All-Star starters lead latest Cy Young Award poll

July 20th, 2023

We're now more than halfway through the 2023 MLB regular season, which has provided plenty of time and sample sizes for pitchers who are putting together strong Cy Young Award cases.

In our previous Cy Young polls of 2023, we asked voters to assess the worthy candidates and rank their top five in each league based on what's happened so far and what they expect will happen the rest of the way.

Pitchers received points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale -- five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on, with 46 voters participating.

Here are the 2023 Cy Young Award frontrunners right now (all numbers through Wednesday's games).


1) , Yankees (16 first-place votes)

The AL starter in the 2023 All-Star Game is also the leading vote-getter for the league's Cy Young Award as of now. The six-time All-Star has finished in the top-10 of Cy Young voting six times, including each of the last five years. Cole's 2.78 ERA is the lowest since 2019 and he's punched out 134 batters in 123 innings. Perhaps this is the year that Cole finally wins the award that he's been so close to winning before.

2) , Rays (15 first-place votes)

The Rays' ace was the overwhelming favorite in the last poll, taking 29 of the 49 first-place votes (no other pitcher had more than six). In this latest edition, McClanahan finished one first-place vote behind Cole and narrowly trailed in points, falling just 24 vote points behind the Yankees' ace (177 to 153 points). Among qualified starters, McClanahan's 2.56 ERA is ahead of Cole and trails only 's 2.55 ERA. The big difference between McClanahan and Cole? Due to a recent back issue that led to an IL stint for McClanahan, Cole has tossed 21 more innings with more strikeouts and a lower walk rate.

3) , Astros (4 first-place votes)

Valdez is almost singlehandedly carrying Houston's rotation at an optimal time. His ascension to ace status has been both a fun and linear process; Valdez has dropped his ERA and walk rate each year since 2021 and he's striking out a career-high 27.4% of opposing hitters this season. Due to better command, progression on his cutter and owning one of the best pitches in baseball, Valdez finds himself squarely in the middle of the Cy Young race.

4) , Rangers (6 first-place votes)

For all the talk about the Rangers' offense, and justifiably so, Eovaldi has been one of the vital cogs for Texas controlling first place in the AL West. Prior to 2023, the 33-year-old's career-low ERA was 3.39 in the 2013 season. Through 123 2/3 innings in '23, Eovaldi is rocking a 2.69 ERA, the third-lowest rate among qualified starters. Eovaldi is on pace to toss more than 200 innings with a sub-3 ERA, which would make him the first Ranger to do that since did it in 2013.

5) , Blue Jays (5 first-place votes)

The 32-year-old righty is on pace for the best season in his big league career and has a real shot for a top-5 Cy Young Award finish, something he's never done before. Gausman's 3.03 ERA trails only the 2.81 mark he posted in the '21 season and he's generating even more strikeouts than he was before. He's punched out a whopping 153 batters in 115 2/3 innings, good for a 32.6% strikeout rate; both of those strikeout figures are second in baseball behind only Spencer Strider.

Others receiving votes: Shohei Ohtani, Dane Dunning, Luis Castillo, Félix Bautista, Sonny Gray, Zach Eflin, Joe Ryan, Logan Gilbert


1) , D-backs (19 first-place votes)

The All-Star starter for the NL has been the consensus first-place winner for NL Cy Young in each of the three polls this year and that's for good reason. Among qualified starters, Gallen ranks in the top-5 in fWAR (3.7), innings pitched (123 1/3) and FIP (2.90). While his ERA has gradually risen in each passing month to his current 3.14 mark, he's still been the most consistently great starter in his league this year. Gallen has never thrown more than 200 innings or finished top-3 in Cy Young voting, something he's on track to do this year.

2) , Braves (11 first-place votes)

From a pure dominance standpoint, it's hard to find a better pitcher right now than Strider. The 24-year-old Braves ace has been nothing short of spectacular since he transitioned into a full-time starter last season. In 110 2/3 innings this year, Strider has generated an absurd 176 strikeouts and 38.9% strikeout rate. With a current 307-strikeout pace, he's on track to become just the eighth pitcher this century with a 300-plus strikeout season. While Gallen holds a narrow edge in the voting right now, it could be Strider at the top of this list on the next update.

3) , Dodgers (4 first-place votes)

The only thing potentially preventing Kershaw from a fourth Cy Young Award is left shoulder soreness that currently has him on the injured list. Despite being 35 years old and dealing with multiple injuries in recent years, the lefty has continued pitching at an elite level. He's offset his diminished velocity by relying more and more on his elite slider that he's now throwing close to 50% of the time. If he can get himself back on the mound (he threw a recent bullpen session), he'll very much be in the conversation at the end of the year.

4) , Padres (8 first-place votes)

If you're looking for a sneaky contender to win a Cy Young Award this year, Snell might be your guy. The 30-year-old is having his best season since he won the award in 2018 with the Rays. After a slow start to the year, Snell has arguably been baseball's best pitcher for the better part of the last two months. Across Snell's last nine starts dating back to May 31, he has the lowest ERA (0.51) and most strikeouts (85) of any pitcher with at least 30 innings in that time. As an impending free agent, the lefty couldn't have picked a better time to produce this kind of season.

5) , Giants (2 first-place votes)

The Giants' ace has blossomed into one of the best pitchers in the Majors since his breakout 2021 season. What makes Webb such a force is his combination of both elite command and top-shelf stuff. His 4.4% walk rate trails only three qualified starters in the Majors while he's using that pinpoint control to command a nasty sinker/changeup/slider trio. On top of that, Webb is leading baseball with 133 innings pitched. It's an enviable combination of stuff, command and durability that will give him a real shot at winning the award this season.

Others receiving votes: Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Alex Cobb, Bryce Elder, Zack Wheeler, Alexis Díaz (1 first-place vote), Josh Hader, Mitch Keller, Devin Williams, Jesús Luzardo, Michael Wacha, Kodai Senga