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Is Angels’ Dylan Bundy an American League Cy Young candidate?

Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
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Angels, Dylan Bundy
Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

Through his first three starts in an Angels uniform, Dylan Bundy is pitching like staff ace and has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2020.

When the Los Angeles Angels acquired Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles over the winter, they were hoping a change of scenery would make him a rebound candidate. What they got instead has been a staff ace.

That was in full view on Thursday, when Bundy spun a complete game against the Mariners. In the gem, he allowed just four hits and one run, while striking out 10 and walking none. In case you missed it, here is a quick video recap of Bundy’s stellar outing, courtesy of MLB.com.

To say that Bundy has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels would be an understatement. Through three starts, he is the only starter to complete six innings on more than one occasion, having done so in each of his three starts. For a Halos team that has been forced into their bullpen too often in 2020, the right-hander’s ability to get deeper into games has been invaluable.

However, Bundy’s performance to date has been more than just eating innings. In fact, he’s been among the top pitchers in the game thus far.

According to FanGraphs, Dylan Bundy is tied for 5th among all starters in pitching WAR, second only to Shane Bieber in the American League. Likewise, when converting that WAR to dollars, Bundy also ranks fifth with a $5.5 million value, already exceeding his $5 million salary for 2020. He also ranks favorably in ERA (15th), FIP (13th), Hard-Hit Rate (14th), and BB/9 (7th).

While we’ve obviously got to put the standard small sample size disclaimer in play, we are also talking about a small overall season. From what we’ve seen thus far, regardless of sample size, Bundy has been among the best pitchers in the game this season. If he can continue those efforts, he’ll put himself into serious Cy Young consideration.

So why is 2020 Dylan Bundy so much better than prior years? Let’s take a look.

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