The MLB 2021 finally arrived and all the excitement that a new baseball season brings is back. Before the kick-off, as the first games come closer, it's time for predictions ahead of a new championship, in which every team will try to push for a playoff spot.
Asides from making picks regarding the champions, the individual awards also play an important part in the season recognizing the best performances in the MLB. The Cy Young is the annual award for the best pitchers both from the American League and the National League.
This honor started to take place in 1956, paying tribute to the Hall of Famer pitcher Cy Young, who died in the previous year. Many unforgettable players were distinguished since then, and with the 2021 campaign getting underway, we'll take a look at the potential best pitchers from both leagues.
AL - Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees)
Gerrit Cole is among the strongest candidates for getting the first Cy Young in his career. The New York Yankees granted him the best contract ever for a pitcher in the league, and that explains a lot the talent he has. He amassed 1,430 strikeouts so far, with a 101-55 win-loss record and an earned run average of 3.19.
Despite the three-time MLB All-Star already accomplished important marks, like in 2019 when he ended as the strikeout leader of the season, Cole still couldn't achieve the recognition as the best pitcher of the year. This season may be an opportunity for him to deserve it, in a year in which the Yankees will need to have a good finish as well.
AL - Lucas Giolito (Chicago White Sox)
With a fastball clocked as high as 100 miles per hour, Giolito is a much younger pitcher who impressed a lot since he came into baseball's elite level. His name got into the White Sox's history for becoming the 19th player to throw a no-hitter, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he accomplished more than 10 strikeouts.
He may seem like a less likely candidate on this list, but he shouldn't be disregarded in the race for this award. Giolito still finds himself in an early stage of his career, but he could be the surprise in 2021.
AL - Shane Bieber (Cleveland Indians)
Bieber moved up fast in the MLB, as only in his second year in the league he got called up to the All-Star Game, and in 2020, he received the Cy Young award.
Indians' No. 57 had an impressive breakout season last year, in which he earned recognition as the best pitcher of the American League in great fashion. Bieber claimed a Triple Crown by being the AL's leader in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts. Will he claim the Cy Young for the second time in a row?
NL - Jacob deGrom (New York Mets)
One of the most dominating pitchers in the entire MLB, deGrom immediately had an impact in the league, becoming the Rookie of the Year in his debut season. Later on, he took part in three All-Star events and got the Cy Young award in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019.
deGrom finished as the strikeouts leader in the NL in the last two seasons, despite he couldn't grab the best pitcher of the year trophy in 2020. Needless to say, he is an obvious contender for this year's award. deGrom has everything to win it once again.
NL - Trevor Bauer (Los Angeles Dodgers)
In the unforgettable 2020 season in which the Dodgers won the World Series, Trevor Bauer was unstoppable playing for the Cincinnati Reds. He became the first pitcher in that franchise's history to win the Cy Young award.
Bauer led the NL in earned run average, made it to the All-MLB First Team, and called the attention of that season's champions. The Dodgers secured the best pitcher of 2020 for the upcoming seasons looking to fight for the second title in a row.
NL - Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals)
Scherzer is not only one of the best pitchers at the moment, but one of the greatest in baseball's history as well. His rèsumè speaks for itself. Asides from being named an All-Star seven times, he is the pitcher with the most Cy Young awards on this list, as he earned it three times.
The 36-year-old has two no-hitters in his long career, and even though the last time he was awarded the best pitcher of the league award, the veteran led the Nationals to the World Series title in 2019.