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Here are your latest Cy Young poll leaders

@RichardJustice
June 25, 2019

In some ways, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander and Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu could not be more different. At times, all they seem to have in common is results, and that’s why they remain atop MLB.com's third 2019 Cy Young Award polls by wide margins. Verlander received 30 of 35 first-place

In some ways, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander and Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu could not be more different. At times, all they seem to have in common is results, and that’s why they remain atop MLB.com's third 2019 Cy Young Award polls by wide margins.

Verlander received 30 of 35 first-place votes in the American League, finishing in front of his two closest competitors, Charlie Morton of the Rays and Lucas Giolito of the White Sox, who received two first-place votes apiece.

Verlander has been on top of all three AL polls in his quest to win a second AL Cy Young Award. His other one was in 2011, but he has finished second three times in a 15-year career in which he probably has already punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame.

Where Verlander has 97-mph power and one of the nastiest sliders on the planet, Ryu, the National League leader, has crafted baseball’s finest season -- an MLB-best 1.27 ERA -- with his ability to throw four pitches to pretty much any quadrant of the strike zone.

Ryu received 27 of 35 first-place votes, with Max Scherzer of the Nationals getting the other eight. Reds right-hander Luis Castillo finished third.

And to think there was a time two years ago when the Dodgers wondered if Ryu's career was over, after left shoulder issues limited him to one start in the 2015-2016 seasons.

In Ryu's last 30 starts, he’s 16-4 with a 1.59 ERA, the best in baseball. The Dodgers are 21-9 in those 30 starts.

For this poll, MLB.com reporters -- 35 participated -- were asked to rank their top three choices in each league, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, three points for second place and one for third.

Here’s a look at the top three finishers in each league:

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1) Hyun-Jin Ryu (27 first-place votes) -- Ryu has been close to perfect. OK, not really perfect. He had a 32-inning shutout streak, the 11th-longest in Los Angeles Dodgers history, snapped last week. On the other hand, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is an insane 15.00. In 99 innings, he has allowed 77 hits with six walks and 90 strikeouts. He has turned in 11 consecutive quality starts for a 0.80 ERA since late April.

2) Max Scherzer (8 first-place votes) -- As if he wasn’t already the baddest man around, he achieved cult-hero status last week by throwing seven shutout innings against the Phillies the day after breaking his nose during batting practice. He’s matching Ryu almost start for start with 11 straight quality starts since late April. In four starts this month, he’s 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA.

3) Luis Castillo (0 first-place votes) -- Castillo seems on track to becoming the Reds' first starting pitcher to make the NL All-Star team since Johnny Cueto in 2014. Castillo has pitched at least five innings and allowed two hits or less in seven of his 16 starts and was the NL Pitcher of the Month for March/April with a 1.45 ERA. He became the third pitcher in history to open a season by putting together three straight starts with at least eight strikeouts and no more than two hits allowed.

Other receiving votes: Mike Soroka, Walker Buehler, Zack Greinke, Brandon Woodruff

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1) Justin Verlander (30 first-place votes) -- In the last 15 seasons, Verlander has finished in the top five of AL Cy Young Award voting seven times, and his 67.4 bWAR is 37th on the all-time list, ahead of several Hall of Famers, including Bob Feller, John Smoltz and Juan Marichal. His 2,848 strikeouts are the 19th most all-time.

2) Charlie Morton (2 first-place votes) -- Morton moved from fourth in the last Cy Young Award poll to second in this one as he puts together a second straight dominant season. In the 2018-19 seasons combined, with the Astros and Rays, he’s 23-4 with a 2.83 ERA and 314 strikeouts in 260 2/3 innings. In 16 starts this season, he has allowed more than two earned runs just three times.

3) Lucas Giolito (2 first-place votes) -- Giolito is on track to become the first White Sox starter to make the AL All-Star team since Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in 2016. Giolito was the ninth Sox starter to win 10 of his first 11 decisions since 1913 and had a stretch of eight straight starts in which he allowed five hits or less. He was the first White Sox starter to do that since 1920.

Others receiving votes: Mike Minor, Jake Odorizzi, Gerrit Cole, Jose Berrios

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.