Wade Miley enters season’s final month in contention for NL Cy Young Award

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Wade Miley

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics Hall of Famer Wade Miley enters the final month of the 2021 Major League Baseball regular season in contention for the National League Cy Young Award, handed out annually to the league’s top pitcher.

The Cincinnati Reds’ left-hander is one of seven pitchers in the running, according to a recent report at MLB.com, along with Walker Buehler (Los Angeles Dodgers), Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee Brewers), Kevin Gausman (San Francisco Giants), Max Scherzer (Los Angeles Dodgers), Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia Phillies) and Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee Brewers).

Miley faces arguably the easiest slate of opponents out of the contenders the rest of the way. Pending any changes to the Reds’ starting rotation, the native of Loranger, Louisiana will face the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Dodgers, Washington Nationals and the Pirates once again as Cincinnati aims to make the playoffs once again.

Cincinnati is currently in possession of the final NL Wild Card spot, and Miley is a huge reason why the Reds are in the thick of the playoff race. He is one of three pitchers on the staff with at least 25 starts and leads the club in wins (11), ERA (2.97), complete games (1) and shutouts (1). He ranks second in innings pitched (148.2) and WHIP (1.27).

Compared to the rest of the NL, Miley is eighth in ERA and ninth in wins. Where the southpaw really stands out is his overall value to a winning ballclub as he ranks second in the league with a WAR of 5.9, tied with Buehler just behind Wheeler’s league-leading 6.1 total. The only player in the AL that can top them is Los Angeles Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani (7.7).

According to MLB.com, “WAR measures a player’s value in all facets of the game by deciphering how many more wins he’s worth than a replacement-level player at his same position (e.g., a Minor League replacement or a readily available fill-in free agent). WAR quantifies each player’s value in terms of a specific numbers [sic] of wins.”

The wily veteran has experienced a resurgent career the last four years, bouncing back from a pair of rough seasons spent in Seattle and Baltimore. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Miley has combined for a 30-18 W-L record and a 3.39 ERA while pitching for the Brewers, Houston Astros and Reds.

One of three Southeastern pitchers to log time at the MLB level this season, Miley is the program’s all-time leader in runners picked off and ranks third in strikeouts.

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