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MVBrewers #2: Corbin Burnes

Coming off a Cy Young season in 2021, Burnes continued to produce as Brewers’ ace in 2022

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Our MVBrewers series continues this week with starting pitcher Corbin Burnes coming in at No. 2 on the team for 2022.

After a dominant 2021 season where he finished with a 2.43 ERA, 170 ERA+, and 1.63 FIP — all of which led the majors — Burnes came back in 2022 to turn in yet another great year on the mound for Milwaukee.

Pitching a career-high 202 innings over 33 starts, Burnes finished with a 2.94 ERA, 134 ERA+, and 3.14 FIP. He also led the NL with 243 strikeouts. These numbers earned him a solid seventh place finish in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

Burnes also finished second on the team with a 4.0 WAR, just behind Willy Adames’ 4.4 WAR.

Despite a surprisingly poor start on Opening Day against the Cubs, Burnes started the season right where he left off in 2021. Through the end of May (10 starts), Burnes had a 1.95 ERA.

However, Burnes went through a difficult summer, as he saw his ERA balloon to 2.84 by the end of August and as high as 3.12 by the middle of September. He still ended the season showing why he is considered one of the top pitchers in the league, giving up no runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts over his last two starts, including an eight-inning shutout victory over the Marlins on Sept. 30.

While Burnes may not have pitched as well in 2022 as he did in 2021, some of his stats were skewed by blowup starts. He had seven starts where he allowed at least four earned runs in 2022, compared to 16 starts allowing zero or one earned run. In 2021, those numbers were five and 18, respectively.

Burnes had so many strong starts in 2022 that it’s hard to pinpoint just one as being his best. He had nine starts with at least 10 strikeouts, six of which featured zero or one earned run. Considering how crucial his ability to eat innings is, I’m going to pick his Sept. 8 start against the Giants as his best of the season.

Across a season-high eight innings in game one of a doubleheader, Burnes struck out 14 and allowed one earned run on just three hits and no walks in Milwaukee’s 2-1 victory. The start also produced his highest game score of the season at 86.

We’ll continue the rankings of the 10 most valuable Brewers each Monday into January. Come back next week to see who we have taking the top spot.

  1. Corbin Burnes
  2. Brandon Woodruff
  3. Hunter Renfroe
  4. Rowdy Tellez
  5. Devin Williams
  6. Kolten Wong
  7. Josh Hader
  8. Christian Yelich
  9. Luis Urias