AL and NL Cy Young Vote: How Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes Won the MLB Top pitching award

The two Cy Young winners of 2021 have a lot in common.

Both are pitchers who have struggled as recently as two years ago, but they have bounced back from the best seasons of their careers. Both pitchers totaled elaborate shots and threw below 3.00 ERA.

The difference between the two is the way voting takes place for the couple to win the award. Robbie Ray, winner of the Blue Jays and AL, was a near unanimous winner, taking 29 out of 30 votes in first place. However, Brewers winner and NL winner Corbin Burnes were locked in a closer battle for his prize. He received the same number of votes in first place as the Phillies hurdler Zack Wheeler, and only won because a low number of votes gave him the upper hand.

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How did the final vote get shaken? Sporting News breaks it down.

NL Cy Young’s voting results

Cy Young was decided based on the results of 30 writers from the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The National League features two writers from each chapter of BBWAA – 15 chapters, one for each NL team. Each writer submits an individual vote, writing down five names in order of merit for the award.

This year, Burnes and Wheeler tied with 12 votes in first place each. However, it is not about how many votes a pitcher gets in first place, even though they have the heaviest weight. It is a point system to choose the winner.

MLB Prize 2021: Full list of finalists, winners

Here’s how the top three pitchers in the NL this season play out.

Vase Day 1 2nd 3rd 4th day 5 Point
Corbin Burnes twelfth 14 3 first 0 151
Zack Wheeler twelfth 9 4 4 first 141
Max Scherzer 6 5 13 6 0 113

While Burnes and Wheeler received the same number of votes in first place, Burnes received more votes in second place (14 to nine), and Wheeler saw more of his vote in the back of the ballot. He was the only one of the three NL Cy Young finalists to receive votes in fifth place.

This is only the second time that the top two finalists of NL Cy Young have got votes in first place. Back in 1981, Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers and Tom Seaver of the Reds were together with eight votes in first place, Valenzuela narrowly at the top of the table with 70 points to Seaver’s 67.

Here is the full breakdown of the 2021 NL votes.

AL Cy Young’s voting results

There is not the same level of drama in AL as in NL. Ray received all but one vote in first place AL Cy Young, and Yankees initiator Gerrit Cole received all but one vote in second place.

Finally, here’s how the voting goes in the primary.

Vase Day 1 2nd 3rd 4th day 5 Point
Robbie Ray 29 first 0 0 0 207
Gerrit Cole first 29 0 0 0 123
Lance Lynn 0 0 11 5 5 48

Well, not particularly close.

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Ray was just one of those shy votes to become the eighth AL pitcher to win the award unanimously. Here are others who have achieved the feat.

Vase Year
Denny McLain 1968
Ron Guidry 1978
Roger Clemens 1986, 1998
Pedro Martinez 1999, 2000
John Santana 2004, 2006
Justin Verlander 2011
Shane Bieber Year 2020

Here is the full breakdown of the 2021 AL votes.

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