Cy Young poll: The 2020 favorites are ...

September 18th, 2020

The two Cy Young Award races this year are completely different, but both are coming into focus as the 2020 season gets down to the wire.

In the American League, has dominated since Opening Day. The National League race has been much more wide open, but a trio of front-runners has emerged in , and .

Who deserves to be named each league's best pitcher? We put it up to the voters. asked its reporters and analysts to fill out their 2020 NL and AL Cy Young Award ballots, following our MVP poll last week.

There were 38 voters in total. Reporters were asked to rank their top five choices in each league, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four for second, etc.

Here are the picks for the AL and NL Cy Young Award winners.


1) Shane Bieber, Indians (38 first-place votes, unanimous)
It's no surprise that Bieber was the pick to win the AL Cy Young Award. Really, it's not even much of a surprise that he was the unanimous No. 1 choice. That's how good Bieber has been. The Indians ace isn't just the AL Cy Young favorite, he could get real AL MVP Award consideration.

Bieber is in position to win a pitching Triple Crown, as he leads the Major Leagues with eight wins and 112 strikeouts and is second with a 1.74 ERA. He just became the fastest starting pitcher to reach 100 K's in a season in the modern era.

2) Lance Lynn, Rangers
A bulldog on the mound for Texas, Lynn is second in the Majors in innings pitched (71 1/3), and they've been good innings. The 33-year-old right-hander has a 2.40 ERA and 79 strikeouts in those 71 1/3 innings, ranking third in the AL ERA race and fourth in strikeouts. Lynn has pitched some of his best baseball against the AL West-leading A's, going 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his three starts against the Rangers' division rivals.

3) Lucas Giolito, White Sox
Giolito has the defining pitching moment of the 2020 season: his brilliant 13-strikeout no-hitter against the Pirates on Aug. 25. But he's not the third-place AL Cy Young Award finisher in our poll for that achievement alone. Giolito is the ace for the playoff-bound White Sox team that's shot up to the top of the AL Central, with a 3.53 ERA, 86 strikeouts (third most in the AL) and 66 1/3 innings pitched (third most in the AL).

4) Kenta Maeda, Twins
Maeda has been everything the Twins could have hoped for when they acquired him from the Dodgers in February. In his first season in Minnesota, the veteran Maeda ranks fourth in the AL with a 2.52 ERA and leads the league with a 0.758 WHIP. He's the best pitcher for a Minnesota team that's in playoff position and fighting for a second straight division title.

5) Dylan Bundy, Angels
An under-the-radar offseason acquisition has paid major dividends for the Angels, who got a breakout starter in Bundy this year. Though some of our Cy Young Award ballots were cast before Bundy allowed a season-high five earned runs in his start on Wednesday, Bundy struck out a season-best 12 in the start right before that, and he still ranks seventh in the league in ERA (3.12), seventh in strikeouts (69) and sixth in K/9 (10.24).

Others receiving votes: Dallas Keuchel (White Sox), Gerrit Cole (Yankees), Liam Hendriks (A's), Hyun Jin Ryu (Blue Jays), Andrew Heaney (Angels), Brad Keller (Royals), Chris Bassitt (A's)


1) Yu Darvish, Cubs (17 first-place votes)
Darvish vs. deGrom vs. Bauer is a great NL Cy Young Award race, and the Cubs ace got the slightest of edges in our NL poll. Like Bieber in the AL, Darvish has a chance at a Triple Crown in the NL if he finishes the season strongly. He's tied for the league lead with seven wins, sits just behind Bauer in the ERA race at 1.86 and is right on the heels of Aaron Nola, Bauer and deGrom for the league strikeout lead with 79.

2) Jacob deGrom, Mets (15 first-place votes)
deGrom might well have been the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award going into his start Wednesday, but he was forced out early with hamstring spasms. Some votes in our poll came in before deGrom pitched, but the Mets ace is still one of the top few NL Cy Young Award candidates, ranking fifth in the NL in ERA (2.09) and third in strikeouts (80). DeGrom plans to see the 2020 season through to the end, and if he returns to "deGrominant" form in his final two starts, he could pull off a historic NL Cy Young Award three-peat that might even give him a chance at Cooperstown.

3) Trevor Bauer, Reds (5 first-place votes)
Bauer is rising up to the top of the NL Cy Young Award conversation. He's the league leader in ERA (1.71) and ranks second in strikeouts (83), and he's also thrown a pair of seven-inning shutouts. Bauer's last two starts were both double-digit strikeout performances that lowered his ERA from over 2 to well under. He was dominant at the start of the season and he's dominating at the finish, and it just might be enough to push him over the top in the NL Cy Young Award race.

4) Max Fried, Braves (1 first-place vote)
Fried has been on the injured list recovering from back spasms, but he's set to return Friday, and the fact that he's still fourth in our NL Cy Young Award poll tells you how great he's been on the mound this year. Fried is a perfect 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his nine starts, and he's allowed no home runs, making him the only pitcher who's thrown at least 50 innings and not allowed a single homer. The 26-year-old lefty stepped up to lead the first-place Braves rotation after Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending Achilles tear, and Fried is returning just in time for the postseason.

5) Dinelson Lamet, Padres
Lamet is the ace the electric Padres needed as they rose up to challenge the Dodgers in the NL West this year. The right-hander was great down the stretch in 2019, with four double-digit strikeout games in the final two months, and he's only been better in 2020. Lamet is sixth in the NL with a 2.12 ERA, tied for fourth with Darvish and Max Scherzer with 79 strikeouts, and he's racked up 11 K's in each of his last two starts, including an absolute gem to outduel Clayton Kershaw and beat the Dodgers in his latest outing.

Others receiving votes: Corbin Burnes (Brewers), Aaron Nola (Phillies), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Devin Williams (Brewers), Luis Castillo (Reds)