Justin Steele has been the model of consistency and efficiency for the Chicago Cubs in 2023. He is able to keep his team in every game by limiting hits and runs for the Cubs opponents and keeping runners off balance and off base.
He continued this trend Saturday at Wrigley Field, with seven strong innings, but ended up with a No Decision thanks to a lack of run support in a 3-2, extra-innings loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is Steele's eighth ND of the season, yet he still leads the National League in wins with 16. He also leads in ERA (2.49) as one of only two players in the NL with an ERA under 3.00. The other is Blake Snell (2.52) whose 13-9 record will make winning the award an uphill battle. Steele's 1.126 WHIP is good for sixth in the National League, and while he is outside the top 10 in strikeouts (159), he still boasts a respectable 4.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Justin Steele has 20 quality starts -- a stat that displays both how well starting pitchers are setting their teams up for wins as well as how available they are -- which is one behind the MLB lead of 21 (Gerrit Cole, Logan Webb). Notably, both Cole and Webb have started more games (29 and 30 respectively) than Steele, 27.
Justin Steele's Cy Young race could become a runaway
A quick look at odds from most sportsbooks indicates that the NL Cy Young race is still very close in the eyes of gamblers. There's general widespread acceptance that this race will go down to the wire.
In his last seven starts, Steele is 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA, with 43 innings pitched and 53 strikeouts. With four starts potentially left in the season for Steele, he does have an outside chance at 20 wins, which would certainly strengthen his case for the Cy Young. His outing on Saturday certainly was a step in the right direction.