Analyzing the seasons of this year’s American League Cy Young finalists:
Luis Severino – New York Yankees
At age 23, 2017 was a breakout year for the new Ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff. In quite the opposite of his 2016 season posting a 5.83 ERA, Severino’s 2.98 ERA over 31 starts in 2017 was the lowest by a Yankees pitcher since 1997. He ranked 9th in the AL in innings pitched with 193.1, 4th in strikeouts with 230, and 3rd in ERA with 2.98, as stated above. But despite this breakout season, he only came away with 14 wins. This doesn’t match up with the other two finalists despite posting pretty miraculous numbers for a young Yankees team. On to a guy with slightly better numbers, who plays for a much better team if I do say so myself.
Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox
Chris Sale was lights out this year. Absolutely phenomenal, and flat-out exciting to watch. It was almost guaranteed to see 10 Ks in each of his starts. In fact, Sale’s 308 K’s in 2017 was not only the most in the entire league, but also the most by an American League LHP since Randy Johnson in 1993. On top of that, Sale led the MLB with a 12.93 K/9 ratio and 214.1 IP, and his ERA of 2.90 was second in the AL to the third finalist in the Cy Young Award race. Like I said before, in every single one of his starts, he seemed to have complete control of opposing hitters. He led the Majors with 10 starts without giving up a run and 18 games with double-digits in the strikeout column. His 17 wins were second most to teammate Drew Pomeranz and Corey Kluber’s 18. Speaking of Kluber, on to the third finalist.
Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
In 29 starts in 2017, Corey Kluber won 18 games and only gave up 51 earned runs over 203.2 IP. His 2.25 ERA was a career best, and Major League-best as well. He won this award in 2014 and was a finalist in 2016. He’s in the conversation every season with good reason, Kluber is one of the best RHP in the league and his numbers have shown that for more than just a couple of years. He shut teams out all season long showing the true control a pitcher can have over the result of a baseball game. Corey wastes no time, and always attacks the zone and forces hitters to put his best stuff in play. His 7.4 strikeout to walk ratio was the best in baseball only walking 36 hitters the entire season.
Predicting the winner:
If this award was for most exciting pitcher to watch, I think my hometown guy Chris Sale would take this award with ease because of his massive strikeout number. But when it comes down to best all-around team pitcher in the American League, I believe Corey Kluber proved himself to be the clear favorite in the second half of the season. Kluber helped Cleveland get the AL’s best record by posting a 1.79 ERA after the All-Star break. Sale had struggles in the months of August and September, possibly due to fatigue from his league-leading 214.1 IP. Nonetheless, he was still stellar on the year. I believe the third finalist, Luis Severino, will win this award in the near future if he can continue to consistently put up numbers like he did this season. So there you have it, I’d love to say Sale, but I believe Kluber takes home the AL Cy Young Award this year, and rightfully so. Congratulations to the three finalists on amazing seasons, and helping clinch the postseason berth for each of their respective teams.
I’m feeling some big moves coming from my guys by the winter meetings, if not sooner. Regardless, I’m already counting down the days til Opening day to see Sale on the bump again. Go Sox!