2023 MLB Power Rankings: Which pitchers are the preseason favorites for the AL Cy Young award?


Who will win the Cy Young in 2023?

With the 2023 MLB regular season just around the corner, let’s play a little game. Last year saw Astros RHP Justin Verlander win his third AL Cy Young award, but the ex-Astro won’t be in the American League to defend his crown. So, who will win that award in 2023? Let’s go over our five favorites for the award, starting with one of the game’s best right-handers.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Starting Pitchers That Could Bust This Season

Luis Castillo

We’ll start off with a sleeper pick in Mariners RHP Luis Castillo. A formidable starter with a hard sinker, an impressive slider, and a wicked changeup, Castillo dominated after the trade that sent him to the Pacific Northwest last summer. The 30-year-old struck out 77 over 65.1 IP, and played a key role for a Mariners team that made it back into the postseason for the first time since 2001.

If the right-hander continues to mow down hitters like he has in the past, it’s hard not to envision Castillo receiving Cy Young award votes come the fall of 2023.

Gerrit Cole

No pitcher in MLB last season had more strikeouts (257) in 2022 than Gerrit Cole. The 32-year-old broke Ron Guidry‘s franchise record last year for most strikeouts by a Yankee in a single season, thanks in large part to a dominant slider that pairs quite well with his fastball.

While susceptible to the hanging breaking ball at times, Cole is among the game’s elite power pitchers. Cole’s never won a Cy Young award in his career, but he might be able to in 2023 with a very strong year.

Jacob deGrom

New Rangers starter Jacob deGrom is a two-time Cy Young award winner in the National League, and is arguably the league’s best pitcher when healthy. No pitcher in the Majors has a better K% (44.0%) or K/9 (14.3) than deGrom over the past two seasons, and only Justin Verlander (1.75) — the hurler that will replace deGrom atop the Mets rotation in 2023 — owned a better ERA from 2021-22 than the 34-year-old (1.90).

No one can deny what deGrom can do on the mound — as a matter of fact, it’s simply unfair. However, can deGrom stay healthy for all of 2023? deGrom did miss significant time in each of the last two campaigns, plus some time this spring.

Alek Manoah

2022 AL Cy Young award finalist Alek Manoah played a pivotal for the Blue Jays last season. In his first full season on the Majors, Manoah went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA and 180 strikeouts over 194.1 IP. The 25-year-old showcased exquisite command, to go along with two pitchers, a slider and a change, that paired with his mid-90s fastball and sinker.

Manoah came close to winning the Cy Young award last year. Given his terrific stuff, it’s hard not to include him on the shortlist.

Shohei Ohtani

Angels DH/SP Shohei Ohtani has already won an AL MVP award in his career, so why not a Cy Young? The Angels superstar posted his best season on the mound to date in 2022, a year that saw Ohtani win a career-high 15 games and record 219 strikeouts, a total that ranked as the sixth-best in all of baseball. Ohtani can dial it up with a high-90s fastball, then change it up with a lethal splitter and a slider.

With the Angels reportedly set to throw Ohtani out every sixth day for the 2023 season, it’s possible that the right-hander does hit a career-high in innings pitched. Could that catapult Ohtani to his first every Cy Young award? It’s a possibility.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: