The race for the National League Cy Young award is just as tight as that of the one in the American League. There are several worthy candidates for the senior circuits top pitching honor including a couple of 20-game winners, another pitcher on the verge of winning 20 games and even a couple of closers who have racked up more than 100 strikeouts each. I have three candidates in mind who should be given strong consideration for the award and here they are.
The first candidate is Washington Nationals stud hurler Gio Gonzalez who in his first season in the NL has dominated. Gonzalez is currently 21-8 (leads MLB in wins) with a 2.89 ERA (6th in NL) and 207 strikeouts (4th in NL) in 32 games started. Gonzalez has pitched two complete games including one shutout along with allowing just nine homeruns, 149 hits, 64 earned runs and 76 base on-balls in his 199.1 innings pitched. He has a 1.13 WHIP and batters are hitting just .206 against him.
Next is the New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey who has become the Mets first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990 and the first knuckleballer to win 20 games in over three decades. Dickey has a record of 20-6 (2nd in MLB in wins) with a 2.69 ERA (2nd in NL) and 222 strikeouts (1st in NL) in 32 games started. Dickey has pitched five complete games including three shutouts and has allowed 185 hits, 68 earned runs, 22 homeruns and 54 base on-balls in his 227.2 innings of work. He has posted a 1.05 WHIP and batters are hitting just .224 against him.
Last is the Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto who has posted a record of 19-9 (3rd in NL in wins) with a 2.83 ERA (5th in NL) and 164 strikeouts in 32 starts. Cueto also has two complete games under his belt and has allowed 199 hits, 66 earned runs, 14 homeruns and just 48 base on-balls in 210 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 1.18 and betters are hitting .253 against him.
Four other strong candidates who didn’t make my list but deserve strong consideration are Nationals Stephen Strasburg, the San Francisco Giants Matt Cain, the Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. In the end I have to go with the pitcher that not only has the best numbers but is also taking his team to the postseason and the guy is Gio Gonzalez, he’s my choice for the NL Cy Young award this season.