Atlanta Braves second-year flamethrower Spencer Strider has had a phenomenal sophomore season. He is a legit ace and has his name in the 2023 NL Cy Young race. I volunteered to do a write up on the Cy Young race in hopes of finding reasons Strider should win the award. However, instead I've convinced myself he won't win. That is okay! To be in consideration at such an early stage in his career is an accomplishment worth recognizing.
Here's a breakdown of how Strider compares to the other five finalists. Those finalists (as of this writing) are Justin Steele of the Cubs, Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks, Blake Snell of the Padres, Zack Wheeler of the Phillies, and Logan Webb of the Giants. So with sadness in my heart, I present to you some of the key factors working against Spencer Strider in the 2023 National League Cy Young Award Race.
Spencer Strider doesn't go deep enough into games to win the 2023 NL Cy Young
Strider is not some four-inning fireballer who racks up Ks and hits the pine. Strider is hanging with his fellow finalists. However, he only averages 5.79 innings per start right now. Of the six finalists, Strider is only ahead of Blake Snell's 5.55 IP/GS. Snell leads the league in walks, so that's not a huge surprise to see his name there. He's never been a guy to go deep into games.
Cy Young voters typically want to see quality and quantity. They want to lots of valuable innings over the course of the season. Strider is in the conversation but guys like Logan Webb and Zac Gallen are averaging well over six innings per start. There might be more of an argument to overlook the innings if Strider had been able to separate himself in other key categories.
We'll take a look at "other key categories" on the next page.