No real objection here, Robbie Ray was by far the best pitcher in the AL this season and was rewarded so with his first Cy Young award. He got traded to Toronto halfway through last season, signed a 1-year deal with them in November and cruised from there. It really is quite a story. 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA, an MLB leading 248 Ks in 193.1 IP for the lefty, with a WHIP of 1.045. His ERA was by far the lowest in the AL, was tied for 1st with 32 starts, lead the AL in innings, Ks, lowest WHIP in the AL, and held hitters to the second lowest average for starters in the AL. Everywhere you looked on the leaderboard Robbie was there.
The vote wasn't even close either, he got 207 total points compared to Cole who got 123 in second. 29 of the 30 first place votes went to Ray, this was a whooping in the race. He was a huge reason the Jays were a playoff contender up until the end, he put the other guys on his back and tried to pitch them into October.
And no offense to Robbie Ray, but I don't think anyone saw this coming. In 2020 he had a combined ERA of 6.97 split between time with the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays. He wasn't really on anyones radar for a Cy Young, and look at the guys he beat out. Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn. Ray was by far the most consistent and just flat out dominant pitcher in the league. He was gambling on himself and will for sure cash in on a big money deal this offseason since he's a free agent. He picked a damn good time to have a career year.
Congrats to Robbie Ray for his Cy Young and I still can't believe you almost fought Brandon Hyde because you thought the Orioles were stealing signs. SMH.
And over on the National League side….
What a turnaround for Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers! In 2019 he had an ERA of almost 9, got demoted 3 times and probably thought this pitching thing wasn't for him. Fast forward to 2021 and he is your NL Cy Young award winner barely beating out Zack Wheeler and smoking Max Scherzer. Wheeler and Burnes both had 12 first place votes, but Burnes ended up with 151 total points, 10 more than Wheeler. This was a loaded race too, it could have gone to anyone but Burnes was that much better this year and it shows. He set the record for most Ks to start a season before recording his first walk with 58 Ks, and he ended the season with just 34 walks in 167 innings which is the fewest innings EVER pitched for a Cy Young winner. He also dominated hitters with an ERA of 2.43 which was tops in the NL. Only gave up 7 homers all season and also struck out 234 with a WHIP of 0.940 and held hitters to a .201 average. Insane. His cutter was a monster this year, it really helped put him over the top.
He only had 11 wins but we know wins and losses are not a good judge of how good pitchers are, but the 11 wins are tied with Jacob deGrom for second lowest win total ever. Burnes rarely went into the lineup a third time and the Brewers did a good job of getting him extra rest whenever they needed it, they basically used a 6 man rotation to give him more time. The days of pitchers going around 230-240 innings is done. The days of guys winning 24 games and winning Cy Young is over. We're looking at new criteria to measure pitchers by and guys like Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes are benefiting.
Pretty awesome that both these winners had rough stretched early in their career and rebounded to become the best in the game. Congrats to Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes for collecting their first Cy Young awards, they'll look nice on the mantle for Thanksgiving.