Heading into the 2023 season, there was a lot of hope around the Mariners. Could we see them go back to the playoffs again? Would the new additions in Teoscar Hernandez and Kolten Wong be welcome additions to the offense? Would Julio Rodriguez make a push for the MVP? Could any of the Mariners talented pitchers win the Cy Young?
It's that last question that I want to look at today. As it stands on the afternoon of 08/24/2023, it looks like the Mariners have a good chance to bring home the AL Cy Young... and it's not just one candidate, etiher.
Luis Castillo and George Kirby are both among the favorites to win the 2023 AL Cy Young
For a long time, it looked like this was going to be Gerrit Coles award to win. However, the second half of the season always looms larger in the voters minds, and it can be more than just an individual's performance that affects their chances at winning the award. The Yankees are just 16-29 since July 1st. Meanwhile, the Mariners are an incredible 33-14 over that same stretch.
So how have the three pitchers (Gerrit Cole, Luis Castillo, and George Kirby) done over that stretch? WE throw in Kevin Gausman as well, since he is currently 3rd in odds, depending where you look.
Gerrit Cole has gone 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA over 9 starts and 56.2 IP, with a WHIP just under 1.00 and 57 Ks.
9 GS - 56.2 IP
10 GS - 63 IP
8 GS - 45.2 IP
10 GS - 62.1 IP
I'm going to admit. When I started this article, I did not think that their stats were going to be so similar. Gausman stands out with the highest ERA and highest WHIP, but also has a ton of Ks. Kirby's numbers look the best on there, as he limits runners the most efficiently.
In a way, this makes me happy because it furthers proves the point that I came here to make. The race has gotten close. Cole is the favorite, but Castillo is now 2nd, Gausman right behind him, and Kirby a distant but still very possible 4th. It's gotten close because the Mariners have been one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Jays haven't moved the needle, and the Yankees have seen their worst losing streak in over 4 decades. If the Yankees were running away with the Wild Card or fighting the Orioles for first place, Cole would be a MASSIVE favorite for this award, instead of just a slight favorite.
That's why I think it is going to continue to slide to the Mariners favor. The Yankees are now TEN GAMES OUT OF THE WILDCARD, a nearly insurmountable lead at this point in the season. They would need a combination of a crash from teams ahead of them (possible) paired with a stretch of somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-8 to get to 88-74 and have a shot at making it. I don't see that happening.
I don't think the Mariners continue to play at a 113/114 win pace, even though that would put them at 95/96 wins on the season. I do think they get in, and soundly so, to the playoffs. Combining the second half that they have had, the Yankees collapse, and a great finsih from either Luis Castillo or George Kirby, and the Mariners will be seeing their first Cy Young in Seattle since the King won his in 2010.