Although it is only early May and the baseball season is barely a month old, I figured it is not too early for AL and NL Cy Young rankings. Each month, I will give you my top five or Cy Young candidates from each league. I will also give you some honorable mention candidates as well.
American League Cy Young Candidates
1. Zach Greinke 5-0 0.50 ERA 44 K'
Greinke has been practically untouchable for the Royals so far this season. I don't expect him to keep this pace all season, but I don't think he will fall off much the rest of the season. He is a talented, young pitcher.
2. Felix Hernandez 4-0 2.48 ERA 36 Ks
Like Greinke, Hernandez is another talented, young pitcher. The Mariners have been a surprise so far this season. Felix Hernandez is a big reason for their success.
3. Roy Halladay 5-1 3.68 ERA 38 Ks
Halladay seems to be a candidate every year. He is off to another impressive start for the Al East leading Blue Jays. Look for him to continue the rest of the season.
4. Armando Gallaraga 3-1 3.07 ERA 26 Ks
The Tigers are off to a good start this season as well. Gallaraga has been a major part of their success. He and Edwin Jackson have taken over as the top two pitchers in the Tigers rotation.
5. Mark Buehrle 4-0 3.30 ERA 19 Ks
Just when you think Buehrle is beginning the downside of his career, he comes back with an amazing season. He is off to a tremendous start again.
Joe Sauders, Jared Weaver, John Danks, Erik Bedard, Dallas Braden
National League Cy Young Candidates
1. Johan Santana 3-1 1.10 ERA 44 Ks
Santana is downright amazing. He just keeps getting better as he gets older. The Mets would be truly down and out without Johan Santana at the top of their rotation. Now, they are doing some heavy praying that he stays healthy the whole season.
2. Chad Billingsley 4-0 2.14 ERA 34 Ks
Billingsley is the undisputed ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Barring injury, he looks like he will be the ace for years to come. He is an impressive young pitcher.
3. Yovani Gallardo 3-1 2.84 ERA 34 Ks
After the Brewers lost Sabathia to the Yankees in the off-season, they knew they would need young pitchers to step up. Gallardo has stepped up in a big way. He is now the ace of the Brewers staff.
4. Tim Lincecum 2-1 3.16 ERA 43 Ks
After a rough start to the season, Lincecum has finally found his groove. I expect him to move up this list very shortly. He is one of the game's best.
5. Kyle Lohse 3-0 1.97 ERA 19 Ks
Lohse is proving that his good 2008 season was no fluke. So far, he is even better this year. The Cardinals are reaping the benefit.
Josh Johnson, Derek Lowe, Dan Haren, Javier Vasquez, Joel Pineiro