Pitching was on a different level this year for the Dodgers as their bullpen and most notably starting rotation led the way. Even after losing Dustin May, Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, for parts if not most of the year, the 3-headed monster of Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urías kept the team afloat.
Without them, the Dodgers wouldn’t have had a chance to come as close as they did to keeping their division crown. In the eyes of Dodgers fans, all 3 should be leading candidates for the National League Cy Young Award. However, MLB and the Baseball Writer’s Association of America didn’t completely see eye to eye with that perspective. While Max Scherzer was named one of three finalists for the prestigious award, Buehler and Urías did not get the recognition they deserved.
Instead, Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers and Zack Wheeler or the Philadelphia Phillies were named the other two finalists. While all there were most likely not going to be the finalists, at least one of them may have been snubbed. Take a look at some of their stats side by side.
- Julio Urías: 20-3, 185 2/3 innings, 2.96 ERA, 195 K’s, 1.018 WHIP
- Walker Buehler: 16-4, 207 2/3 innings, 2.47 ERA, 212 K’s, 0.968 WHIP
- Corbin Burnes: 11-5, 167 innings, 2.43 ERA, 234 K’s, 0.940 WHIP
- Zack Wheeler: 14-10, 213 1/3 innings, 2.78 ERA, 247 K’s, 1.008 WHIP
Notably, Burnes was the NL’s ERA leader and threw 8 innings in an eventual combined no-hitter for the Brewers. He also led in strikeout rate and K’s per 9 innings pitched. However, it’s worthing noting that he missed some time this season on the Injured List which could have been used against him, though it doesn’t seem it was. Wheeler on the other led baseball in innings pitched, complete games (3), shutouts (2), and led the NL in strikeouts.
As for Julio, he was the baseball’s only 20-game winner this season but trailed in many other major categories voters look borsch as ERA, strikeouts, WAR, WHIP, etc. While Urías really stepped up for Los Angeles this year, it wasn’t enough to be considered. Buehler may have had the second-best shot for a Dodger to be named a finalist as he was on a dominant stretch to start the second half before the wheels started to fall off. He finished 3rd in wins, 3rd in ERA, and 1st in quality starts.
The BBWAA doesn’t have a set standard of who the best pitcher was in each league with each writer having their own preference on stats to judge players on. While Urías and Buehler each had strong cases to at least be named finalists if not win it, their great seasons just weren’t enough, but it was for Dodgers fans.