Ranking the top 5 NL Cy Young contenders following Justin Steele's latest masterpiece

Where does Chicago Cubs emerging ace Justin Steele rank on the NL Cy Young ballot after another dominant start?
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4) Ranking the top 5 NL Cy Young contenders: Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves

It's hard to find a pitcher that's more fun to watch in all of baseball than Spencer Strider. Despite throwing two pitches a whopping 92.9% of the time this season, Strider is virtually impossible to hit when he's on.

Armed with a fastball averaging 97.3 mph this season and a slider inducing a whopping 57.1% whiff rate, Strider has two of baseball's best pitches. He uses those weapons and the occasional change-up to strike out a whopping 38% of the batters he faces. He leads the league (by 44!) with 245 strikeouts, and has fanned 13.8 batters per nine.

We've established that Strider is the best strikeout artist in the game today, but his 3.56 ERA is what makes Strider fourth in the NL Cy Young leaderboard. Rough starts against bad teams like the Mets, Tigers, White Sox, and Pirates have caused Strider's ERA to really inflate, which is certainly unfortunate.


The toughest pill to swallow for Strider is that he actually leads the league with a 2.81 FIP and a 1.054 WHIP. His 2.95 xERA also suggests that he's been unlucky, but voters will look at results more than expected stats (rightfully so).

Strider's ridiculous strikeout numbers are why he's even in the top five to begin with, and if he has a dominant finish who knows how high he can realistically climb. His ERA is probably too high for him to have a realistic shot.