This year, fans of either Los Angeles based baseball team will have one point of pride to hang their hats on, both will lay claim to a 2012 Cy Young Award Winner.
On Wednesday, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced their finalists for their top awards.
In terms of Cy Young nominations, in the National League the finalists are R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets, Gio Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals and Clayton Kershaw from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the American League the finalists are David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays, Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers and Jered Weaver from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Jered Weaver and Clayton Kershaw will walk away with the awards this season.
First things first, most people put very little stock in wins any more when defining a good pitcher. The best example one could offer up is Felix Hernandez in Seattle.
That said, it is worth noting that in the AL, Weaver and Price own 20 wins apiece in 2012, while Verlander posted 17.
In the NL, Gonzalez had 21 while Dickey had 20 and Kershaw posted 14.
Beyond wins, there are certainly more tangible statistics that one needs to look at when comparing starting pitchers.
Gonzalez might have led the NL in wins, but of the three finalists he posted the highest ERA of 2.89 with a 1.129 WHIP, also a high.
In addition, he started 32 games (one less than Dickey or Kershaw) but managed to pitch an average of 31.1 innings less than either other finalist finishing with 199.1. That said, with 207 strikeouts, Gonzalez did finish with a 9.3 K/9 ratio, the highest in the NL.
His WAR on the season was an impressive 4.5.
Dickey owned a 2.73 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP in 33 starts (34 games overall) with a league best five complete games and three shutouts.
He added 230 strikeouts, which also led the NL (third in all of baseball) while adding a 5.6 WAR of his own.
Clayton Kershaw had the most well-rounded season of all three pitchers. He posted a MLB best 2.53 ERA in 33 starts with a 1.023 WHIP, which is second only to Jered Weaver in all of baseball.
Kershaw added two shutouts while striking out 229 batters in 227.2 innings of work. He led the NL in hits per nine innings with a mere 6.7 while posting a 6.2 WAR.
The AL race might be a bit closer than the NL, if you can believe it.
Verlander is the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and certainly deserves considerable consideration this year as well.
In 33 games he posted a 2.64 ERA with a 1.057 WHIP off of a league leading 238.1 innings pitched.
There is no doubt he's been a horse this season. Verlander added a league best six complete games with 239 strikeouts, also a league best while posting a 7.3 H/9. He owns an amazing 7.6 WAR.
Price is right on the heels of Verlander this season. He posted a 2.56 ERA and a 1.100 WHIP in 31 games and 211.0 innings pitched.
In addition, Price struck out 205 batters while offering a 7.4 H/9 ratio. Price owns a 6.4 WAR this season.
Last but not least, Jered Weaver earned a 2.81 ERA and a 1.018 WHIP, a MLB best statistic through his 30 games and 188.2 innings pitched this season.
Weaver threw three complete games and two shutouts while striking out 142 batters and allowing just 7.0 H/9 and earning a 3.7 WAR.
In the case of Weaver, he was sidelined for awhile this season with back pains, yet still won 20 games this season for the Angels.
True, looking at the candidates, each player has some leverage over the other. The decision has to come down to the most well-rounded pitcher of the group and it is hard to make a case against Weaver and Kershaw.
While there really is no bad choice for either award winner, it appears as though the City of Angels will be home to both Cy Young winners this season.
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