Blog Entry

Cy Young Contenders

Posted on: August 12, 2009 12:38 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2009 12:52 pm
2009 has been another year of solid pitching, with veteran stars doing their thing, and young stars emerging. What these stars are trying to get to by season's end is the coveted Cy Young award. We still have time left in the season, but these are my top 5 in each league who I believe have a stronger chance of winning the award. Who will follow in the footsteps of Johnson, Koufax, Maddux, and Gibson this year? Here are my best guesses.
American League

1. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners                       

     Win-Loss: 12-4                     

     ERA: 2.84                   

     SO: 148 

King Felix, a young hardthrowing righthander is the primary reason his Mariners are above .500 this season. Take a look at his           numbers and you'll see why he deserves the AL Cy Young. His Win total, ERA, and strikeout totals are all in the top 5. Felix's last two starts have been rough, but a pitcher of his caliber should get right back on track just in time for him to win an AL Cy Young.

2. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

    Win-Loss: 11-7                                    

        ERA: 2.43     

    SO: 167

While not as dominant as he was earlier in the season, Greinke is one of the few bright spots on the Royals, and certainly the 'ace' of the AL Central, so to speak. Greinke continues to baffle hitters with his good selection of pitches, and a solid young fastball, which leads to his league leading 2.43 ERA. While his 7 losses may seem a bit much at this point in the season, greinke deserves better, as his Royals can't always get him the run support he needs.

3. Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

     Win-Loss: 12-5            

     ERA: 2.73           

     SO: 138

Halladay, a fan favorite and a past Cy Young winner, has not failed to impress this year. The AL All Star starting pitcher has a very low ERA, especially when you consider him being in a division with the best bats in the MLB. Some might argue he should win the Cy Young, while others might argue he shouldn't be in contention, but Halladay, no matter what team he may end up on, will always be a strong starting pitcher.

4. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox

     Win-Loss: 13-4

     ERA: 3.12                       

     SO: 139

Beckett continues to trouble hitters with his BoSox this year. His 3.12 ERA translates into repetitive high quality starts. Beckett is currently tied for the Major League lead in wins among pitchers, and expect him to keep performing. 

5. Justin Verlander, DET

    Win-Loss: 12-6                 

     ERA: 3.45          

     SO: 186

Justin is yet another example of just how dominant AL pitching could be in the years to come. The Detroit fireballer holds the AL lead in K's, while keeping an excellent Earned Run Average. Without Verlander, the Tigers would probably not hold on to their first place spot in the Central. The Tigers and championships haven't been synonymous in recent history, but Verlander very well could make them a World Series contender-this time, possibly winning it all.
Honorable Mention: Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia
National League

1. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants                         

     Win-Loss: 12-3         

     ERA: 2.20                

      SO: 198

Tim, who works hard day in and day out could very well run away with the award for the second year in a row. He is hoping to get his Giants a spot in the playoffs, which could very well be possible with himself in the rotation. Tim only has 3 losses on the season, a staggering 2.20 ERA, and leads the Major league in strikeouts. How could this guy not win the award? We'll have to see if he can repeat another amazing season, which he, in part, already has done. 

2. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants

     Win-Loss: 12-4          

      ERA: 2.44          

      SO: 124

Cain, another 'Giant' ace, has had a very impressive season, posting a 2.44 ERA. It is unlikely that the Giants will lose a game with Cain on the mound, another young pitcher who has emerged as a shining star in the Majors. Look for him to continue his successes and fight for a Cy Young Award. 

3. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

     Win-Loss: 11-3                  

     ERA: 2.26          

      SO: 87

Carpenter, a pitcher who many considered done, has made an astounding comeback for this 2009 season. Carpenter is a guy who can last very long in a game, and can always be trusted on the mound. He seems to always have a quality start when he's out there. If it weren't for his injury, we'd most likely be seeing a for-sure Cy Young winner out there. 

4. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

    Win-Loss: 13-7       

    ERA: 2.73       

    SO: 146

Wainwright is another big reason thje Cards hold a first place lead. His 13 wins tie the Major League lead, and his 2.73 ERA proves he can always be depended on. Wainwirght posts quality start after quality start, and should emerge to be a Cy Young contender for many years to come. 

5. Johan Santana

    Win-Loss: 13-8            

    ERA: 3.00     

    SO:  138

This Met-vet is just doing what hes always done-blowing away hitters with his astounding pitch selection, stamina, and composure. This may even be considered a down year for Santana, who has been one of the few bright spots on the injury plagued Mets. he is anAll-Star pitcher with All-Star stuff, so watch out for him to be in Cy Young contention.

Honorable Mention: Dan Haren, Javie Vazquez, Ryan Franklin

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:41 am

Cy Young Contenders

Chris Carpenter has posted 3 more wins since the original blog post (14-3), and Wainwright has posted 2 more wins (15-7). Both have shrunk their ERA.

Adam Wainwright has been incredible. Since July 1st he has started 11 games, pitched 74 innings (7.45 innings per start), has a record of 7-2 and an ERA of 1.21. The Cardinals won both of his no decisions, one of which was a 9 inning 1 run gem. In his two losses he gave up a total of 3 runs (2 in one game and 1 in the other) and in those same games the Cards only scored 2 runs. Adam has not allowed more than 2 runs since he allowed 5 on June 21st. He has not allowed a run in 4 of his 11 starts since July 1st and his WHIP is 1.04. He has now pitched 6 or more innings in his last 25 starts.

Chris has also been amazing posting a 9-0 record in 10 starts since July 1st. He's averaged 7.5 innings per start over that time, and although his ERA hasn't been quite as good as Wainwright's, at 1.92, I'm still impressed.

OK, sorry I'm bragging about my Cardinal's pitching staff, but I wanted to point out that right now Wainwright should be in serious contention for the Cy Young, maybe even in the lead. I know he has 7 losses, but in 5 of those 7 losses he gave up 2 or fewer runs, and he's leading the league in wins and is 4th in ERA (2.50). The Cardinals record is 19-8 in his 27 starts this year.

Anyone else agree that Wainwright should be the #1 contender right now?

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: August 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Cy Young Contenders

Now that I think about it, Carpenter is my choice for Cy Young. His time spent on the disabled list in prior years seems to have no effect on his pitching. This looks like the Carpenter of 04 and 05, maybe even better. Even though he missed some time with an injury, he still probably deserves the award. He is guiding the Cardinals into what most likely will be their first post season in three years.

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2009 6:50 pm

Cy Young Contenders

I am a diehard Royals fan, but Greinke is out of contention with seven losses.  I know they take in consideration the team that the pitcher plays for, but you can't win the Cy Young with seven losses when the other canidateds only have three and four losses with similar ERA's and strikeout stats.  Its a shame because if the Royals and Greinke had sustained the pace they started out at then there wouldn't be anybody close to Zack.  Furthermore I dont see Zack having a chance winning the award unless things change in Kansas City starting with the head office.  The Royals have the money to spend on some veteran free agents and they do just no wisely.  Its also doesnt help being the Yankees and Red Sox farm system.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2009 3:54 pm

Cy Young Contenders

Seems Lincecum has been dubbed NL Cy Young winner already.

Be careful.

You have Carpenter leading the league in ERA (2.27) with more wins (13-3) with less starts and a better win % than Lincecum (or Cain). He is 8-0 with a 2.12 ERA and has struck out 52 while walking 10 since July 5th. He is the most dominant pitcher in baseball right now (in my humble opinion).

You have Wainwright sporting the most wins in baseball (14-7) with a solid ERA (2.63) that has been continually shrinking since May (he had a 4.36 ERA on May 10th). Wainwright has a 1.34 ERA in July and August (10 starts and 74 innings) and has walked 1 batter in his last 4 starts and 27.2 innings. He is 9-3 since June 10th.

And Ryan Franklin? He's now dragging around a 1.13 ERA with 31 saves in 33 opportunities with a .86 WHIP, a 3.1 to 1 K/BB ratio, and is money in the 9th. Still can't rule him out.

So yes, I'm a Cardinals fan. But I get so frustrated seeing what is simply an amazing pitching staff regularly ignored by most fans and the press. The 1-2-3 starters for the Cardinals (Carpenter, Wainwright, Piniero) are 20-2 and Franklin has 13 saves since July 1st.

Thank you for having them on this list, I appreciate it. But I would think of moving Carpenter and Wainwright up on that list while moving Lincecum and Cain down. :) Of course... I am just a bit biased.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: August 20, 2009 3:57 pm

Cy Young Contenders

AL Cy Young is King Felix

NL Cy Young is Tim Lincecum

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or