Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Matt Musico
We typically stay in our lane of talking about home runs here. But every so often, we stretch a smidge for specific reasons. So, with hopes of crushing the next MLB Immaculate Grid game, today’s topic takes a team-by-team look at Cy Young Award winners throughout baseball history.
First, a few basic questions about the award will be answered before diving into each team’s winners, along with some of their pertinent stats (win-loss record, ERA, and saves if they were a reliever).
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What is MLB’s Cy Young Award?
Simply put, the Cy Young Award is given to the best pitcher in each league for a specific year. This honor was named after Hall of Fame pitcher, Cy Young. He enjoyed a 22-year MLB career between 1890 and 1911. Since the game was much different back then, Young set records that will never be broken. Some include career wins (511), career losses (315), games started (815), and innings pitched (7,356).
The Cy Young Award has been around since 1956. Initially, just one pitcher earned this honor each year. That happened through the 1966 season. Since 1967, one American League pitcher and one National League hurler have earned the award annually.
Who Votes for the Cy Young Award?
The concept behind having a Cy Young Award given to the league’s best pitcher was introduced by then-Commissioner Ford Frick. This idea was then approved by the Baseball Writers Association of America. They’re also the governing body that votes for the winners each year.
Which Player Has Won the Most Cy Young Awards?
Only four pitchers have won a Cy Young Award at least four times. Roger Clemens is the all-time leader with seven. Randy Johnson is second with five awards, while Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux each won it four times.
Team-By-Team Look at Cy Young Award Winners
Angels Cy Young Winners
Dean Chance didn’t get himself a pitching triple crown in 1964, but he came pretty darn close. His 20 wins and 1.65 ERA led the league, while his 207 strikeouts fell short. He also led the league in innings pitched (278.1), complete games (15), and shutouts (11).
Astros Cy Young Winners
PED talk be damned, Roger Clemens‘ final Cy Young Award shows just how good he was. This was the seventh time he took home the honors, and it was in his age-41 season. His ERA was more than one full run better in 2005, too (1.87).
- Mike Scott, 1986: 18-10 record, 2.22 ERA
- Roger Clemens, 2004: 18-4 record, 2.98 ERA
- Dallas Keuchel, 2015: 20-8 record, 2.48 ERA
- Justin Verlander, 2019, 2022: two seasons of 18-plus wins and sub-2.60 ERAs
Athletics Cy Young Winners
Dennis Eckersley is already in the exclusive Cy Young Award club, but there’s an even more exclusive club within there: those who have done it as a reliever. This season finished off a five-year span where he produced a 1.90 ERA with 220 saves over 359.2 innings. It was his last ultra-dominant season, as well. Over his final six years, Eckersley produced a 4.15 ERA in 314.1 innings.
- Vida Blue, 1971: 24-8 record, 1.82 ERA
- Catfish Hunter, 1974: 25-12 record, 2.49 ERA
- Bob Welch, 1990: 27-6 record, 2.95 ERA
- Dennis Eckersley, 1992: 7-1 record, 1.91 ERA, 51 saves
- Barry Zito, 2002: 23-5 record, 2.75 ERA
Blue Jays Cy Young Winners
Roy Halladay was one of those old-school workhorses that we’ll probably never see again. His 2003 campaign included leading the league in starts (36), complete games (nine), shutouts (two), and innings pitched (266!). And he did that a year after pitching a league-leading 239 innings.
- Pat Hentgen, 1996: 20-10 record, 3.22 ERA
- Roger Clemens, 1997-98: two seasons of 20-plus wins with a combined 2.33 ERA
- Roy Halladay, 2003: 22-7 record, 3.25 ERA
- Robbie Ray, 2021: 13-7 record, 2.84 ERA
Braves Cy Young Winners
You can’t talk about those 1990s Braves teams without discussing the ridiculous pitching staff they had. Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz won a combined six out of 10 possible NL Cy Young Awards during that decade. Just unreal.
- Warren Spahn, 1957: 21-11 record, 2.69 ERA
- Tom Glavine, 1991, 1998: two seasons of 20 wins with a sub-2.60 ERA
- Greg Maddux, 1993-95: 55 total wins with a 1.90 ERA
- John Smoltz, 1996: 24-8 record, 2.94 ERA
Brewers Cy Young Winners
Corbin Burnes‘ 2021 Cy Young performance was his certified breakout. It was his first of three straight All-Star Game appearances. It was also his first of three straight years with double-digit wins and 160-plus innings of work.
- Rollie Fingers, 1981: 6-3 record, 1.04 ERA, 28 saves
- Pete Vuckovich, 1982: 18-6 record, 3.34 ERA
- Corbin Burnes, 2021: 11-5 record, 2.43 ERA
Cardinals Cy Young Winners
Bob Gibson‘s two Cy Young seasons were impressive, but it was just a small part of a larger run of dominance for the hurler. During a five-year stretch between 1966 and 1970, Gibson won 99 games with a 2.30 ERA and 1,183 strikeouts in 1,368.1 innings.
- Bob Gibson, 1968, 1970: two seasons of 20-plus wins with sub-3.15 ERAs
- Chris Carpenter, 2005: 21-5 record, 2.83 ERA
Cubs Cy Young Winners
Rick Sutcliffe has the rare distinction of playing for two teams during his Cy Young campaign in 1984. He posted a 5.15 ERA in 15 starts for Cleveland. But his time on the North Side? Sutcliffe went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 150.1 innings.
- Ferguson Jenkins, 1971: 24-13 record, 2.77 ERA
- Bruce Sutter, 1979: 6-6 record, 2.22 ERA, 37 saves
- Rick Sutcliffe, 1984: 20-6 record, 3.64 ERA
- Greg Maddux, 1992: 20-11 record, 2.18 ERA
- Jake Arrieta, 2015: 22-6 record, 1.77 ERA
Diamondbacks Cy Young Winners
Is Randy Johnson‘s run of four straight NL Cy Young Awards the most dominant pitching stretch in MLB history? It has to be up there. His season-long ERA never finished above 2.64 in any campaign while his wins and losses continually improved. Johnson’s win total went from 17 to 19 to 21 to 24. His loss total went from nine to seven to six to five over the same period.
Dodgers Cy Young Winners
The end of Sandy Koufax‘s Hall of Fame career was just remarkable. He led MLB in ERA each of his final five seasons between 1962 and 1966. The southpaw posted a ridiculous 111-34 record over that time to go along with a 1.95 ERA and 1,444 strikeouts in 1,377 innings.
- Don Newcombe, 1956: 27-7 record, 3.06 ERA
- Don Drysdale, 1962: 25-9 record, 2.83 ERA
- Sandy Koufax, 1963, 1965-66: three seasons of 25-plus wins and a sub-2.10 ERA
- Mike Marshall, 1974: 15-12 record, 2.42 ERA, 21 saves (in 208.1 innings)
- Fernando Valenzuela, 1981: 13-7 record, 2.48 ERA
- Orel Hershiser, 1988: 23-8 record, 2.26 ERA
- Eric Gagne, 2003: 2-3 record, 1.20 ERA, 55 saves
- Clayton Kershaw, 2011, 2013-14: three seasons of 16-plus wins with sub-2.30 ERAs
Giants Cy Young Winners
Tim Lincecum was an absolute workhorse for the Giants before things started falling apart for him. Between his first Cy Young campaign and 2011, he won at least 13 games per year. His ERA across that entire span was 2.81. But that was the end of his domination. The Freak wouldn’t post an ERA below 4.13 in a season for the remainder of his career (which finished in 2016).
Guardians Cy Young Winners
There are a lot of impressive Guardians performances on this list, but what Gaylord Perry did just boggles my mind. In multiple ways. The fact that he racked up 16 losses despite a sub-2.00 ERA is wild. Also, he tossed 342.2 innings that year. Perry threw even more the following year (344 innings). This was part of a seven-year stretch where he surpassed the 300-inning plateau six times.
- Gaylord Perry, 1972: 24-16 record, 1.92 ERA
- CC Sabathia, 2007: 19-7 record, 3.21 ERA
- Cliff Lee, 2008: 22-3 record, 2.54 ERA
- Corey Kluber, 2014, 2017: 36 total wins with a sub-2.50 ERA
- Shane Bieber, 2020: 8-1 record, 1.63 ERA
Mariners Cy Young Winners
Whenever someone asks me to name a pitcher I wish I could’ve seen play in the postseason, Felix Hernandez is always the first guy that comes to mind. The dude was straight filth, and it was a shame Seattle couldn’t get him a chance to perform in October. He led the league in ERA, starts (34), and innings pitched (249.2) while striking out 232 hitters.
- Randy Johnson, 1995: 18-2 record, 2.48 ERA
- Felix Hernandez, 2010: 13-12, 2.27 ERA
Marlins Cy Young Winners
Similar to the Marlins’ MVP list, they only have one here on the Cy Young list, and it just happened. Sandy Alcantara was a consistent presence for Miami throughout 2022. He started 32 games and racked up a league-high 228.2 innings. Nobody completed more games than him, either (six).
- Sandy Alcantara, 2022: 14-9 record, 2.28 ERA
Mets Cy Young Winners
Jacob deGrom was the second pitcher in Mets history to win multiple Cy Young Awards and the first to do it in consecutive years. But still, lots are wondering what could’ve been if he stayed healthy in 2021 and/or 2022. The other thing all Mets fans wished happened was for deGrom to have gotten more run support during this stretch of dominance. The fact that he was just 21-17 during his two Award-winning seasons is criminal.
- Tom Seaver, 1969, 1973, 1975: three seasons of 19-plus wins with sub-2.40 ERAs
- Dwight Gooden, 1985: 24-4 record, 1.53 ERA
- R.A. Dickey, 2012: 20-6 record, 2.73 ERA
- Jacob deGrom, 2018-19: 21 total wins, 2.05 ERA
Team-By-Team Look at Cy Young Award Winners
Nationals Cy Young Winners
You don’t typically see big-money, long-term deals work out for the entire contract term. But when it does, it’s quite obvious. That was the case with Max Scherzer and the Nationals. He was a steady presence atop Washington’s rotation, posting a 92-47 record with a 2.80 ERA across six-plus years with the franchise.
Orioles Cy Young Winners
Jim Palmer won three Cy Youngs between 1970 and 1977, and he was dominant pretty much that entire time. He won 20 games in a season on seven occasions. This led to a 155-85 record and a 2.55 ERA across 2,293.1 innings.
- Mike Cuellar, 1969: 23-11 record, 2.38 ERA
- Jim Palmer, 1973, 1975-76: three seasons of 22-plus wins with sub-2.60 ERAs
- Mike Flanagan, 1979: 23-9 record, 3.08 ERA
- Steve Stone, 1980: 25-7 record, 3.23 ERA
Padres Cy Young Winners
Jake Peavy was a product of the Padres’ farm system, and he likely outperformed expectations by quite a bit. It’s not all too often you see a 15th-round draft pick have a 15-year MLB career. He enjoyed six double-digit win seasons with San Diego, racking up a total of 92 wins with a 3.29 ERA.
- Randy Jones, 1976: 22-14 record, 2.74 ERA
- Gaylord Perry, 1978: 21-6 record, 2.73 ERA
- Mark Davis, 1989: 4-3 record, 1.85 ERA, 44 saves
- Jake Peavy, 2007: 19-6 record, 2.54 ERA
- Blake Snell, 2023: 14-9 record, 2.25 ERA
Phillies Cy Young Winners
Winning multiple Cy Young Awards is impressive, regardless of how it happens. But just as it’s difficult to win them consecutively, it’s equally hard (or harder) to win them over an extended period of time. What it shows for Steve Carlton, who won four awards over a 10-year span, is the elite longevity he had during his Hall of Fame career.
- Steve Carlton, 1972, 1977, 1980, 1982: 4 seasons of 20-plus wins with sub-3.15 ERAs
- John Denny, 1983: 19-6 record, 2.37 ERA
- Steve Bedrosian, 1987: 5-3 record, 2.83 ERA, 40 saves
- Roy Halladay, 2010: 21-10 record, 2.44 ERA
Pirates Cy Young Winners
Vern Law‘s Cy Young performance in 1960 was the culmination of a great four-year stretch for the hurler. He went 62-38 during this period with a 3.20 cumulative ERA. However, only one of those years included an ERA above 3.08 (it was 3.96 in 1958).
Rangers Cy Young Winners
The Rangers haven’t yet produced a Cy Young Award winner. But here are Yu Darvish highlights, who finished second in the voting following the 2013 season.
Rays Cy Young Winners
It took this exercise for me to remember just how dominant Blake Snell was for the Rays in 2018. In addition to the stats you see below, he also accumulated 221 strikeouts in just 180.2 innings. Snell was extra stingy at the Trop, posting a 10-1 record with a 1.27 ERA in 85 innings.
Reds Cy Young Winners
Trevor Bauer fit a lot of production into a short period. The 2020 season was shortened because of the pandemic, so the right-hander started just 11 games and racked up 73 innings. He tossed two complete-game shutouts and registered 100 strikeouts during that time.
- Trevor Bauer, 2020: 5-4 record, 1.73 ERA
Red Sox Cy Young Winners
It’s hard to find a better two-year stretch from a pitcher than what Pedro Martinez did with Boston between 1999 and 2000. Outside of what you see below, the Hall of Famer also whiffed 597 (!) batters in just 430.1 innings.
- Jim Lonborg, 1967: 22-9 record, 3.16 ERA
- Roger Clemens, 1986-87, 1991: three seasons of 18-plus wins with a sub-3.00 ERA
- Pedro Martinez, 1999-00: 41 total wins with a 1.90 ERA
- Rick Porcello, 2016: 22-4 record, 3.15 ERA
Rockies Cy Young Winners
With a home ballpark like Coors Field, it’ll be tough for a Rockies pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. But, here are some Ubaldo Jimenez highlights since he placed third in the 2010 NL Cy Young voting.
Royals Cy Young Winners
Zack Greinke has led the league in ERA twice during his MLB career. Once during his 2009 Cy Young campaign, and then again in 2015 when he posted a 1.66 ERA with the Dodgers. In between that time, he produced a 3.38 ERA across 984 innings.
- Bret Saberhagen, 1985, 1989: two seasons of 20-plus wins with a sub-2.90 ERA
- David Cone, 1994: 16-5 record, 2.94 ERA
- Zack Greinke, 2009: 16-8 record, 2.16 ERA
Tigers Cy Young Winners
How do you follow up a 30-win season while posting a sub-2.00 ERA? You produce another Cy Young performance that includes 24 wins and a 2.80 ERA. That’s what Denny McLain did from 1968-69. He also struck out 461 hitters while posting a 1.00 WHIP in 661 innings.
- Denny McLain, 1968-69: 55 total wins with a 2.37 ERA
- Willie Hernandez, 1984: 9-3 record, 1.92 ERA, 32 saves
- Justin Verlander, 2011: 24-5 record, 2.40 ERA
- Max Scherzer, 2013: 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA
Twins Cy Young Winners
Johan Santana led the league in ERA three times during his career. It happened both times he won the AL Cy Young Award, as well as in 2008 with the Mets. Between 2004 and 2008, the southpaw racked up 86 wins and a 2.82 ERA to go along with a 1.02 WHIP and 1,189 strikeouts in 1,146.2 innings.
- Jim Perry, 1970: 24-12 record, 3.04 ERA
- Frank Viola, 1988: 24-7 record, 2.64 ERA
- Johan Santana, 2004, 2006: two seasons of 19-plus wins with a sub-2.80 ERA
White Sox Cy Young Winners
Early Wynn won exactly 300 games during his Hall of Fame career. He can credit reaching that milestone because of what he did after turning 30. From 1950 through the end of his career, Wynn collected 217 of his wins. This included five seasons of 20-plus victories.
- Early Wynn, 1959: 22-10 record, 3.17 ERA
- LaMarr Hoyt, 1983: 24-10 record, 3.66 ERA
- Jack McDowell, 1993: 22-10 record, 3.37 ERA
Yankees Cy Young Winners
It’s hard to look at Ron Guidry‘s 1978 stats without having your jaw drop a little bit. His WHIP settled in at 0.95 to go along with 248 strikeouts in 273.2 innings. Of the 35 starts he made, Guidry completed 16 of them. And of those 16 complete games, nine were shutouts.
- Bob Turley, 1958: 21-7 record, 2.97 ERA
- Whitey Ford, 1961: 25-4 record, 3.21 ERA
- Sparky Lyle, 1977: 13-5 record, 2.17 ERA, 26 saves
- Ron Guidry, 1978: 25-3 record, 1.74 ERA
- Roger Clemens, 2001: 20-3 record, 3.51 ERA
- Gerrit Cole, 2023: 15-4 record, 2.63 ERA
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