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MLB

MLB: Who Are the Early Front Runners For the Cy Young?

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2013 Cy Young Canidates

Clay Buchholz
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

With the season almost halfway over, MLB pitchers are already making their claim for why they deserve to be the Cy Young award winner of their respective league. With former Cy Young winners David Price and R.A. Dickey having forgettable seasons, there have been a number of candidates willing and able to step up.

R.A. Dickey has seen a season plagued by injuries and inconsistency. Though he owns a respectable 1.84 K/BB ratio and a 0.76 G/F ratio, he unfortunately finds himself 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA. Dickey hasn’t made the best of adjustments heading across the border to the Toronto Blue Jays. After having such a stellar performance with the New York Mets last season going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, his knuckleball has not seemed to adjust well in the American League.

Things haven’t been much different for last year's AL Cy Young winner, David Price. After a season that saw him go 20-5 and maintain a 2.56 ERA, Price has fallen to a 1-4 record with a 5.24 ERA in 2013 and finds himself on the 15-day DL — not the kind of start the ace of the Tampa Bay Rays had been looking for. Not only does Price have a low K/BB ratio at 3.50, but he also has a terrible G/F ratio at 1.01. Tampa Bay can only hope that Price will return to Cy Young form once he comes back from the DL if they want to see any chance of making the postseason.

With star pitchers not producing as expected, lets take a look at the top candidates of the AL and the NL for the Cy Young award.

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National League: Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One name that stands out so far this season has been Matt Harvey of the New York Mets. Harvey has been the bright light in the big city of New York as he has posted a perfect 5-0 record and has maintained a surprisingly-low 1.85 ERA. He sports a K/BB ratio of 4.94 and also has a G/F ratio of 0.84. Not only has he shown himself to be one of the best pitchers in the MLB, but he is also fourth in ERA for the entire National League.

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National League: Jordan Zimmerman

Jordan Zimmerman
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmerman was the former ace of the Nats before the emergence of Strasburg and some necessary Tommy John surgery abruptly took that title away from him. Now, in the midst of everything, Zimmerman seems to be returning back to his former self, leading the league in wins with an 8-3 record and is top 10 in the league in ERA at 2.37.

Though Zimmerman is not known for his strikeout numbers (he has 49 on the year), he has a fantastic G/F ratio at 1.11 percent which has helped him run roughshod through opposing lineups. He also owns an astonishingly low K/BB ratio at 4.90. Though these numbers are likely to climb throughout the rest of the season, it doesn’t seem like any team can extinguish the scorching hot Zimmerman.

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National League: Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin
Ed Szczepanski

23-year old rookie Patrick Corbin has seen instant success in the big leagues and has really begun to make a name for himself with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just recently, he became the third pitcher in MLB this season to reach eight wins. Not only is he currently posting a perfect record, but he is also second in the NL in ERA at 1.71. He has a K/BB ratio of 2.80 and a G/F ratio of 0.97.

So far this season, Corbin is the only pitcher currently producing for the Diamondbacks, and fortunately for Arizona, he is producing at an elite level. If Corbin continues to stay hot and the team continues to see the ball as well as they have all year, he may be a serious contender for the National League Cy Young.

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American League: Matt Moore

Matt Moore
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Moore has been nearly unstoppable this season as he has posted an 8-0 record with a 2.21 ERA for the Tampa Bay Rays. Though he has only struck out 56 batters with a K/BB ratio of 2.00, he has a great G/F ratio of 0.66. Moore has seemed to shoulder the load for this team that has seen its struggles. He will continually be counted on to fill the vacant “ace shoes” for the rest of the season if David Price doesn’t return back to form once he comes back from his injury. Though Moore is not the most prestigious name out there, the numbers speak for themselves and they say that Matt Moore will be a serious candidate for the AL Cy Young.

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American League: Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Japanese phenomenon Yu Darvish has found himself with a 7-2 record and a 3.03 ERA with the Texas Rangers. The most impressive stat has been his strikeout numbers. Darvish leads the league with 105 strikeouts with a phenomenal 4.77 K/BB ratio. He also has a G/F ratio of 0.94.

In his first start of the season, Darvish looked like he was making a statement, striking out 14 batters and was one out away from pitching a perfect game against the Houston Astros. Though he was almost perfect, this is the type of dominant performance that we have been seeing from Darvish all season long. If he can keep it up, then not only will he the Rangers see success as a whole, but Darvish may find himself in serious talks for the AL Cy Young.

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American League: Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox rotation has been spot on in 2013, being led by ace Clay Buchholz. You may ask how is the rotation being led by a pitcher who finished 11-8 with a 4.58 ERA last year? Whether it be the addition of manager John Farrell or whether Buchholz needed an off-year to clear his mind, he is off to a perfect 7-0 record with an AL-leading 1.73 ERA.

Not only does Buchholz have a great K/BB ratio at 2.70, but he also has a G/F ratio of 0.99. Jon Lester has also been having himself a stellar season as he has a 6-1 record with a 3.34 ERA. The Buchholz and Lester combination has been critical for the Red Sox success and may just carry them to a postseason appearance.

As of right now, Buchholz seems like he is the frontrunner for the Cy Young.