Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber and Cincinnati Reds star Trevor Bauer took home the American and National League Cy Young Awards, respectively, on Wednesday.
Bieber received the honors in the AL after going 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts in just 77.1 innings. The right-handed Cleveland ace finished alone or tied in first in MLB in victories, ERA, strikeouts and pitcher WAR (wins above replacement), per Baseball Reference.
He was a unanimous winner, collecting all 30 first-place votes, the first across MLB since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. Justin Verlander (2011) was the last to pull it off in the AL.
Bauer mowed down hitters in 2020, going 5-4 with 100 strikeouts in 73.0 innings while posting a 1.73 ERA. He tossed two complete-game shutouts and led MLB starters with a .795 WHIP. As a result, the NL voting was similarly decisive, with 27 first-place votes going to the winner.
Bieber allowed just 5.4 hits per nine innings. Ten of his 12 appearances were quality starts, and he never allowed more than three earned runs in a regular-season game. He pitched through five full innings each time as well.
The 25-year-old also struck out eight or more batters in each of his 12 starts, including a season-high 14 against the Kansas City Royals on July 24. He didn't allow an earned run in six of his 12 starts.
The right-handed Bauer made 11 starts and allowed fewer than two earned runs eight times. He also struck out eight or more batters five times.
Bauer was also a workhorse in 2020, pitching six full inning in all but one start and tossing 97 or more pitches each time. He saved his best performance for the playoffs, striking out 13 in seven shutout innings versus Atlanta.
In a year filled with excellent pitching performances, Bieber and Bauer ultimately rose to the top. We'll find out next spring whether they can replicate those efforts as they look to repeat as their league's best pitcher.