Brewers News: Corbin Burnes Named a Finalist for 2021 NL Cy Young

Matt Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 30: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on August 30, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 30: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on August 30, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Leading up to MLB awards season, there has been plenty of optimism that a certain Brewers pitcher can bring home the team’s first Cy Young award in almost 40 years. Today, that dream got one step closer to becoming reality.

A day after fans got some disappointing award news in the form of Kolten Wong‘s Gold Glove snub, MLB announced finalists for a number of other awards. That included the National League Cy Young award.

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee’s young, stud starting pitcher who set a number of records last season, was expected to be a leading candidate to win that award for his outstanding performance in 2021. According to Monday’s announcement, the voters agreed.

The rest of the finalists rounded out pretty much as expected, with Burnes being joined by the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer and Zack Wheeler of the Phillies. It should shape up for one of the more interesting NL Cy Young votes in recent history.

Corbin Burnes has some stiff competition, but he deserves to win the 2021 NL Cy Young for the Brewers.

By now, Brewers fans are fully aware of what led Burnes to the precipice of this award. From strong 2018 debut, to a 2019 to forget, followed by a re-emergence in 2020, he reached a level last season that many MLB pitchers only dream of achieving.

He led all qualified NL starters in a number of categories, including fWAR (7.5), despite pitching in less innings than both Wheeler and Scherzer, not to mention ERA (2.43), FIP (1.63), K/9 (12.61), and HR/9 (0.38). Oh did I say NL? I actually meant MLB.

And remember how the Brewers had one of the longest no-hitter droughts in all of MLB in at one point during the 2021 season? Yeah, Corbin Burnes almost singlehandedly took care of that issue back in September.

Will all of that be enough to fight off the fact that Scherzer had one of the strongest finishes to the season of any starter, posting a 1.98 ERA, 1.96 FIP, and 0.820 WHIP after being traded to the Dodgers? Is it enough to counter Wheeler closely trailing Burnes with a 7.3 fWAR and 2.78 ERA but pitching almost 50 more innings, a factor that Cy Young voters tend to like?

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Fans will find out those answers a week from this Wednesday. If voters followed the numbers, it should result in Corbin Burnes finally winning another Cy Young for the Brewers.

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