With the Cy Young award down to the final three American League hurlers, who is going to walk away with the crown?
Corey Kluber, Chris Sale and Felix Hernandez, three pitchers that didn’t see playoff action in 2014, reign supreme over the American League. Obviously the numbers are impressive with all three finalists, but Felix Hernandez should walk away with the 2nd Cy Young award of his career.
Corey Kluber was a pleasant surprise for the Cleveland Indians in 2014. Although Kluber did post a modest 11-5 record in 2013, he threw nearly 100 more innings in 2014 and added seven more wins than his previous career high.
Finishing 18-9 with an earned run average of 2.44 in 2014, Kluber was dominant for the Tribe. Very impressive numbers for the 28-year old who is really just breaking into life as a full-time MLB starter. He will win a Cy Young award in his career, but not in 2014.
Sticking in the Central division, Chris Sale is arguably the toughest lefty in the American League. Being compared to the likes of a certain LA Dodgers southpaw, Sale isn’t quite on that level but may very well be the AL equivalent.
Perhaps the biggest hindrance to the 2014 resume for Sale is an injury that caused him to miss handful of starts. It was a bounce back season of sorts for Sale who finished with a 12-4 record in 2014 after finishing 11-14 in 2013.
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With a stingy ERA of 2.17 and a whip of .966 he is certainly deserving of being a finalist but the question that will remain, what would he have done in the eight starts that he trails both Hernandez and Kluber?
Felix “The King” Hernandez should be a lock to rack up Cy Young number two. Even with a Mariners offense that finished 12th in runs scored in the American League, Felix still managed a 15-6 record that left him with 13 no decisions.
Felix broke the major league record for consecutive starts going 16 games in which he went at least 7 innings and allowed two or less earned runs. In that span, The King went 7-1 with 6 no decisions.
That being said, some could argue Felix could have easily been a 20-game winner in 2014. He didn’t win 20 games but he did post a lower ERA (2.14), more strike outs (248), and a better K/BB ratio (5.39) than the other two finalists.
It will be very interesting to see the vote totals for this race. All due respect to Sale and Kluber, this really should not even be close. As you would expect for the finalists of this award, all of these guys are extremely dominant, but only one was as consistently dominant throughout the course of the season, and that was Felix Hernandez.
Felix will win this award going away, with Kluber 2nd, and Sale not far behind.
Bold prediction, Felix will win it again in 2015!