The reigning NL Cy Young award winner is actually on a similar pace as last year after 15 starts, which is remarkable considering his incredible numbers.
“The 2021 NL Cy Young winner has not slowed down this year,” MLB Stats tweeted, with a comparison chart between 2021 and 2022.
The 2021 NL Cy Young winner has not slowed down this year. 👀 pic.twitter.com/3nb4TvAaHe
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 1, 2022
His ERA last year was only slightly lower than what he is showing this year (2.36 to 2.41), and his WHIP is virtually the same.
Burnes Has Actually Been A Bit Tougher To Hit This Year
In fact, Burnes is limiting hitters to a lower batting average this year (.192) than last year’s .201 through his first 15 starts.
He will have some fierce competition, sure, but if he keeps pitching like this, the Brewers’ ace will have a great shot at winning his second Cy Young award in a row.
It will be hard, though: Sandy Alcantara is an innings pitched machine and is sporting a sub-2.00 ERA as of Friday afternoon, for example, and Max Fried, Adam Wainwright, Julio Urias, and especially Joe Musgrove should be candidates, too.
Burnes is talented enough to rise above the competition, though.
Using an incredible cutter to befuddle hitters, he has a true out pitch to rely on, and a nice set of pitches to round out his arsenal.
Burnes has been consistently great ever since breaking out in 2020, thanks, in large part, to increased cutter usage.
The Brewers are lucky to have him, and they are going to need him at his best to fend off the St. Louis Cardinals in the quest for the NL Central division.