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10 Way-Too-Early MLB Cy Young Candidates After Week 1

10 Way-Too-Early MLB Cy Young Candidates After Week 1

Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time Cy Young award-winner Clayton Kershaw is currently hurt, opening the door for another NL hurler to take the crown. Meanwhile, the AL looks wide open to start the 2014 campaign. Thus, some ground rules were needed to make the list.

To be considered, the pitcher had to have started two games through Monday, April 7. Also, only one pitcher could be selected from a given team in this group of way-too-early Cy Young candidates.

10. Yovani Gallardo - Milwaukee Brewers

Yovani Gallardo Milwaukee Brewers
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

10. Yovani Gallardo - Milwaukee Brewers

Yovani Gallardo Milwaukee Brewers
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to ignore a pitcher with a 0.00 ERA after his first two starts (both wins), especially after his 6.2 scoreless frames in Boston. Gallardo's strikeouts are down, as are his walks and fly balls, allowing him to avoid the home run and hold hitters to a .226 average. He may not be in the race come September, but with a 1.026 WHIP and .292 SLGA, he belongs right now.

9. Chris Tillman - Baltimore Orioles

Chris Tillman Baltimore Orioles
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

9. Chris Tillman - Baltimore Orioles

Chris Tillman Baltimore Orioles
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles need him to be an ace to compete in the AL East, and after one week, he owns a 1.35 ERA and 1.050 WHIP. Tillman gave up a single run in each of his two starts, both on solo homers. Outside of those, he's fanned nine batters while walking just two, and has given up just 10 hits in 13.1 frames. He was great in Detroit, tossing 8.1 frames in a 3-1 win.

8. Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds

Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

8. Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds

Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Cueto could be lights-out in 2014 if he stays healthy. Though he's 0-1 in two starts, Cueto has 17 strikeouts in just 14 frames, with batters owning a .160 average and .222 OBP. His electric stuff can dominate the opposition, so his early 1.93 ERA and 10.93 K/9 aren't surprising anyone.

7. David Price - Tampa Bay Rays

David Price Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

7. David Price - Tampa Bay Rays

David Price Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 4.05 ERA doesn't look great, but a couple of other stats tell a different story. His 12.0 K/BB ratio exudes dominance and the .341 BABIP is extremely unlucky. Both bode well for future results. The former Cy Young winner typically has his worst stats in April, so he's actually off to a solid start with the Rays going 2-0 when he takes the hill.

6. Madison Bumgarner - San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6. Madison Bumgarner - San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Two Giants errors on Opening Day cost Bumgarner dearly, leading to only 10.1 innings in two road starts. My Cy Young favorite, he has a 1.74 ERA and 11.3 K/9. Bumgarner punched out 10 Dodgers and walked just one in his lone victory. He also has a 1.48 FIP, the best among hurlers with at least two starts.

5. Sonny Gray - Oakland A's

Sonny Gray Oakland A's
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

5. Sonny Gray - Oakland A's

Sonny Gray Oakland A's
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

His command has been slightly off, yet Gray's ERA sits at 0.75 after giving up one earned run over 12 frames. Hitters own a weak .311 SLGA, counteracting his early walks and helping set up his current ERA+ of 530. Pitching at home in Oakland's spacious ballpark will allow Gray to be a legit force throughout the season.

4. Adam Wainwright - St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. Adam Wainwright - St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A true ace, Wainwright is right on track after a pair of starts. Through 14 frames, he owns a 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 10.3 K/9. Wainwright opened the year with seven shutout innings and nine Ks in a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. If you want to see what an ace does, look at the stats of Wainwright's opposition: .170 average, .234 slugging, .498 OPS.

3. Chris Sale - Chicago White Sox

Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

3. Chris Sale - Chicago White Sox

Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Sale is off to a 2-0 start, tossing 15.1 frames and sporting a 1.76 ERA and 0.717 WHIP. He threw eight scoreless innings in his second start and has a 8.2 K/9. He's been even more stifling than Wainwright, with opponents hitting .173 with a minuscule .204 OBP, a microscopic .212 slugging percentage and a lowly .415 OPS.

2. Jose Fernandez - Miami Marlins

Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jose Fernandez - Miami Marlins

Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 21-year-old phenom has been ridiculous in his first two outings. Fernandez has struck out 17 hitters, walked only a pair and given up just one run, going 2-0 with a stellar 0.71 ERA and 0.789 WHIP. The 2013 NL Rookie of the Year fanned nine batters (zero walks) over six frames in the opener, then followed that up with eight Ks in 6.2 shutout innings in game two. It's a frightening start after a terrific 2013.

1. Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1. Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 28-year-old ace is a perennial Cy Young candidate and he's stating an early case in 2014. The 2010 award winner has a 11.9 K/9 through two starts and owns a 1.88 ERA with a 0.837 WHIP in 14.1 frames. Hernandez tossed 8.1 innings of one-run ball against the A's in his last outing, and he's holding right-handed hitters to a .095 average -- nearly unhittable to start the season.