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Checking in on the MLB Cy Young races: Who have emerged as front-runners in this year's wide-open field?

June 13 : Earlier this week, we took a look at the state of the two MVP races, with two former winners in Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts at the forefront of the conversation. Now it’s time to turn our attention to the hurlers on the hill and reflect on which pitchers have emerged as potential candidates to win this year’s Cy Young awards.

By nature, pitchers are a more volatile population of players to evaluate. For one, pitchers are markedly more susceptible to significant injury, resulting in greater variance as far as which pitchers stand out as both healthy and elite on a year-to-year basis. On top of that, pitchers participate in a smaller percentage of games, which means we don’t have nearly as many data points to help separate the good pitchers from the great ones — especially just 2 1/2 months into a six-month season. Evaluating a sample of 12-14 outings by a starting pitcher feels more challenging than assessing 300 plate appearances from a hitter across 70 or so games.

At the same time, all of that allows for more hurlers to insert themselves into the discussion — and that can be fun! Talking about the same handful of names every year can get stale, so it’s nice to have some variety.

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