The 2021 NL Cy Young race is wide open right now. Brewers co-ace Corbin Burnes had a dominant start against the Cubs on Wednesday night, in hopefully the beginning of him separating himself from the pack.
With the injuries suffered by Jacob deGrom this season keeping him off the mound, the NL Cy Young race is anyone’s game. deGrom was running away with it, but with his time missed, he likely won’t be able to win it.
Provided all the rest of the contenders remain healthy, the Brewers have three viable contenders for the award. Corbin Burnes just put up a performance to show it might be him that comes out on top.
Can Corbin Burnes separate himself from the pack of contenders for the NL Cy Young, not only from the rest of the league, but from the Brewers own rotation.
It’s pretty well known by Brewers fans that Milwaukee has three stud starting pitchers in Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. All three are in the Top 5 among NL ERA leaders. All three are Cy Young contenders.
When it comes to voting for the Cy Young at the end of the season, which Brewers pitcher is going to be the clear leader of the group? If all three are similar, then voters could have a wide variety in the order they rank the three of them, which could end up hurting all of them in the points total and allow someone else to jump in and win the award.
Granted, the Brewers aren’t as worried about who will win the Cy Young and are more worried about winning baseball games, and they should focus on that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t focus on it.
Over the final month and a half of the regular season, the NL Cy Young race will have to become more clear. Eventually, someone is going to separate themselves from the pack.
The eight inning, 15 strikeout, no walk, shutout performance from Burnes against the Cubs might have been the beginning of his pull away from the group.
We’ve seen what Burnes is capable of, and his ability to put up the gaudy strikeout numbers and limit walks makes him a very strong candidate to win the Brewers first Cy Young award since 1982. If he goes on a stretch of dominant starts here down the stretch, he’ll put himself clearly ahead of not only Woodruff and Burnes in the race, but ahead of other candidates like Walker Buehler and Kevin Gausman.
He can do it. It’ll take a few more starts where he does something historic, and certainly a no-hitter wouldn’t hurt his case either.
The more records he sets, and the more impressive starts he has down the stretch like the one he had against the Cubs, the more Burnes will separate himself from the rest of pack of Cy Young candidates.