By Pete Schwichtenberg @schwick26_pete on August 15, 2014
The race for the AL Cy Young award is heating up as the season heads into the stretch run. Check out the top five candidates vying for the hardware as the push for October gets into gear.
Although they are second in their division, the Los Angeles Angels have been one of the best teams in baseball this season. While players like Mike Trout get all the attention in L.A., Garrett Richards has quietly had an award worthy season. He is among leaders in wins, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts and surprisingly the best pitcher in the Angels' rotation.
The 2011 Cy Young Award winner David Price is pitching just like expected. He was the most talked about player as the trading deadline approached and can be the difference maker for the Detroit Tigers' playoff run. He currently leads the league with 205 strikeouts and 185.1 innings pitched. He has a solid ERA of 3.21.
The Oakland Athletics entered this season with injuries throughout the rotation, but Sonny Gray has been a rock. He was their best pitcher last postseason and has remained steady throughout 2014. Although he in just his first full season, he looks like a poised veteran every time he toes the rubber and is a pitcher that the A's can count on each time out.
Gray's new teammate, Jon Lester, is having the best season of his life. While pitching in a contract year, he has exceeded all expectations. His addition to Oakland gives them the strongest rotation in all of baseball. With 13 wins and a 2.51 ERA he is sure to get plenty of votes.
Felix Hernandez has long been known as a great pitcher on a lousy team. But as the Mariners are competing this season, Hernandez is in the middle of his best season yet. He won the Cy Young in 2010 and already has much better numbers this season. He leads the league in ERA, WHIP and opposing batting average and is second in the league in wins. While others have had great years, no one has been better than King Felix.
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