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American League Cy Young Watch: Playoff push could decide vote

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Justin Verlander, David Price and Felix Hernandez are still at the top of the class. (US Presswire)

With just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, we're getting to the home stretch of not only the pennant races but the award races. Baseball's best pitchers are putting on the finishing touches to their Cy Young resumes.

As we wind down the season, we look at which hurlers have the best shot at taking home the hardware based on how votes are traditionally cast. So, let's check out the American League's best pitchers.

Frontrunners

Justin Verlander, Tigers: Last year's Cy Young and MVP winner is at the front of the class again. Verlander has earned his reputation as the game's best pitcher, and he's at it again this year, putting up a 13-8 record and a 2.91 ERA. While he still strikes fear in the hearts of batters, he's not running away with the award like he did last year. In some strange way, that could hurt him with voters.

David Price, Rays: One thing that Price has going for him is the chance to factor into a late-season playoff charge, and that can't be discounted in award voting. He's also 17-5 with a 2.54 ERA, which isn't too shabby, either.

Felix Hernandez, Mariners: His last two starts have been ugly -- allowing 11 runs, nine earned, in 12 innings against the A's and Angels. But his overall stats, 13-7, 2.67 ERA, are good enough that he still can win if he comes up big in his final starts.

Stock rising

Max Scherzer, Tigers: The 28-year-old right-hander has been trading the league lead in strikeouts with Verlander for the last month or so. He currently leads his rotation-mate by one. His 3.85 ERA will hurt him, but in his last six starts he has gone 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA with wins over the Rangers, Angels and White Sox.

Status quo

Chris Sale, White Sox: Sale is 16-6 with a 2.88 ERA, fantastic numbers. He did lose his last two starts to contenders, at Baltimore and Detroit. His shine has lost some of its luster as his ERA has risen from 2.11 after beating the Royals on July 15.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: He has a 10-10 record, but his 3.22 ERA keeps him in contention, at least for votes. He had a rough outing the last time he faced the Tigers but can make up for that Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Stock falling

CC Sabathia, Yankees: Since coming off the disabled list, he's 1-2 with a 3.58 ERA and the Yankees are 1-3 in those starts. He still has nice numbers overall (13-5 with a 3.56 ERA), but his recent performance and his team's struggles will at the very least make the New York homers invent a different way to hand him a vote.

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