Buster Olney wrote about the AL Cy Young race today and to no surprise, the trio of “plow horses” he focused on were CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander. Last night Sabathia went eight innings against the White Sox and held them to two runs despite serving up 10 hits, earning his 16th win. While it’s a pleasure to see your ace put up a tremendous start and pass the baton to his closer despite clearly being off, it initially seems a bit difficult to say he’s the favorite even when you throw in the dreaded, but often stated “AL East factor.”
Verlander has been nothing short of dominant, leading the majors in innings pitched, WHIP, and strikeouts. Sabathia is second in innings, 22nd in WHIP and 3rd in strikeouts, and Weaver is 3rd in both innings and WHIP, and 11th in strikeouts. But CC has the highest WAR of any pitcher in baseball at 5.8, with Verlander (5.5) and Weaver (5.1) close behind. The last five pitchers to have won the award have been either 1st or 2nd in WAR.
So if CC adds to that by arousing middle-aged sportswriters with something like 24 wins while continuing to log a ton of innings — ESPN’s Chris Singleton already inspired a few cringes today stating that CC’s 16 wins puts him as the favorite to win it — it’s probably his to lose despite the universal adoration of what Verlander has done thus far. Not to mention the fire.
AL Cy Young race shaping up to be great [ESPN]
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