Once again, the race for the NL Cy Young Award has distilled itself to a two-man competition.
However, it's a different pair of contenders now vying for individual honors. The margin between the two is a narrow one, and the race could tilt either way during the final three weeks of the 2012 season.
For this week's rankings, we're doing away with the honorable mentions. Yes, some pitchers are worth highlighting, such as Matt Cain, Jordan Zimmermann, Kyle Lohse, Wade Miley and Stephen Strasburg.
But at this point of the season, it's time to focus on who can really win this thing. Though we've extended the field of candidates to eight for several weeks with honorable mentions, five contenders is really enough.
So here are those five leading candidates for the NL Cy Young Award. While the bottom of the list might change over the next three weeks, the top two contenders likely will spend the rest of the season fighting over that No. 1 spot.
Please leave your responses and suggestions in the comments. You also can reply to me on Twitter. My address is at the end of this article. As you'll see this week, your feedback can be influential when it comes to putting together these rankings.
All the statistics mentioned here are current as of Sept. 13, 2012.