Max Scherzer still leads MLB in wins with 19 despite having not earned a “W” in his last four starts. He needs to pitch well in his final two starts to improve his chances at winning the 2013 AL Cy Young award, which is very much within his grasp.
Scherzer will go for his 20th win of the season Friday as the Detroit Tigers host the Chicago White Sox, who did a number on him in his last start. The White Sox ran Scherzer out of the game in the fourth inning of a start on September 9 after posting five runs on him. Scherzer handled the White Sox in his first two starts of the season against them, but his last two starts were different.
Scherzer leads the AL with a 0.96 WHIP, ranks fifth in ERA at 2.95 and second in strikeouts with 227. There are plenty of good options to win the award this season, and if the voters value wins, they’ll most likely pick Scherzer. C.J. Wilson is two wins behind Scherzer, and will most likely only get two more starts.
Yu Darvish leads the majors with an absurd 260 strikeouts, but has just a 13-9 record. Darvish has a lower opponent’s batting average, .193 to Scherzer’s .199, but has allowed 24 home runs to Scherzer’s 17.
Scherzer has the ability to earn the award in his final few starts, but he has to impress if he wants to make it easy on the voters. His final start of the regular season will likely be Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins, so he only has two more chances to reach 20 wins. If he does get there, he’ll likely be the only one to do so.
The last time a pitcher was unable to reach 20 wins in a season was 2009, when Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander and C.C. Sabathia all finished with 19. Scherzer is likely the only one who can change that this season.