By Mark C. Rinaldi

There are five American League pitchers who are truly deserving of the Cy Young Award. The award is given to the best pitcher, but personally I feel there should be some worth placed on the players value to the team.

For example, Zack Greinke is a great pitcher, but the Royals could have finished in last place without him. Here are my predictions to how the voting will shape out.

But before we get to the top five, lets take a look at the outsiders, in alphabetical order.

Cliff Lee—Lee was less than spectacular with Seattle, and he took his time getting assimilated to the heat in Texas. But the Rangers would have been watching the playoffs from their La-Z-Boys without him.

Carl Pavano—He is the best pitcher on a team that easily won its division. He won 17 games and was among the league leaders in innings pitched, but his success still reminds me of his time in pinstripes.

Rafael Soriano—Soriano was the closer for the best team during the AL regular season. He had more saves then anyone else in the AL, and down the stretch, when he came in the game for the Rays, it was as good as over.

Justin Verlander—Verlander had another impressive season worthy of Cy Young consideration. But overall, his numbers weren’t good enough to get any votes, especially since he played for third-place team. 

Jered Weaver—Weaver pitched well for a team that was below .500, so even though he ate up innings and had an ERA of three, the team’s performance was not good enough to say he had any significant value on any playoff race.


And now, the Big Five:

5. Clay Buchholz—Buchholz finished second in the AL in ERA, and he was among the league leaders in wins. He missed some starts during the season, and never truly established himself as a big-game pitcher.

So though he looked good on a stat sheet, with the Red Sox not making the playoffs, he may be out of the top vote-getters for the Cy Young.

4. Jon Lester—The Red Sox have two postseason heroes in Josh Beckett and John Lackey, but Lester somehow established himself as the best pitcher (and maybe best player) in Boston this year.

His 19 wins finished second to only the Yankees’ CC Sabathia, but Boston finished third in the division. So as good as he was, he wasn’t good enough to crack the league’s elite.

Plus, when two candidates come from the same team, they always tend to split the vote.

3. Felix Hernandez—Without a doubt, Hernandez had the best statistical season of any pitcher in the major leagues.

But thanks to the fact he played on the American League’s worst team, he only went 13-12. So even though he led the league in several categories such as ERA, innings and strikeouts, he only comes away with the bronze.

2. CC Sabathia—For the first time in his career, CC won more than 20 games. His 21 victories tied for the lead in the majors, but he gave up more hits and runs then anyone else on this list.

That being said, the man is a horse. He pitched more innings than just about everyone else, and in most games he threw well over a 100 pitches, giving the Yankees a legitimate chance to win every time he took the ball.

1. David Price—As good as his stats are, Price gets the nod over CC for two reasons. First, the good old “eye test”. If you watched any of the games where CC and Price squared off, Price was a more impressive looking pitcher.

Second, the Rays beat out the Yankees in the division, and if value to the team’s final standing is taken into consideration for the award, then Price’s team’s accomplishment will help him win his first Cy Young.

This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If its off-beat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders, or Rangers, than The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at


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