Red Sox fans livid that Tanner Houck was snubbed from MLB's Cy Young power rankings

Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Major League Baseball recently released power rankings for the American and National League Cy Young awards.

The AL list featured one Red Sox pitcher, but it should've highlighted two.

Kutter Crawford came in at No. 5 on MLB's rankings and his credit is well deserved. The righty has pitched to a 2.24 ERA in 52.1 innings. He owned a sub-1.00 ERA going into his sixth start and his transformation from 2023 to 2024 has been significant.

Tanner Houck's numbers also merit a spot in MLB's top five. He and Crawford currently hold the exact same 2.24 ERA through 52.1 innings pitched, but Houck has made one fewer start than Crawford. Houck has been going deeper into games and maintaining the quality of his outings more than Crawford and Pablo López (3.39 ERA in 44 innings).

MLB unjustifiably leaves Red Sox Tanner Houck off AL Cy Young power rankings

Houck's 0.975 WHIP is better than Crawford's, Corbin Burnes' and he has López beat by a few hundredths of a point. Houck, López and Tarik Skubal have each issued just eight walks this season — they make Burnes' 14 and Logan Gilbert's 18 free passes seem high.

The Red Sox's 27-year-old right-hander also threw one of the quickest complete-game shutouts in recent memory back on April 17. It took him just one hour and 49 minutes to secure 27 outs against one of the best teams in the AL, the Cleveland Guardians. He threw 94 pitches and 69 of them were strikes. Houck's accuracy and efficiency are undeniable.

Houck is bested by some other candidates in strikeouts per nine innings, though. He's logged 8.6 strikeouts per nine, but Crawford (8.94), Gilbert (9.4), López (11.3) and Skubal (11.0) each have more.

Nonetheless, Houck's season has been outstanding so far and his transformation from 2023 is almost unbelievable. Skubal is the unequivocal No. 1, but Houck's stats warrant recognition in any of the top-five slots below him. Some may argue that Houck's performance is a fluke and that he may struggle to maintain his current pace throughout the season, but the best part about power rankings is that they're changeable. For now, Houck deserves acknowledgment for his early outings.

Maybe his May 15 start against the Rays will force MLB to put some respect on his name.

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