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Zack Wheeler finishes second in Cy Young voting


MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When the team signed Zack Wheeler to a five-year deal in the winter of 2019, they had ideas that he would take a step forward. Of all the free agent pitchers available that winter, he looked like the biggest candidate to “make the leap” into becoming an ace, yet was affordable enough that he wouldn’t break the bank and the payroll of the team lucky enough to grab him. Most of the fanbase rejoiced when he put pen to paper and now they are being rewarded. He has taken the mantle as the team’s unquestioned Ace and this season was his best.

The Cy Young award voters sent in their ballots and had these three finalists - Wheeler, Corbin Burnes and Max Scherzer. The differences between the three were minute, needing a squint to see which one would be considered the best.

NL Cy Young finalists

Player IP ERA FIP K% BB% HR/9 xwOBA fWAR
Player IP ERA FIP K% BB% HR/9 xwOBA fWAR
Wheeler 213.1 2.78 2.59 29.1% 5.4% 0.68 0.258 7.3
Scherzer 179.1 2.46 2.97 34.1% 5.2% 1.15 0.263 5.4
Burnes 167 2.43 1.63 35.6% 5.2% 0.38 0.218 7.5

Did the voters value sheer dominance in fewer from Burnes, the two-team impact that Scherzer had, or the productivity over the most innings from Wheeler?

In the end, the voters chose Corbin Burnes with Wheeler finishing second, an accomplishment that is nothing to be ashamed of. The voting was exceptionally close.

It’s kind of a shame that there are five writers who didn’t have him as one of the top three pitchers, but the top starters in the National League were all excellent. Can’t really find too much fault with it.

Wheeler had a exceptional season. Finishing second in the voting is nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully, he can continue this form for the remainder of the deal and beyond. Congratulations, Zack, on the outstanding season.