Astros Season Preview: Predicting Top Award Candidates

Sep 23, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates with second baseman Jose Altuve (27) after making a defensive play during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates with second baseman Jose Altuve (27) after making a defensive play during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 19, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

AL Cy Young — Lance McCullers

Again I eschew the popular choice. Despite Dallas Keuchel claiming the award in 2015, I’m putting McCullers here because his upside is so great. Still just 23, McCullers owns a 3.22 ERA across his first 36 starts while striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings.

The biggest impediment to this coming true is, of course, McCullers’ health. He’s yet to pitch a full season in the majors, so we don’t yet know how his body will fare down the stretch. If he makes 30-plus starts, however, he could put together a monster season.

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