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Dylan Cease, Cy Young Candidate?

Can Dylan Cease win the 2022 AL Cy Young award? ESPN's Buster Olney thinks so.
Dylan Cease Chicago White Sox

Photo: NBC Sports Chicago

Dylan Cease started off his 2022 campaign in a big way on Saturday afternoon. The 26-year-old right-hander took the mound and tossed five innings of one-run ball while fanning eight Detroit hitters. The White Sox's 5-2 victory over the Tigers moved Dylan Cease's career record against Detroit to an astounding 9-0. As we like to say over at Sox On Tap, that's a great way to "Set the tone."

On Monday morning, ESPN's Buster Olney shared his predictions for 2022 MLB award winners. Olney pegged Cease as his pick to win the AL Cy Young award.

While it has only been one start into a very long season, Cease is currently the ace of the White Sox starting rotation. Injuries to Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito are the two of the main reasons behind that designation. However, this season has "Cease breakout year" written all over it.

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In 2021, Dylan Cease led the AL in games started (32) and K/9 (12.3) amount qualified pitchers. While still showing some control issues through the course of last season, Cease rather quietly put up some ridiculous stats. Adding to his impressive 2021 campaign, Cease (226) finished the year with 25 more strikeouts than teammate Lucas Giolito (201). The only qualified pitchers in the AL who had more punchouts in 2021? Gerrit Cole and Robbie Ray.

Will Cease ultimately walk away with the 2022 AL Cy Young Award? There is a lot of baseball left to be played. But his name will certainly be in the conversation should he put together a campaign slightly better than last season.