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#pounditFriday, December 2, 2022

Baseball fans have 1 big complaint about NL Cy Young Award

Corbin Burnes

Few would dispute that Corbin Burnes had a fantastic season for the Milwaukee Brewers, but there are a number of people unhappy that he claimed the NL Cy Young Award.

Many fans were upset to see Burnes beat out Philadelphia Phillies ace Zack Wheeler for the NL’s top pitching honor. The biggest argument was that Wheeler’s body of work was much larger than Burnes’.

The Brewers ace threw only 167 innings in the regular season, qualifying for the NL ERA title by only five innings. Though Wheeler’s ERA was higher — 2.78 to Burnes’ 2.43 — Wheeler pitched 213.1 innings, nearly 50 more than Burnes.

The point about Wheeler pitching more innings was argued by many on Twitter, including ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Burnes and Wheeler actually got 12 first-places votes each, while Max Scherzer claimed the other six. Where Burnes had the edge was he was either first or second on most ballots (26 of 30), while many voters had Wheeler third or even fourth. That gave Burnes (151) more total points than Wheeler (141).

The voting shows there was ample support for Burnes. The Brewers ace’s FIP, a popular metric among the stats-oriented crowd, was a miniscule 1.63, significantly lower than Wheeler’s 2.59. That, in the eyes of many voters, made up for the fact that Burnes threw 46.1 fewer innings than Wheeler did.

If Wheeler feels snubbed, we may well hear about it. He hasn’t been shy about blunt public criticism before.

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