The Cy Young is an award given to the best pitcher in each League. Usually there is a clear-cut leader in each league, but that isn’t the case this year with it as close as it has been in years.
American League Candidates
Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers
The leader in the American League is Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers. The former Phillies ace has been rejuvenated after switching from the National League to the AL. Hamels boasts a 2.80 ERA and 13-4 record this year showing flashbacks of the year the Phillies went to the World Series behind his arm. For Hamels, 32, this might be his last chance to earn a Cy Young honor before he loses the magic touch. Look for Hamels to continue his stellar season and place himself firmly in that first place spot for the Cy Young.
Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays
Aaron Sanchez started this year looking to be good, but he probaby never envisioned he would have a year that would place him firmly into the AL Cy Young race. Sanchez, 24, is in his third year in the league and is already seeing improvement in his stats. After a measly 7-6 record the past year, Sanchez has stepped it up and currently has a 12-2 record with a WHIP of 1.158, which bodes well for the youngster. He also boasts a 2.99 ERA, which is why he is in the conversation for the Cy Young. Sanchez looks to finish the year strong and is sure to have a bright future ahead of him.
Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
Zach Britton of the Orioles started his career as a starter and that didn’t work out well, but little did he know it would lead to him becoming one of the best closers in the league. Just how dominant is Britton? Well, for starters he is 38 for 38 on saves attempts while amassing a stellar 0.799 WHIP to put the Orioles in the playoff hunt. However, that is not the most dominant aspect of his game because Britton has a 0.53 ERA over the entire year. Some might say he has an unfair advantage as a reliever, only pitching 51.1 innings, but if you put up those number it doesn’t matter how much you pitch. Britton is showing clear dominance. Britton is my dark-horse candidate and could win the Cy Young out of nowhere.
National League Candidates
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner is the lead man in the NL Cy Young race. Bumgarner, one of the top hitting pitchers in the game, is showing everyone his pitching ability. He has been the ace for San Francisco over the past few years and helped lead them to a World Series title in 2014. For Bumgarner, this year is no different, boasting a 2.44 ERA and an impressive 202/47 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He also has a 1.046 WHIP, which is in the top part of the league. Bumgarner is looking to knock this race out of the park in the last few weeks of the season.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
The Nationals’ Max Scherzer is the crafty veteran of the bunch. After signing a monster deal last season, Scherzer has made good on that contract this season. Scherzer has one of the best WHIPs in the leaugue at an astounding 0.960, and 219 strikeouts in 174 innings. For Scherzer, the Cy Young race isn’t new after winning it in 2013. Look for Scherzer to make a move in the upcoming weeks. This could be the year that Scherzer wins the Cy Young in the NL.
Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
Johnny Cueto, who also plays for the Giants, is the dark horse of the NL Cy Young race. Cueto is the second best pitcher on the Giants’ stellar staff and is having one of the best years of his career. Boasting an incredible 14-3 record and 2.90 ERA, Cueto is looking to inch his way up the Cy Young race. For Cueto, he is trying to get out of the shadow of fellow teammate Bumgarner. But don’t count Cueto out yet because he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league and is looking to improve his record. He might not be the front-runner, but he is firmly in position to make a move.