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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1) Ranking the top 5 NL Cy Young candidates: Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres

We've seen Blake Snell at his best before, as he won the Cy Young in 2018 with the Rays. From 2019-2022, he was a different guy, posting a 3.85 ERA in 85 starts. He saw his walks spike, and had trouble getting deep into games as a result.

The walk issues have remained prevalent this season, and he's had his fair share of short starts, but for the most part, Snell has been completely dominant for most of the season.

Snell got off to a rough start, posting a 5.48 ERA through April and after a bad outing against the Red Sox in mid-May, his ERA sat at 5.40. In his last 19 starts however, he's been untouchable.

Snell has an absurd ERA of 1.31 in 19 starts and 119 innings pitched since May 25. He has 153 strikeouts in those starts, and the dramatically underperforming Padres are seven games over .500 when he pitches. In ten of those 19 starts Snell has allowed zero earned runs. Yes, more than half of the time he doesn't allow a single earned run. He's allowed three runs or fewer in all 19 starts, allowing three in just two of the starts.

Yes, that stretch is ignoring the rough first month and a half for Snell, but his overall numbers are phenomenal as well. He has a 2.50 ERA in 28 starts and 155 innings pitched. He leads the NL in ERA and is second in strikeouts. He's only 12th in innings pitched and has walked too many, so I can understand ranking him lower because of that, but his other numbers are just extraordinary.

The Padres might be virtually out of the postseason race, but Snell is right in the thick of the hunt for his second Cy Young award.

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