The Cy Young Candidates
It’s that time of the year when the season is closing out, the dominant players in the league have emerged and everyone is making their predictions as to who will be bringing home the hardware. One aspect of the game that has been interesting to watch this year is the pitching race for the Cy Young Award. In the offseason there was so much discussion surrounding big pitchers like Yu Darvish and Cliff Lee signing big contracts (neither of which are on this list), that we all wanted to see who would produce and who would fall short. With only a few months left in the regular season it is now becoming clear who those players are, but here are my predictions as they stand:
The Amercian League:
Jered Weaver: Weaver was an early season favourite by many analysts. He has consistently put up fantastic numbers, and this season has been nothing short of brilliant for him. Sporting a 16-3 record, complemented by 2.74 ERA he has been solid in most outings he has this season. He has commanding victories in most appearances for the Angels this season. While he has stumbled a little bit as of late, suffering back-t0-back losses against Seattle and Tampa Bay, he bounced back with a dominant against Boston. As it stands right now my money is on Weaver for the AL Cy Young.
David Price: Another favourite by many, I think Price has a strong shot at bringing home the AL Cy Young. If the Cy Young were handed down today, Price might just get the nod. He has pitched a 16-4 record with a brilliant 2.28 ERA and 167 strike-outs. The few losses suffered by Price have been by a single run, and what’s more, he hasn’t had a game with an ERA over 3.00 all season. He has been a key component in Tampa Bay’s success this year.
Fernando Rodney: Despite being a clear underdog pick, I think the Tampa Bay reliever has a chance at getting a lot of votes in the Cy Young race this year. Rodney has been a solid piece in the Tampa Bay success puzzle this year. Averaging few walks, and an ERA of 0.77, Fernando could surprise a lot of people come the end of the season.
R.A. Dickey: Dickey is probably the favourite in the NL this year to bring home the Cy Young, especially if he can continue to perform as he has. Dickey has been a bright spot for the otherwise terrible Mets, pitching 16-4 with a 2.76 ERA and a blazing 183 strike-outs. He has been an iron man behind the plate, and I am sure will be high up on the voting list this year.
Johnny Cueto: With only a few years experience, Cueto has started to develop into one of the league’s most promising young pitchers. Cueto currently has a 16-6 record with a 2.47 ERA, but what makes him most impressive is his ability to get players out. Not so much a power pitcher as one who knows how to place the ball, Cueto uses his tool box to close out games by any means necessary – and so far this formula has been fairly effective.
Gio Gonzalez: Another one of baseball’s emerging young stars, Gonzalez is starting to find his groove and has looked very impressive in the 2012 season. 16-7 and with a 3.28 ERA, Gonzalez also has a very impressive innings pitched : strike out ratio of 1.05. He also has been clutch in all games – which of course is key to the success for any pitcher.
These are just my early late-season predictions, and a lot could change between now and the end of the season. We’ve often seen pitchers implode in the last few months, and diamonds emerge from the rough. The last couple of months are going to give us a close race to the Cy Young finish line – but, at least it will make for some good watching!
… and that is the last word.
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