Justin Verlander and Corbin Burnes lead the Cy Young Award poll

With so many pitchers posting dominant results early on, choosing the Cy Young Award favorites is no easy task, but we asked a panel of MLB.com voters to do just that.

In our first Cy Young poll of the season, 70 participants submitted their top five Cy Young candidates in each league based on what has happened so far and what they expect to see happen in the coming months. Pitchers received voting points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale: five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote, and so on. Here are the results. (All stats are through Tuesday.)

1) Justin Verlander, Astros (30 first-place votes)
After missing most of 2020 and all of 2021, Verlander returned from Tommy John surgery at the age of 39 and looks a lot like the pitcher who won the AL Cy Young Award three years ago. The right-hander pitched five scoreless innings against the Nationals on Sunday to improve to 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA and an MLB-leading 0.68 WHIP in 45 2/3 innings. Verlander has allowed just 22 hits, 17 of them singles. Just a remarkable comeback story for an all-time great.

2) Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays (23 first-place votes)
The Blue Jays lost last year’s AL Cy Young winner, Robbie Ray, to the Mariners in free agency but replaced him with Gausman, who joined Toronto on a five-year, $110 million contract. So far, so good, as Gausman has been seen as a legitimate Cy contender. The 31-year-old struck out 45 batters before giving up his first walk in a Toronto uniform and started Wednesday’s start with a 2.40 ERA and a 54-2 K/BB ratio over 45 innings this season.

3) Nestor Cortes, Yankees (11 first-place votes)
Gerrit Cole was supposed to be the Yankees’ top contender for the Cy, but Cortes bested him. In his third stint with the organization, the left-hander has become an unlikely ace, posting an AL-leading 1.35 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 40 innings.

4) Alek Manoah, Blue Jays (1 first-place vote)
Manoah, one of last season’s best rookie arms, is establishing himself as an elite starter in Year 2. The right-hander has posted a 1.71 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in seven starts this season, making for an excellent combo one. -two with Gausman at the top of Toronto’s rotation.

5) Shane McClanahan, Rays (4 first-place votes)
Like Manoah, McClanahan has made an impressive leap in his second season, pitching a 2.33 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings through his first eight starts. The 25-year-old southpaw is one of the toughest starting pitchers in the game, but the driving force behind his success has been his fastball performance. Aided by a much-improved changeup, McClanahan has held opponents to a .121 average and has racked up 54 strikeouts in 116 at-bats that ended in broken and off-speed pitches.

Others receiving votes: Dylan Cease, Gerrit Cole, Logan Gilbert (1 first place vote), Michael Kopech, Shohei Ohtani, Joe Ryan, Tarik Skubal, Paul Blackburn, Michael Lorenzen, Martin Perez, Zack Greinke, Jameson Taillon, Shane Bieber, Frankie Montas, Jordan Roman, Garrett Whitlock

1) Corbin Burnes, Brewers (23 first-place votes)
Only 11 pitchers have won a Cy Young in consecutive seasons, but Burnes has a good chance of becoming 12th. The Brewers right-hander has continued last year’s dominant Cy-winning campaign with a brilliant 1.77 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 57-8 K/BB ratio in his first 45 2/3 innings. Burnes actually got the second-most first-place votes of any NL contender in our poll, but the points he racked up from all the second- through fifth-place votes he received put him atop.

2) Pablo Lopez, Marlins (30 first-place votes)
The Marlins are one of three teams, along with the Rangers and Rockies, that have never had a Cy Young winner, but with the way Lopez is pitching, Miami’s drought could end in 2022. The 26-year-old years entered Wednesday started with an MLB-leading 1.05 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 43 innings and received more first-place votes than any other NL pitcher.

3) Max Scherzer, Mets (9 first-place votes)
This is a familiar spot for Scherzer, who has finished fifth or better in his league’s Cy Young race in eight of the past nine seasons, winning three times in that span. Our voters like his chances of staying in the NL race again in 2022, his first year with the Mets after signing a historic three-year, $130 million contract. In his first seven starts with New York, the 37-year-old posted a 2.66 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 55 strikeouts in 44 innings, though he recovered from Wednesday’s sixth-inning start with left-side soreness.

4) Carlos Rodón, Giants (5 first-place votes)
Rodón’s rocky start against the Cardinals on Sunday night took a toll on his numbers, but he clearly made a strong impression on our panel with his dominance in his first six starts. The left-hander, who signed with San Francisco in the offseason, effectively replacing Gausman in the team’s rotation, entered Sunday with a 1.80 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 35 innings.

5) Joe Musgrove, Padres
After a great season in 2021, Musgrove (2.20 ERA) has been even better this year, and our voters have taken notice. Musgrove is throwing his electric slider as often as he has in any season since his rookie year in 2016, and he’s posted one of the highest chase rates in MLB, leading him to a lot of weak contacts and contributing to his personal best of 7.83 K/BB. proportion in 45 tickets.

Others receiving votes: Walker Buehler (2 first place votes), Miles Mikolas, Merrill Kelly, Chris Bassitt, Josh Hader (1 first place vote), Max Fried, Zac Gallen, Sandy Alcantara, Kyle Wright, Clayton Kershaw, José Quintana, Logan Webb, Eric Lauer, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler

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