It is never too early to start making the case for the end of the year awards. Such is the case for the National League Cy Young Award. This year, it should go to the ace of the Cincinnati Reds - Johnny Cueto.
Due to some injuy problems and missed starts, Cueto did not log the proper amount of innings to be considered for the award last year. This year there is no such problem. Cueto is having terrific season. I believe that he is the best pitcher in the NL. Here are the stats for your consideration:
-Wins – Cueto is 15-6 (tied for most in the NL and 9th in win-loss% of .714)
-ERA – He is second right now with 2.45. That is pitching his home games at GABP, the most hitter friendly park in the league. His average at home is even lower at 2.26.
-Wins above replacement – Interesting category here. Cueto is 1st at 5.3.
-HR per 9 innings – Cueto is 2nd at .445
-Adjusted for home stadium and wins added or saved, etc. - Cueto is 1st in all categories. I cannot overstate how impressive his work is when considering GABP.
-He has picked off 5 runners this season. You just don’t run on him.
Finally, it must be noted that Cueto has allowed 3 or fewer runs in 20 of his 24 starts this season. He’s just flat out getting it done for the Reds.
Sure there are several very good and deserving pitchers out there. RA Dickey is the trendy pick and I can see why: He’s a knuckleballer. Sort of came out of nowhere. I get that. Pitches in New York. However, for two years now, Cueto, with his Tiantish (my word) delivery, has been the best pitcher (at least statistically) in the NL. To not have him at the top of the list as the Cy Young Award candidate would be a disgrace to the purpose of the award.