2 new aces take the lead in our latest Cy Young poll

May 14th, 2024

As we move past the one-quarter mark of the 2024 season, the field of Cy Young Award contenders is still quite crowded in both the American League and National League. However, a number of pitchers have begun to separate themselves from the pack, including the two new leaders in our latest Cy Young Award poll.

As always, MLB.com experts were asked to rank their top five Cy Young picks in each league, based on what's happened so far and what they expect will happen the rest of the season. Pitchers received vote 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 41 voters participating. Here are the results.

American League

1. , Tigers (32 first-place votes)
The hype around Skubal continues to grow. After turning heads in his return from flexor tendon surgery last summer, the left-hander has gone 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA, 60 strikeouts and eight walks over 49 innings through eight starts in 2024, notching an MLB-leading 2.03 FIP and an AL-best 0.86 WHIP to boot. As if that wasn't enough, he touched 100 mph for the first time in his career during Sunday's start. With how dominant he's looked dating back to last year, it's no surprise he received 32 of the 41 first-place votes cast by our panel.

2. , Orioles (6 first-place votes)
While O’s starters Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, John Means and Tyler Wells have all spent time on the injured list already in 2024, Burnes has been a steady presence atop the team’s rotation. That’s exactly what Baltimore had in mind when it acquired the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner from the Brewers in February. Burnes, who was the AL leader in our first Cy Young poll of 2024, owns a 2.68 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 49 strikeouts over 53 2/3 innings spanning nine starts, with no more than three runs allowed in any of them.

3. , Twins
López’s ERA is still a bit high at 3.89, but he has started off May by allowing just two runs and striking out 18 batters over 12 1/3 innings. The right-hander’s FIP (3.02), WHIP (0.98), K/9 (11.3) and K/BB ratio (6.88) are all better than they were last season, when he earned his first All-Star selection and finished seventh in the AL Cy Young Award race, establishing himself as an ace for Minnesota.

4. , Mariners (1 first-place vote)
Despite a rocky outing against the Twins his last time out, Gilbert is still off to a strong start this season, recording a 2.94 ERA with 54 K’s over 52 innings in eight games. The right-hander has improved his strikeout rate (27.1%) by nearly three percentage points from last season while shaving 7.7 points (44.6% to 36.9%) off his hard-hit rate, fueling his leap from good to great.

5. , Red Sox (1 first-place vote)
After entering this season with a career 4.74 ERA over 208 2/3 innings, Crawford has come out of nowhere to post a 2.24 ERA with 52 strikeouts in nine starts for Boston. Although the righty doesn’t have much of a track record, his .208 expected batting average allowed over the past two seasons -- the seventh lowest in MLB (minimum 500 batters faced) during that span -- suggests he’s for real.

Others receiving votes: Seth Lugo (Royals), Tanner Houck (Red Sox), Luis Castillo (Mariners), Cole Ragans (Royals), Ronel Blanco (Astros), Bryce Miller (Mariners), José Berríos (Blue Jays), George Kirby (Mariners), Brady Singer (Royals), Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers), Yusei Kikuchi (Blue Jays), Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays), Mason Miller (A’s), Joe Ryan (Twins)

National League

1. , Phillies (19 first-place votes)
Wheeler has been one of MLB’s best starters since he put on a Phillies uniform after the 2019 season, but he doesn’t have a Cy Young Award to show for his efforts -- yet. After finishing second in the NL voting in 2021 and sixth last season, could this be the year he finally wins one? He’s certainly on the right track, his rough start against the Marlins on Sunday notwithstanding. The right-hander’s 2.53 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 11.0 K/9 and .190 opponents' batting averge would all be career bests.

2. , Dodgers (8 first-place votes)
The NL leader in our first Cy Young poll of the season, Glasnow has been an incredible addition for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Rays in an offseason trade. The right-hander came to his new team with some significant injury concerns but has shouldered a heavy workload so far, throwing an NL-leading 57 innings. Glasnow also leads the NL with 73 K’s and has notched a 2.53 ERA, allowing two runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts.

3. , Cubs (9 first-place votes)
To say Imanaga has made a smooth transition from Japan to the Majors would be a bit of an understatement. The left-hander, who signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason, has been historically great to begin his MLB career. Imanaga’s 0.96 ERA is the fourth lowest through eight career starts (minimum 40 innings in those outings) since earned runs became an official stat in both leagues in 1913. The rookie southpaw not only leads MLB in that category but also has a 0.94 WHIP, good for fifth best in the NL.

4. , Padres (4 first-place votes)
After struggling some with the White Sox last season (4.58 ERA), Cease has flourished in his first season with the Padres, rediscovering the dazzling form that led to a second-place finish in the AL Cy Young Award race in 2022. No starter has been more difficult to hit than Cease, who leads all qualifiers with a .128 opponents’ batting average and a 3.8 H/9 mark. The right-hander also has the best strikeout (32.4%) and walk (8.6%) rates of his career, contributing to a 2.19 ERA through eight starts.

5. , Phillies (1 first-place vote)
This is new territory for the soft-tossing Suárez, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s doing this season. The left-hander has gone 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA, a 6.88 K/BB ratio and an MLB-leading 0.72 WHIP through eight starts, four of them scoreless. He's been especially stingy over his past six outings, allowing just four runs on 24 hits and seven walks in 43 innings (0.84 ERA).

Others receiving votes: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Dodgers), Reynaldo López (Braves), Max Fried (Braves), Zac Gallen (D-backs), Freddy Peralta (Brewers), Chris Sale (Braves), Logan Webb (Giants), Trevor Williams (Nationals), Javier Assad (Cubs), Sonny Gray (Cardinals), Paul Skenes (Pirates)