Tyler Mahle is the Reds player most likely to win NL Cy Young.
Some fans are going to think I'm nuts for not including Luis Castillo as the most likely Cincinnati Reds pitcher to take home the NL Cy Young Award in 2022. But hear me out. Castillo is not going to be on the Opening Day roster, likely missing two starts, and you've got to question whether or not La Piedra will even be part of the Reds organization after the trade deadline.
But it's more than Castillo's early-season absence and trade speculation that has me leaning toward Tyler Mahle. The right-hander had an impressive 2021 campaign, and for the most part, was the better pitcher between the two last season.
Mahle had more wins, more innings pitched, more strikeouts, fewer walks, and a lower ERA than Castillo last season. We also saw Castillo totally stumble out of the gate in 2021, something that wouldn't be too shocking this season given how little time he's had to prepare for the regular season, Castillo didn't appear in a Cactus League game and will start the season on the Injured List.
In order for Tyler Mahle to enter the Cy Young conversation, he cannot have the same type of disparity between his home/ road splits in 2022 that he did in 2021. Last season, Mahle owned a 2.30 ERA on the road and a 5.63 ERA at home. Mahle also has to be able to pitch deeper into games, and avoid so many full counts. Mahle has the stuff to be in the Cy Young conversation.