Verlander Celebrates his second World Series Title with the Houston Astros
HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 07: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros participates in the World Series Parade on November 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The World Series is done and the Houston Astros are yet again champions. So what's next? It's Major League Baseball's award season coming up, here is a look at the top 3 Cy Young finalists in both the National League and American League.

American League Cy Young Award Finalists

Cy Young Award finalists for the AL include World Series champion Houston Astros superstar Justin Verlander, four-year veteran and Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, and sophomore pitcher Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

Justin Verlander, 39, is celebrating his second World Series trophy with the Houston Astros and could likely pop an additional bottle of champagne to celebrate the third Cy Young Award of his career. Having only pitched one game since the end of the 2019 season, and returning from Tommy John surgery, Verlander finished the season 18-4 and posted a career best ERA (1.75) in the 18th season of his career. The nine-time All-Star, won his first World Series game, after eight starts.

Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

Dylan Cease, 26, covered much ground from last year's performance with an impressive ERA (2.20) in 32 starts, in contrast to his ERA (3.91) a year ago. The Georgia native, emerged as the Chicago White Sox Ace in 2022. For the second year in a row the White Sox’s had a top-three pitcher in the American League, with 2022 Dylan Cease’s performance outshining Lance Lynn’s 2021 Cy Young finalist campaign.

Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays

Alek Manoah, 24, was fourth in number of innings pitched in the American League. Manoah also finished with the third-lowest ERA (2.24) and fourth lowest WHIP (0.99) in the AL his sophomore season. The Toronto Blue Jays All-Star, finished 2022 with similar stats to Dylan Cease’s 2022 season performance, however Manoah threw 12.2 more innings for the Blue Jays demonstrating greater durability and ability to pitch deep into games.

Prediction: The 18-year veteran Verlander has the upper hand in receiving the greatest number of votes. Besides having the most wins and lowest ERA among AL finalists, he did lead the pitching staff as the ace of the team that won its fifth AL West title in six years and second World Series. While voting closed prior to the postseason, Verlander is the favorite to win his third Cy Young.

National League Cy Young Award Finalists

The list of National League Cy Young Award finalists include the Los Angeles Dodgers' southpaw from Culican, Mexico, Julio Urias, left-handed and six-year veteran pitcher for the Atlanta Braves' Max Fried, and right-handed Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara. All put together outstanding seasons, but who will be named the NL Cy Young?

Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins

Sandy Alcantara, 26, pitched the most complete games in MLB, and has distanced himself from the rest of National League Cy Young finalists with his 2022 season overall performance. Although Julio Urias recorded a slightly lower ERA, Alcantara pitched 53 more innings, an approximate nine more starts than Urias. In comparison to the AL leader, Framber Valdez, amounted to only 3 complete games, half the amount of Alcantara, who is arguably the best pitcher in the National league.

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves

Max Fried, 28, strung together his best season posting the lowest ERA (2.48) of his six-year career. Fried finished the 2022 season 14-7 with Atlanta, in addition to being a cornerstone piece of the Braves bullpen, that posted the second-lowest team ERA (3.46) in the National League.

Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Mexican-born Julio Urias finished the with the lowest ERA (2.16) of his career. Urias' effort led to a 17-win season for the Dodgers, three wins shy of his career best, 20. Urias 2022 season statistics resembled NL Cy Young finalist Max Fried's season, but Urias started one more game and posted a lower ERA than the Braves ace.

Prediction: Alcantara is the clear-cut favorite to win the NL Cy Young. Alcantara’s 2022 strike out totals and ability to complete games in today’s MLB, where pitchers are pitching shorter into games than ever before, that will give him the edge in votes.

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