Despite missing most of May with lower-back discomfort, Corey Kluber won the American League Cy Young Award and joined Max Scherzer and Jeff Samardzija as the only pitchers to toss more than 200 innings in each of the last four seasons. Kluber shattered career bests in both strikeout (34.1) and walk (4.6) percentages, resulting in his lowest ERA ever. While back issues often resurface, there's doesn't seem to be any real reason to be concerned about Kluber. The righty threw at least seven frames in 19 of his 29 outings. Of the 10 shorter efforts, three were in April as he battled blisters, one was his only May start when his back began barking, two were the games right after he came off the disabled list in June while another was his last start of the season as he was readying for the playoffs. Kluber's skills and reliability place him among the elite, warranting first-round consideration in leagues that push pitching.
Kluber will start Game 2 of the ALDS against either the Twins or Yankees. The Indians will give the ball to Trevor Bauer for Game 1, lining Kluber up to pitch Game 2 and a potential Game 5 on regular rest. The ace posted a ridiculous 1.79 ERA and 142:12 K:BB in 15 starts (110.1 innings) after the All-Star break, and will look to carry his dominance into the playoffs.
Kluber allowed one run on six hits while striking out three over five innings in a no-decision against the White Sox on Saturday. He did not issue a walk. The team capped Kluber at 81 pitches in his final regular-season tuneup before the start of the ALDS. Kluber was absolutely brilliant throughout the campaign -- he's neck and neck with Boston's Chris Sale for the AL Cy Young despite missing a month early in the season with a back injury. He may be a late-first/early-second rounder in drafts next spring.
Kluber (18-4) allowed two runs -- none earned -- on six hits and a pair of walks to pick up the win against the Mariners on Sunday. He struck out 10. There were plenty of baserunners during the Klubot's outing, but he managed to limit the damage to just a two-run homer by Ben Gamel in the fifth inning. With another 10 whiffs on the ledger, the Cy Young Award winner is now 5-0 across five September starts with an absurd 47:3 K:BB and 0.71 in 38 innings. Kluber will look to finish the regular season on a high note when he makes his final start before the playoffs against the White Sox next weekend.
Kluber (17-4) picked up the win Sunday after allowing just three hits and no walks while striking out nine Royals over seven innings. Kluber, who's lost only once since July 4, allowed just three singles Sunday, and extended his scoreless streak to 22 straight innings. The Cy Young candidate lowered his ERA to 2.35 while locking in 76 of his 99 pitches for strikes, 22 of which were swings and misses. Kluber will look to match last season's 18 wins -- a career high he's managed to notch twice since 2014 -- when he takes the hill Saturday in Seattle.
Kluber (16-4) tossed a complete-game shutout Tuesday, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out eight Tigers. The Indians' ace pushed the team's winning streak to 20 games while facing just three batters over the minimum Tuesday. Over his last nine starts, Kluber is 8-1 with 74 strikeouts -- the most punch outs for any MLB pitcher since Aug. 1 -- and has arguably taken control of the AL Cy Young race. He'll carry a sparkling 2.44 ERA into Sunday's contest at home against the Royals.