The righty is easily going to be one of the top finishers in the American League Cy Young race, which is an honor he entirely deserves.
But now, it’s time for his focus to shift to bigger things.
His club is trying to win its first World Series title since 2005, and if that’s going to happen, he’s going to have to be a major part of the team’s run.
It’ll all start tonight against the Houston Astros, as Lynn is set to get the ball in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Lynn Proved In The Regular Season That He’s One Of The Top Arms In The Game Right Now
Lynn was a massive part of Chicago’s run to the AL Central title in the regular season.
He, along with Carlos Rodon, gave the rotation exactly what it needed every fifth day.
The righty pitched to a 2.69 ERA, 161 ERA+, 3.32 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP across 28 starts.
He fanned 176 batters in 157 innings of work, giving him a nine-inning strikeout rate of 10.1.
Lance Lynn, elevated 95mph ⛽️ and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/DtQjO6usPh
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 12, 2021
Lynn actually had a 2.20 ERA as late as August 28th.
He got roughed up a couple of times near the end of the regular season, causing his numbers to inflate.
But make no mistake: He was lights-out for the majority of the year.
Should Lynn’s Postseason Track Record Be A Concern?
Clearly, the White Sox have a lot of faith in Lynn since they’re giving him the ball in Game 1 of the ALDS.
The veteran has plenty of postseason experience under his belt, and that’s typically a good thing.
But in Lynn’s case, his playoff track record is a little bit alarming.
He has made 26 playoff appearances (seven starts) in his career, and he has pitched to a 4.80 ERA, 4.20 FIP, and .792 opponent OPS.
That’s a pretty big sample size, and it’s hard to defend those numbers.
To his credit, he did pitch well out of the bullpen in the 2011 postseason for the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals.
He managed a 3.27 ERA over 10 relief appearances in those playoffs.
But that was a long time ago, and since then, things have gone downhill.
Lynn is surely aware of the fact that he hasn’t exactly been an effective postseason performer for most of his career, and you better believe he wants to put that narrative to rest in 2021.
All it takes is one stellar postseason for the 34-year-old to change his playoff legacy.
Lynn may very well end up getting two starts in this series with the Astros.
That’s certainly a tough draw for the two-time All-Star, as Houston has arguably the best offense in all of baseball.
The Houston Astros offense in 2021 –
#1 in runs scored
#1 in batting average
#2 in OPS
#1 in WRC+
#1 in Offensive fWAR
— Ross Villarreal (@SportsRV) October 6, 2021
But there are no easy matchups in the postseason.
Lynn knows that, and he’s going to have to lock in and find a way to get the job done regardless.
After an outstanding regular season, will the ace rise to the occasion in the playoffs?
We’ll get an answer soon enough.