2011 American League CY Young Prediction
Every year the CY Young award is given to the best pitcher in baseball. As we found out a year ago when Felix Hernandez won the award, it is not always given to the pitcher on the best team. The field is wide open this year and here is a look at a few of the candidates.
Max Scherzer -- Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers were in contention for the AL Central last year, but injuries plagued them and they fell short by significant margin.
Now with the signing of a Victor Martinez the Tiger offense should be a bit more explosive and should come out on top in division of five teams where only three are any good.
The rotation is first rate and with Scherzer starting second, he will step up and lean forward. As he did after a short stint in the minors last year, Scherzer came back to the Tigers and it was lights out…going 6-4 in twelve starts with an ERA of 2.62 and 85 strikeouts in 75.2 innings.
Last year he went 12-11 had a 3.50 ERA, 184 K's, a WHIP of 1.25, and only 70 walks. Not bad, but not great. This year will be different.
Scherzer dominates with a 93-97 mph fastball. He flusters hitters with a change-up that runs and sinks at speeds close to 90 mph, it also has good fading action on left handed hitters and his slider clocks in at 87 mph. Scherzer has tons of potential and is surrounded by a strong enough supporting cast to relieve some of the pressure. As mentioned above the AL Central is not a powerhouse division and the Tigers can make a run for a playoff berth. I expect Scherzer to compile an 18-10 record, a 3.19 ERA, 195 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP.
He will have some serious competition with Jon Lester of the Red Sox as well as and the AL Cy Young incumbent Felix Hernandez of Seattle.
King Felix is the in full command of his two-seam and four-seam fastballs; he is a true strikeout pitcher. It is highly doubtful that he will have another 13-12 season, but I do suspect he will have an ERA below three and a WHIP at or near one.
Lester has struck out 10 batters per nine innings over the past two seasons. He is a strong left handed pitcher who only improves every year who is on the verge of having a breakout season. Playing on the Red Sox will give them an edge if they have a successful season.
Both pitchers are primed to be serious Cy Young contenders, but don’t be surprised if a dark horse stuns the field and wins the award.