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MLB Cy Young Award: Who will be next first-time winner? Zack Wheeler, Spencer Strider on list of 15 pitchers

On Wednesday night, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and current free agent/former San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell are were named the 2023 Cy Young winners. Snell had a terrific finish to the season, pitching to a 1.20 ERA in his final 23 starts this season. It’s his second career Cy Young after he previously won the award in 2018.

For Cole, this is his first career Cy Young after finishing top five in the voting five times previously, including runner-up twice (2019 and 2021). With Chris Sale hampered by injuries in recent years and aging out as ace, Cole was the best active pitcher to have never won a Cy Young. That changed Wednesday night.

There has now been at least one first-time Cy Young winner every year since Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander each won for the second time for 2019. Let’s look now at the pitchers best positioned to be the next pitcher to win his first career Cy Young. Here are the pitchers other than this year’s finalists — Cole, Gray, and Gausman in the AL and Zac Gallen and Logan Webb in the NL — poised to really pop in the near future, and capture their first ever Cy Young.

Front of the line

Believe it or not, Castillo has never received a single Cy Young vote in his career. Not even a token fifth-place vote. He’s been an All-Star three times, including 2023, and since 2019 he’s pitched to a 3.43 ERA while ranking sixth among all pitchers in starts (135), sixth in innings (795 2/3), and fifth in strikeouts (893). Castillo is already right on the cusp of getting serious Cy Young consideration and he certainly has the…

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