Most MLB fans came into this season with low expectations for the Miami Marlins.
While the Marlins’ record is about what most expected, they do have one of the surprise players in the MLB on their roster.
That player is starting pitcher, Sandy Alcantara.
The Marlins acquired Alcantara in 2017 in a five-player trade that sent Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals.
It is safe to say Miami got the better end of that trade.
Alcantara has taken the MLB by storm in 2022.
The 26-year-old right-hander carries an 11-5 record to go along with a 1.92 ERA.
But, what makes Alcantara special is his ability to go deep into games.
Sandy Alcántara tossed his 8th start this season of at least 7 IP and 0 ER, tied with José Fernández (2016) for the 2nd-most in a single season in Marlins history.
Only Dontrelle Willis (9) in 2005 had more such starts in a single season for the franchise. pic.twitter.com/LoFwGDAYdH
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 16, 2022
The righty leads the MLB in innings pitched with 173.0, and leads the National League in quality starts with 18.
His 6.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) also tops the majors.
That WAR is almost two wins above the rest of the pitchers in the MLB.
Alcantara can pitch deep into games because he does not strike out many hitters.
In those 173.0 innings, he only has 152 strikeouts.
He is a sinker-ball pitcher, which helps him get weak contact and easy outs without having to throw many pitches.
The 26-year-old has been so dominant this year that he has this stat to back up his play.
Putting in another impressive long effort for his @Marlins in their 3-0 defeat of the Padres on Monday, Sandy Alcantara in 2022 has now recorded 17 games where he has gone at least 7 innings. As this shows, that's more than the totals of all but 13 teams in MLB so far this season pic.twitter.com/Ywgm13DYjI
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) August 16, 2022
We rarely see a pitcher perform this well without elite strikeout stuff.
Most pitchers are more focused on throwing hard than control but Alcantara bucks that trend.
He has everything you look for in a young starter.
Knowing you will be getting seven or more innings out of your starter every fifth day must be a great feeling for Miami.
Sandy Pulling Away From The Field
When it comes to the NL Cy Young race, Alcantara only has a few other challengers.
But, when you compare Alcantara to those two pitchers there is no discussion about who has pitched the best this year.
The righty has been so great this season that his worse month based on ERA was May where he finished with a 2.13.
He has even gotten stronger as the season goes on, in August his ERA is 1.52 which would be the lowest of any month this season.
With only a month-and-a-half to play in the season, all Alcantara needs to do is stay healthy and the Cy Young award should be his.
According to BetMGM, Alcantara is a huge betting favorite for the Cy Young.
His -400 odds are far and away ahead of Burnes who is second at +1400.
This season from the Marlins starter has gone under the radar, mostly because he plays in Miami.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to see the 26-year-old in the postseason, but that should not affect the award voting.
This season from Alcantara will go down as one of the best in Marlins history and it is only right that he caps it off with the Cy Young award.