Dodgers: Were Julio Urías and Walker Buehler Snubbed in the NL Cy Young Race?

Pitching was on a different level this year for the Dodgers as their bullpen and most notably starting rotation led the way. Even after losing Dustin May, Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, for parts if not most of the year, the 3-headed monster of Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urías kept the team afloat.

Without them, the Dodgers wouldn’t have had a chance to come as close as they did to keeping their division crown. In the eyes of Dodgers fans, all 3 should be leading candidates for the National League Cy Young Award. However, MLB and the Baseball Writer’s Association of America didn’t completely see eye to eye with that perspective. While Max Scherzer was named one of three finalists for the prestigious award, Buehler and Urías did not get the recognition they deserved.

Instead, Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers and Zack Wheeler or the Philadelphia Phillies were named the other two finalists. While all there were most likely not going to be the finalists, at least one of them may have been snubbed. Take a look at some of their stats side by side.

  • Julio Urías: 20-3, 185 2/3 innings, 2.96 ERA, 195 K’s, 1.018 WHIP
  • Walker Buehler: 16-4, 207 2/3 innings, 2.47 ERA, 212 K’s, 0.968 WHIP
  • Corbin Burnes: 11-5, 167 innings, 2.43 ERA, 234 K’s, 0.940 WHIP
  • Zack Wheeler: 14-10, 213 1/3 innings, 2.78 ERA, 247 K’s, 1.008 WHIP

Notably, Burnes was the NL’s ERA leader and threw 8 innings in an eventual combined no-hitter for the Brewers. He also led in strikeout rate and K’s per 9 innings pitched. However, it’s worthing noting that he missed some time this season on the Injured List which could have been used against him, though it doesn’t seem it was. Wheeler on the other led baseball in innings pitched, complete games (3), shutouts (2), and led the NL in strikeouts. 

As for Julio, he was the baseball’s only 20-game winner this season but trailed in many other major categories voters look borsch as ERA, strikeouts, WAR, WHIP, etc. While Urías really stepped up for Los Angeles this year, it wasn’t enough to be considered. Buehler may have had the second-best shot for a Dodger to be named a finalist as he was on a dominant stretch to start the second half before the wheels started to fall off. He finished 3rd in wins, 3rd in ERA, and 1st in quality starts. 

The BBWAA doesn’t have a set standard of who the best pitcher was in each league with each writer having their own preference on stats to judge players on. While Urías and Buehler each had strong cases to at least be named finalists if not win it, their great seasons just weren’t enough, but it was for Dodgers fans.

NEXT: Max Scherzer Talks Free Agency, Wants to Join a Winning Club


    1. Agree. Walker should have been 3rd at the worst. I would say him and Max should have been no worse than 1st and third. And a strong case can be made for them to be 1st and 2nd.

  1. The Dodgers had three pitchers in contention and that probably diluted their votes. It’s also why Scherzer won’t win, although basically he would have led ERA and several other categories if not for those last two starts, Wheeler was a front runner for most of the year and that’s why he’s on the list, though you could argue – and I would – that Buehler pitched better and in more important games.

  2. who cares? Its a popularity contest. Only thing I care about is team performance and results. Walker and Julio had incredible years, and we’ll take them just like that every year!

  3. Burnes and wheeler didn’t pitch important games and more importantly they didn’t have to face giants and padres 18 times or Rockies Nit even close Buhler and Urias had better years

  4. Yeah they got robbed, absolutely. Not sure why, might be that they’re the new Yankees, might be they’ve won so many Cy Youngs, but they don’t seem to fare well unless they have a pitcher that is the overwhelming choice.

    Seems like they like strikeouts, really like strikeouts, and non Dodgers. The name of the game is to win and Julio won 20, a big milestone and 3 more than anyone else. Now it’s not the only thing, a pitcher can have a successful year when his team just happens to score runs for him, but the rest of Julios numbers weren’t bad, just not quite as good. Not like he had a 3.75 ERA.

    Like when Kershaw got hosed, he had 2 more wins, less losses, a lower ERA but didn’t win the Cy.

  5. They are obviously not going to pick three Dodgers as finalists. Let’s get real. They will pick the best Dodgers pitcher as one finalist and that was Scherzer.

  6. Julio was “snubbed” by his own ball club, the Dodgers, a few times, but the biggest burn was when he was replaced as a Sunday Starter by Knebel, who threw for 2 innings. But Julio was replaced after winning 20 games, in a stupid attempt to throw off Kapler, a much better manager than #30. Yes was a spit in the face to Julio and it really spoke beyond words the mind frame of the Dodger Organization. Don’t mention the denial of the Chavez Ravine fiasco and replacing the long time residents with a massive parking lot.

    1. Many of us (including myself) have questioned Dave Roberts moves, although reportedly they’re dictated by the analytics guys and he wouldn’t have a job if he didn’t do what they tell him to. Doesn’t stop me from screaming, but it’s the current norm, for better or worse. The latter, IMO.

      The Chavez Ravine fiasco? Not only was it over 60 years ago, but give me another ball park that didn’t do the same. Mostly with entirely public financing as opposed to a gift of land and the owner building the stadium. Dodger Stadium might not have been the high point of American history, but it was at worst, among the least offensive of ballparks in the past 80 years or so.

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