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Justin Verlander joins elite company with third Cy Young Award, Sandy Alcantara takes NL honors


An up-and-coming superstar and one of the best of all time were named the best pitchers of 2022.

Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander and Miami Marlins’ Sandy Alcanatara were named the Cy Young Award winners of this past season.

Both players won the award unanimously.

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Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
(Elsa/Getty Images)

This is Verlander’s third career Cy Young Award, making him one of 11 pitchers to win three. He won his first back in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers, and won again in a close race with then-Astros teammate Gerrit Cole in 2019. This was the sixth time Verlander was a finalist. 

It can be argued that Verlander maybe should have five Cy Young Awards — he arguably was robbed in 2016 when he lost to Rick Porcello, who had eight first-place votes to Verlander’s 14, but the point system gave Porcello the nod. Verlander also narrowly lost to Blake Snell in 2018.

Even more impressive, though, is Verlander led the majors with a 1.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP at age 39 after missing the entire 2021 season and throwing just one inning the season prior. 

White Sox’ Dylan Cease and Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah finished second and third, respectively.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros reacts after the end of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros reacts after the end of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
(Elsa/Getty Images)

TERRY FRANCONA, BUCK SHOWALTER NAMED 2022’S TOP MANAGERS

As for Alcanatara, he’s a first-time winner, and earned all 30 first-place votes — despite being named an All Star in 2019, it was the 2022 season where he made the league know his name. 

He led all of baseball with 228.2 innings — 23.2 more than the second-most — and six complete games, doubling the second-most in the league. His 2.28 ERA was second in the NL behind Julio Urias, who finished in third place. In fact, he actually led all the National League in WAR (8.0), He also had a 0.98 WHIP.

Alcantara entered the season as a pitcher that was slated to take that next step, but no one could have expected this. He is the first Marlin to ever win the award, and the third Dominican-born player to win it (Bartolo Colon, Pedro Martinez).

Braves’ Max Fried finished second, while Phillies’ Aaron Nola and Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen rounded out the top-five.

Miami Marlins' Sandy Alcantara delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Miami. 

Miami Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Miami. 
(WHD Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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Thursday night is the final night of awards season, with the MVPs from each league to be named.

Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani headline the AL MVP race, with Yordan Alvarez being the third finalist. Paul Goldschmidt is the favorite for the National League honors, going up against Cardinals teammate Nolan Arenado and Padres’ Manny Machado.

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