So let’s talk about the Cy Young Award in the American League for a bit here.
The three nominees on the junior circuit this season are people whose names are frequently bandied about when it comes to this award – although only one of them has won it before. Whether that man, Justin Verlander, will win the award again this season remains to be seen, as he’s got some awfully good competition.
That being said, however, let’s look at Verlander first, as he’s the reigning champion.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers: Verlander is a perennial Cy Young candidate due to being insanely good at baseball. The man seriously knows how to pitch. This year was no different – he went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He started 33 games and finished 6 of them, with one of those being a shutout. He walked 239 whilst only walking 60 over his 238.1 innings pitched.
Basically, Justin Verlander is a good pitcher. We know this, so the BBWAA decided that he should be a finalist, which happens nearly every year anyway. Somehow, he’s only won once, which was last year. This is because he’s often up against competition like this…
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: Price is stiff competition. Over 211 innings he racked up 205 strikeouts whilst walking 59 batters and ended the year with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He started 31 games, completing two of them (with one shutout), pitching his way to a 20-5 record over 211 innings.
This may surprise you, but Price has never won the Cy Young before even though he’s now been around for a few years and has pitched well for pretty much all of them. He has a pretty good chance of winning this season, however, since he measures up well enough to Verlander. (Really, that’s how to win the Cy Young if Verlander is nominated – you have to basically equal him or beat him. There’s no option for not being as good.)
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The dark horse candidate of sorts, namely because not too many people pay attention to the Angels on the East Coast and there’s this apocryphal thing called East Coast Bias which might actually be real. Weaver, too, went 20-5 this season, notching an ERA of 2.81, a WHIP of 1.02, and 142 strikeouts. He walked 45 batters over the 30 games he started, completing 3 of those games (2 shutouts). He totaled 188.1 innings pitched, which is the smallest amount out of the three nominees this season – but it puts his numbers in perspective, making him a strong candidate as well.
This race is pretty tight – there’s no clear winner yet. You’ll just have to wait and see when the Cy Young Awards are announced at 6 pm tonight!