Brewers: Has Corbin Burnes Done Enough Recently to be a Cy Young Candidate Again?

The Brewers ace is on quite a tear over his last seven starts.

Aug 5, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) pitches against
Aug 5, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) pitches against / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers ace and 2021 NL Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes had a strange first half of the 2023 season. His walk rate was elevated, strike out totals down, and he entered the month of July with an ERA of 4.10.

But since his start on July 1, Burnes has now managed to string together seven consecutive quality starts. During this stretch of games he has covered 45 innings, has a 2.00 ERA, .113 batting average against, and has 52 strikeouts.

On the season, Burnes now has a 3.42 ERA over 23 starts. In the National League, he ranks first among qualified starters in the following categories: batting average against (.191), WHIP (1.05), and H/9 IP (6.02). Additionally, he is second in quality starts (16), fifth in innings pitched (139.1), eighth in ERA (3.42), ninth in wins (9), and ninth in strikeouts (141).

Milwaukee Brewers: Has Corbin Burnes' recent stretch of games put him back into Cy Young candidacy?

When taking a look at a few other NL CY Young candidates, Blake Snell of the Padres and Spencer Strider of the Braves are two favorites to currently win the award. Snell is the ERA leader at 2.61 and Strider has a commanding lead in the strikeout department with 208. Another popular statistic that voters value is innings pitched where the Giants' Logan Webb currently has covered the most innings with 148.2

Additional NL Cy Young candidates include Arizona's Merrill Kelly (19 GS, 112.0 IP, 3.21 ERA, 118 SO, .216 BA, 1.16 WHIP), Chicago's Justin Steele (20 GS, 115.2 IP, 2.65 ERA, 106 SO, .243 BA, 1.13 WHIP, Arizona's Zac Gallen (23 GS, 142.2 IP, 3.41 ERA, 149 SO, .234 BA, 1.09 WHIP), and New York's Kodai Senga (20 GS, 110.2 IP, 3.25 ERA, 136 SO, .214 BA, 1.29 WHIP).

When comparing Burnes to other NL Cy Young candidates, it's clear that he has some work to do but is trending in the right direction. He is on pace to eclipse 200 innings for a second consecutive season and 200 strikeouts for a third straight year. A season ago he made a league leading 33 starts and with 50 games to go in the regular season he could again meet this mark.

If Burnes can continue to pitch well, he meets the milestone markers mentioned above, and his ERA ends in the low 3.00s he should again be a strong candidate for the award. It would be one heck of a turnaround from where it seemed like his season was trending just over a month ago.

Next. Grading The Brewers Trade Deadline Moves. Grading The Brewers Trade Deadline. dark