Bleacher Report's Final 2012 NL Cy Young Award Rankings

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Bleacher Report's Final 2012 NL Cy Young Award Rankings
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images
R.A. Dickey led the NL with 230 strikeouts.

The race for the NL Cy Young Award might be the most compelling for an individual honor that we've seen in MLB this season.

(The AL MVP race might be more contentious, especially because of the divide between supporters of advanced metrics and those who prefer a more traditional view of the game.) 

Several pitchers emerged as a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award, especially in the first half of the season. Just before the All-Star break, however, a handful of contenders separated themselves from the pack.

At times, so many pitchers were having great seasons, the list of candidates went 10 or 12 deep.  And that didn't include relievers, at least two of whom were putting up historic performances. 

But during the season's final weeks, this became a race between the New York Mets' R.A. Dickey and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. Dickey emerged as the front-runner at midseason and Kershaw had to catch up. Yet both pitchers have a strong case for being named the NL's top pitcher.

Here is our final list of the top five contenders for the NL Cy Young Award this season. 

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