With a little over a month to go in the 2010 Major League season, the Cy Young race in the American League is still wide open. We have a least as many candidates as we did in May, probably more, and while there is still time for someone to step things up and lay claim to the most prestigious pitching award in baseball, that player has yet to come forward.
A year ago today, we would not be having this conversation. Zack Greinke, who ran away with the award in April and May, was still as sharp as ever late in the season and while there was some concern that his lack of wins would cost him votes, it seemed ridiculous to suggest anyone else would win. Greinke was having a legendary season. His ERA of 2.16 was 105% better than the league average, giving him an ERA+ of 205, one of the highest figures in the games history. He was striking out well over a batter per inning, rarely walking anyone, and surrendering a league-leading 0.4 home runs per nine innings.
The 2010 race is as murky as the 2009 race was clear. We don't have a Greinke. But someone will win the award, that much we know. Who will it be? Let's look at a few of the leading contenders.