You don't have to convince many people around Cincinnati who the best pitcher in the National League has been through the first one-third of the 2014 season. It's Johnny Cueto and then everyone else.
Our friend Dayn Perry at CBS Sports is well aware of this and that is why he recently pegged Cueto as his pick for the National League Cy Young Award (through one-third of the regular season). Here is what Perry had to say about Cincinnati's ace:
This award belonged to Adam Wainwright before his Friday night stinker against the Giants. Now it falls to Cueto, who, that previous qualifier notwithstanding, is quite worthy. Presently, he leads the NL in innings and the majors in strikeouts. More to the point, Cueto boasts an ERA of 1.83, and opposing hitters are batting just .148/.207/.251 against him. He's also logged 10 quality starts in 11 trips to the mound.
Entering Saturday's start in Arizona, Cueto led all league starting pitchers in WHIP (0.753), strikeouts (85), complete games (3) and ranked third in WAR (2.7). For my money, I'll take Cueto in a one-game scenario over any other pitcher in the game right now. How about you?