Zack Wheeler the Cy Young favorite but another Phillies starter is right on his tail

One of Wheeler's teammates is also making a case for early NL Cy Young consideration.
Zack Wheeler is the early NL Cy Young favorite
Zack Wheeler is the early NL Cy Young favorite / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Zack Wheeler has been one of the best contract signings the Phillies have had in recent memory, with the five-year, $118 million deal he signed back in the 2019-20 offseason.

The deal overall was much lower than what other big-name free agent pitchers were fetching on the open market, like Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million) and Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million). Wheeler's deal felt like a better fit for the Phillies at the time.

Since Wheeler signed that December, he has the most wins above replacement (20.6 fWAR), the second most innings pitched (666 2/3), behind Nola, and the most quality starts (69) in all of Major League Baseball. The success that Wheeler has had since joining the club rightfully earned him a hefty three-year, $126 million contract extension this past offseason, keeping the ace through 2027, per's Todd Zolecki.

Wheeler has continued his dominance in 2024. So far, he has posted a 1.93 ERA, a .164 batting average against, a 0.88 WHIP, and is second in the NL in strikeouts with 46. Per BetMGM, Zack Wheeler is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award with +450 odds.

Ranger Suárez making a case for early NL Cy Young consideration

His teammate, Ranger Suárez, is certainly making a case for himself. He currently sits 10th among Cy Young favorites at +1800 odds.

The top NL pitchers in fWAR are Wheeler (1.4) and Suárez (1.3). Suárez has been lights out so far in the first month and just ran a 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless inning streak. He has been every bit of the cool, calm and collected pitcher we know and love.

The left-hander has quietly put together a solid six starts, with all but one of his outings being a quality start. His 1.32 ERA is the third-lowest in the NL.

Suárez may not be amongst the top in strikeouts every year, but he's commanding his pitches with conviction and is getting around the bats in the lineup at an elite level. Per FanGraphs, he leads all NL pitchers with the lowest average exit velocity (81.9 mph) and barrel rate (3.1 percent) and is third with a 27.6 percent hard-hit rate. Not too shabby for a No. 3 starter.

If Suárez keeps performing at this level, there is no question that he will keep climbing the Cy Young odds and perhaps join Wheeler in the finalists for the NL Cy Young Award come year's end.