A shoulder injury, however, will keep him out of action for several weeks, ruining his chances to repeat.
There are other strong candidates to win the prestigious award.
Here are the three strongest ones.
3. Gerrit Cole
For all his accomplishments, Gerrit Cole has never won a Cy Young trophy in his career.
His first few years were with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that failed to get the best out of him.
He had an excellent case to win the award in 2019 (2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts), his last with the Houston Astros, but teammate Justin Verlander bested him, perhaps undeservingly.
And last year, his first with the New York Yankees, he wasn’t the finest Cole (2.84 ERA, but with a 3.89 FIP).
This season, though, he seems determined to win the award, and leads the AL in Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, with 3.1.
AL Cy Young odds per @PointsBetIL:
1) Gerrit Cole -143
2) Shane Bieber +600
3) Tyler Glasnow +650
4) Lance Lynn +900
5) Carlos Rodon +1200#WhiteSox
— Slavko Bekovic (@SBekovic) June 14, 2021
He has a 2.31 ERA in 81.2 frames, with 12.45 strikeouts per nine innings and a fantastic 2.10 FIP.
Cole may not have the lowest ERA in the AL, but his durability, strikeout ability, and overall greatness make him one of the favorites to win the Cy Young.
2. Carlos Rodon
Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon is the most surprising member of this list, as he is having a breakout season.
Are we ready to start having the Carlos Rodon Cy Young finalist conversation?
Because it’s something that everyone should have been talking about WEEKS ago. #WhiteSox
— JohnJohnZelenika (@JohnZelenika) June 13, 2021
For the season, the southpaw currently has a 1.89 ERA, the lowest among Cy Young candidates, and has struck out 13.10 hitters per nine frames, more than Cole or Bieber.
Rodon’s ERA comes with a good 2.40 FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, and 2.5 WAR, a figure that trails only Cole in the junior circuit.
Rodon may not have the name recognition like his Yankees counterpart, but he has as good a case as him.
1. Lance Lynn
While Rodon’s performance has been the most surprising storyline of the White Sox, one of their offseason acquisitions is also paying huge dividends right now.
Lynn, acquired from the Texas Rangers in exchange for prospect Dane Dunning, is currently rocking a sterling 1.51 ERA in 71.2 innings.
He usually pitches more and would have a similar workload as Cole and Rodon at this point if it wasn’t for an injury he suffered several weeks ago.
Lynn may have the lowest ERA of the trio, but the fact that he has the highest FIP at 3.25 may lose him some voters in our current stat-heavy approach.
However, there is no denying that he has been a true ace for the White Sox to this point.
Lynn has a 10-2 record and projects as an easy 20-game winner.
He also has shown his dominance by striking out 10.05 batters per nine innings.
As of now, Cole and Rodon may be slightly above Lynn, but the right-hander has the ability to turn things around and strengthen an already solid case.