The competition for the American League Cy Young Award—bestowed on the league’s best pitcher for the season—is literally and figuratively an arms race.
Last year’s AL Cy Young was a two-horse race, with Tampa Bay Rays southpaw David Price eventually edging out Detroit Tigers hurler Justin Verlander for the honor.
All signs point to a similar competition in 2013, with the additional usual suspects—Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia and Jered Weaver—all vying for the honor of the league’s best pitcher.
That isn’t to say a dark horse couldn’t emerge from the fray to capture the 2013 AL Cy Young. Just last year, then-Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey came out of nowhere to take the National League award.
All it takes is for one pitcher to raise his game to the next level and suddenly he is in the conversation with the big boys.
Here are six potential dark-horse candidates who have a shot at crashing the party and winning the 2013 American League Cy Young Award.
All stats via ESPN.com