MLB: Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander and the Top 5 2011 AL Cy Young Candidates

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MLB: Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander and the Top 5 2011 AL Cy Young Candidates
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The baseball season is quickly closing in on its halfway mark, and a new group of pitchers is shutting down opposing offenses in the American League. Stud pitchers like CC Sabathia, David Price and Felix Hernandez are undoubtedly among baseball's best, but this season gives way to 2011's cream of the crop.

Of course, it's far too early to crown any pitcher prematurely, but given their dominant performances heading into the All-Star break, these pitchers are a good bet to be in the mix for Cy Young consideration. (You can also view this list as a ranking of the top pitchers in the AL so far this season.)

I will say right now that Felix and CC are dark horse candidates at the moment given Felix's strikeouts (if he can lower that ERA) and CC being in New York, but that's for the rest of the season to decide.

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