While the American League Most Valuable Player race seems pretty clear cut (well at least in my mind it is) the race for the AL Cy Young award is a lot foggier due to the abundance of deserving candidates who all are pitching well enough to earn the honor.
For starters the first candidate that comes to mind is the Tampa Bay Rays left-handed ace David Price. This season Price has been as dominant as any pitcher in the Bigs posting a 19-5 record (tied for first in AL in wins) with a league leading 2.56 ERA, 201 strikeouts (6th in AL) and has allowed just 57 base on-balls. In the 30 games which Price has started this season he has pitched two complete games (including one shoutout), a total of 204 innings while giving up just 168 hits, 58 earned runs and 16 homeruns. Price also has posted a 1.10 WHIP while batters have only hit .226 against him so far this year, all incredible numbers posted by this prime candidate.
Next on the list for AL Cy Young award candidates is Los Angeles Angels ace Jeff Weaver. Weaver has posted an incredible 19-4 record (tied with Price for the AL lead in wins) with a 2.74 ERA (3rd in AL) and 136 strikeouts in just 28 starts. Weaver has pitched three complete games this year with two of them resulting in shutouts while obtaining an amazing 1.00 WHIP and only allowing batters to hit .213 off of him. In his 180.2 innings pitched Weaver has just allowed 140 hits, 55 earned runs, 19 homeruns and 41 base on-balls, what a remarkable season.
Last, but certainly not least on my list of AL Cy Young award candidates is Detroit Tigers fire-baller Justin Verlander. Verlander has put together another tremendous season posting a 16-8 record (5th in AL in wins) with a 2.72 ERA (2nd in AL) and a league leading 231 strikeouts in 32 starts. In Verlander’s 231.1 innings pitched he has only allowed 188 hits, 70 earned runs, 19 homeruns and 58 base on-balls. The Tigers ace has posted a 1.06 WHIP and batters have only hit .219 against so far this year; it’s going to be a tough call.
There are a few other worthy candidates who didn’t make my list including Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, the Seattle Mariners righty Felix Hernandez who has a perfect game under his belt this season and the Texas Rangers rookie sensation Yu Darvish. The voters will have a tough decision on their hands and each pitcher will have at least one more start this season to influence those voters. If I had to make a decision right now I would have to give the honor to David Price he has been lights out in just about every start this season and if he has another dominant performance this season the voters should see things my way as well.