Zack Wheeler

2024 NL Cy Young Power Rankings

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The 2024 NL Cy Young race is alive and well despite the season barely being a month old. By now, most starting pitchers have had at least a handful of starts, allowing some to separate themselves from the pack. Even at this early stage, it’s not hard to pick out some good candidates for the NL Cy Young this year. 

Ranking the Top 5 NL Cy Young Candidates 

Surprisingly, not all of the early-season Cy Young candidates were among the group we consider the best starting pitchers currently.

But that is part of what makes this race and baseball so fascinating; anything can happen. A little more than a month into the season, let’s take a look at the 2024 NL Cy Young race.

Zack Wheeler

The season got off to a rather unusual start for Zack Wheeler. The Phillies lost his first four starts with Wheeler taking the loss in three of those games. However, he’s carried the Phillies to wins in his last three starts, allowing just one run on seven hits over 18.1 innings.

Only Cy Young pitchers perform at that level.


Obviously, it’ll be tough for Wheeler to maintain that same level all season. But he’s clearly found his groove and is more than capable of dominating big-league lineups.

Ranger Suarez

Even with Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the same rotation, Ranger Suarez has managed to stand out from the pack. The Phillies are unbeaten in his first six starts with Suarez getting the win in five of those games. Over his final four starts in April, Suarez allowed just one run on 14 hits, covering 30 innings during that stretch.

He already has three starts in which he’s lasted at least seven innings, including a complete-game shutout. Somehow, he’s been even better than Wheeler and is deserving of Cy Young consideration. 

Reynaldo Lopez

Nobody could have foreseen Reynaldo Lopez pitching like this. He had made just one start over the last two seasons, pitching mostly out of the bullpen. However, the Braves have needed him to be a starter and Lopez has delivered.

In four of his first five starts, Lopez pitched six innings while allowing one run or less. In four of those five starts, he’s also limited opposing teams to four hits or less. Whatever he’s doing differently this year seems to be working, as Lopez is putting together a career year.


Tyler Glasnow

With five wins in his first seven starts of the season, it’s hard not to consider Tyler Glasnow a Cy Young contender. Despite a couple of hiccups, Glasnow has already had four starts in which he allowed one run or less over six innings or more.

The Dodgers couldn’t be more pleased that one of their big offseason acquisitions is working out so well. Glasnow is also among the leaders in strikeouts, which is another reason why he’s an early Cy Young favorite.

Shota Imanaga

Before the season, the Japanese pitcher most expected to contend for the Cy Young was Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Some believed that he would immediately look like one of the greatest starting pitchers ever. Instead, it’s been Shota Imanaga who has hit the ground running in his first MLB season.

The crafty lefty is 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA after his first six starts. In half of those starts, Imanaga has allowed three hits or less. He’s also walked one batter or less in five of those six starts. He’s throwing strikes and missing bats, averaging a strikeout per inning thus far. While Imanaga isn’t the hardest-throwing pitcher, big-league hitters have yet to figure out how to hit him. The longer that goes on, the longer he’ll be a threat to win the Cy Young.

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