New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is going to have an opportunity to create some separation in the American League Cy Young race over the next week or two, as Chicago White Sox stud Lance Lynn hit the injured list on Tuesday.
Prior to tonight’s series opener vs. Pittsburgh, the #WhiteSox placed All-Star right-handed pitcher Lance Lynn on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 29) with right knee inflammation and recalled infielder Danny Mendick from Class AAA Charlotte.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 31, 2021
It’s unclear how long Lynn is going to be out, but with the postseason rapidly approaching, the White Sox are certainly hoping that the injury won’t linger.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the Cy Young resumes of both Cole and Lynn.
Toronto Blue Jays lefty Robby Ray is another guy who’s definitely in the mix for the award, but we’re going to focus on Cole and Lynn today.
Let’s get started.
Lance Lynn’s Case
According to almost every sportsbook, Lynn trails Cole in Cy Young odds.
There’s an argument to be made that Lynn has actually been more effective than Cole this season, but there’s an equally convincing counterargument that suggests Cole has been more dominant.
Language is important here.
We’re going to look at both players.
With Lynn, you’ve got a guy who leads the league in ERA (2.59), ERA+ (166), and hits per nine (6.9).
He also has a 3.43 FIP and 1.08 WHIP, and he has fanned 152 batters in 135.2 innings.
Save for three iffy outings, the righty has allowed three runs or fewer in all of his starts.
Perhaps his most impressive achievement this season is that he has allowed one run or less in 16 of his 24 starts.
Typically, you’re going to walk away with a win when you limit the damage to one run or less.
Lynn is 10-4 on the season.
It’s a shame that his IL stint is coming at such an inopportune time for his Cy Young chances.
Gerrit Cole’s Case
As mentioned, Cole is considered the favorite to win the award according to almost every sportsbook.
He’s having a great second season with the Yankees.
He leads the league in wins (13), FIP (2.71), WHIP (0.99), strikeouts per nine (12.2), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.2).
He has a 2.80 ERA and has fanned 200 batters in 148 innings.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 28, 2021
Cole did have a rough stretch earlier in the summer when the league started cracking down on the use of foreign substances.
He pitched to a 5.24 ERA over his first six starts with the new rules.
However, he made the necessary adjustments, and he has been great for almost two full months now.
In fact, the 30-year-old is riding a 17-inning scoreless streak at the moment.
He’ll hope to extend it on Wednesday night.
Cole has a 5.0 WAR on the year (compared to 4.5 for Lynn), and he has been a horse for the Yankees all year long.
The veteran certainly has a compelling case to win the award, and the door is open for him to run away with it while Lynn is out.
His biggest competition the rest of the way could come from the aforementioned Ray.
Cole could probably lock it up by helping the Yankees to a playoff bid.
Voters like to fill their ballots with players who make the postseason.