If you looked at the MLB schedule a few weeks ago, you would have circled Wednesday’s matchup between Zack Wheeler and Shota Imanaga as a National League Cy Young showdown.

Instead, Wheeler is the clear betting favorite to win the award and Imanaga’s odds have tanked.

Wheeler is a +200 favorite to win the Cy Young. Chris Sale, Tyler Glasnow, Ranger Suarez, and Max Fried are his closest competitors, according to the latest odds.

Take a step back for a second. Four of those five players pitch in the National League East. If you go a bit further, Atlanta’s Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Nola, and Cristopher Sanchez are all in the top 10.

That’s insane, but also an indictment on the state of the National League. Only seven teams are over .500 entering Wednesday’s play, and if the New York Mets lose, that total drops back down to six.

You know all the impressive Wheeler stats by now, but they’re worth repeating.

He’s gone into the seventh inning on eight occasions, conceded three or more earned runs in four starts and has 10 games with at least six strikeouts.

Wheeler ranks fourth in the NL in ERA, is one of two pitchers (Glasnow is the other) to hold opponents under a .200 batting average, and he sits sixth in strikeouts.

Imanaga was high up in most of those categories until he got rocked by the Mets on June 21st. He allowed 10 earned runs on 11 hits in just three innings. That outing alone killed his chances of winning the Cy Young. He didn’t exactly impress in his bounce-back start either, as he allowed three earned runs and only struck out three against the San Francisco Giants.

Imanaga is certainly still a good pitcher, but the last two games might mean opponents are finally starting to figure out the Japanese rookie.

Even if he does bounce back and turn in a pitching masterclass against the Phillies, it may not be enough to get back in the race because guys like Wheeler have been near flawless this season.

For example, Wheeler really only has one horrendous outing, against the Baltimore Orioles on June 16th. He went out and tossed seven innings of two-hit ball and made everyone forget about that performance.

Wheeler should have the upper hand regardless of how Imanaga pitches on Wednesday, because, well, the Cubs are just absolutely dreadful. They rank 25th in the majors in batting average, 23rd in OPS, 19th in home runs and 25th in hits.

Those statistics scream that we’re getting another gem from Wheeler. That’s also shown in Wednesday’s odds, as Wheeler’s outs prop sits at 18.5 and his strikeouts prop is 7.5. Take the outs over strikeouts, though, Wheeler’s recorded at least 19 outs in four of his last five appearances, but he only has one strikeout performance of eight or more in that span.