Finishing his sixth regular season, Houston Astros starter and current ace Lance McCullers Jr. has shut down any doubt he is a top tier pitcher in the American league. McCullers has posted a career best 3.16 ERA this season, career high wins with 13, career high .722 winning percentage, career high 185 strikeouts and a career low hits per nine innings.
Needless to say, McCullers is having an amazing season and has been a solid, consistent starter that the Astros can rely on in a crunch, and it is only fitting that he was the starter to clinch the playoff birth and AL West title versus the Rays this past Thursday.
Not only has McCullers exceeded expectations this season, he currently sits with the second best ERA in the American League and completely blew his season high in strikeouts out of the water with 185, 43 above his next highest season. One of his many great starts includes a seven inning-gem of only a run and 10 strikeout in Chicago against the White Sox.
Lance McCullers Jr. has solidified himself as the Astros’ ace, but will he receive Cy Young votes?
His 13 wins give him his best winning percentage on the team and tied for second best in the American League with the White Sox Carlos Rodon. To further his excellence this season McCullers leads the American League with the lowest HR/9 percentage at 0.721 and is 2nd in RE24 (base out runs saved) at 31.25 and similarly in REW (base out wins saved) at 3.3.
McCullers is hovering around the top in many key categories, he is ninth in strikeouts in the AL but fourth in strikeouts per nine innings. He is tied for seventh in WHIP at 1.22 and tied for sixth in quality starts at 15 and that with 2-4 less starts under his belt than the pitchers above him on that list. With all this being said, does McCullers career year deserve consideration for the Cy Young?
I can’t believe he wouldn’t be a part of the conversation and he is one of the top five pitchers in the AL this season, without a doubt. With McCullers being one of the best in the AL, he is most likely getting the ball in Game 1 on Thursday.