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
W-L Record: 6-2
Innings Pitched: 66.66
Late last season, Zac Gallen threw 44.33 consecutive scoreless innings. Over that stretch, he struck out over 10 hitters per 9 innings and allowed a WHIP of just 0.54. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. To make it even more ridiculous, Gallen threw over 30 consecutive scoreless innings this season. He reaches a ridiculous level of dominance at certain points.
Gallen currently sits just below a 3.00 ERA, but more impressively, he has a FIP near 2.00. This number projects that Gallen’s ERA will just continue to drop with time. Because of his dominant curveball and fastball combination, Gallen always has the chance to catch fire. He has shown the ability to do it before and if he is able to do it again, he very well could be the front runner for this award for a long time.
Prediction: Spencer Strider, SP, Atlanta Braves
Strider has just been too dominant. There isn’t a pitcher in the MLB that has shown this kind of dominance since Jacob DeGrom was doing it when he was fully healthy. No MLB team wants to see Strider toe the mound against them and he is only going to get better. Spencer Strider will continue the dominance and he is the front runner to take home the award.
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