With less than a month left in the season, some division races are heating up while others distance themselves from the pack. Baseball is a team sport, where everyone works together toward the ultimate prize, the World Series.
However, this is the time of year that the MLB community starts buzzing with rumors and babble about the individuals in the game, separating the ordinary from the extraordinary.
Some people may think that all this talk is overrated, but many of the "great" athletes would trade in their personal hardware for the ring. But being a pitcher, sort of, I've always had an affinity for the Cy Young Award.
So without further ado, here are my predictions for the Cy Young.
Note: There are some guys that deserve to be on the list, but the fact that sports writers put so much stress on the win total, those guys were omitted. Also, guys that were omitted like ones that have a high win total, but a high ERA and stuff along those lines. Closers and relief staff were also omitted as there is a different award for them.
NL Award Contenders
1. Brandon Webb 19-7- 3.41 ERA- 30 GS- 3 CG- 1 SHO- 197.2 IP- 179 H- 86 R- 75 ER- 13 HR- 10 HBP- 57 BB- 166 SO
Brandon Webb had the chance to be the first player in the majors to 20 games, but 3 straight losses, in 3 short outings giving up 19 earned runs in that stretch elevated his formerly sub-two ERA. Webb is the front-runner for the award based solely on wins.
2. CC Sabathia 9-0- 1.42 ERA- 12 GS- 6 CG- 3 SHO- 95.0 IP- 74 H- 18 R- 15 ER- 4 HR- 2 HBP- 20 BB- 94 SO
A change in scenery seems to be all Sabathia needed to transition from a good pitcher, to a great pitcher. CC is undefeated as a NationalLeague pitcher, with a darn right miniscule ERA. Not to mention 6 complete games and 3 shutouts with his new team. Overall he is 15-8 with well over 200 innings pitched and leading the majors in strikeouts. The only thing holding him back from the award is not having been a Brewer from the beginning of the season.
3. Tim Lincecum 15-3- 2.60 ERA- 28 GS- 190.1 IP- 154 H- 60R- 55 ER- 10 HR- 4 HBP- 72 BB- 216 SO
The boy-wonder Tim Lincecum has a bright future ahead of him, but will probably miss out on the award pitching for a 4th place team in the weakest division in baseball. Run support was a valuable commodity, having had several starts in which he gave up 3 or fewer runs but got the hook for the loss or a no-decision. With adequate run support, he could easily be a 22 game winner.
4. Edinson Volquez 16-5- 3.12 ERA- 28 GS- 170.0 IP- 148 H- 71 R- 59 ER- 10 HR- 12 HBP- 77 BB- 174 SO
The Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds both benefited in the Josh Hamilton- Edinson Volquez trade. Volquez was off and racing for the downs early, but has trailed off like the last several "Triple Crown" horses that failed to win at Belmont Park. It also doesn't help that he is playing for a team that is already eliminated from the playoff chase. A good pitcher needs a good supporting staff, and runs came at a premium in Cincinnati as well.
5. Ryan Dempster 15-6- 2.99 ERA- 29 GS- 1 CG- 183.2 IP- 150 H- 68 R- 61 ER- 12- HR 7 HBP- 72 BB- 167 SO
Just like the rest of the contenders, Dempster is not going to win the award based on command and control, walking 72 batters. But the National League pitchersdo a great job of stranding runners on base. Dempster only has an outside chance of winning the award, but playing for one of the best teams in baseball, the publicity will help boost his chances of landing some votes.