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Gauging the 2011 AL Cy Young: Is Justin Verlander or Jered Weaver the Top Dog?

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Gauging the 2011 AL Cy Young: Is Justin Verlander or Jered Weaver the Top Dog?
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Justin Verlander is among the leaders across the board in pitching categories and has already thrown a no-hitter this year.

With about six weeks to go in the season, the AL Cy Young race is down to less than a handful of legitimate candidates.

Some guys are having seasons that may have garnered them an All-Star nod earlier this year, but they've already fallen out of the race for one reason or another.

Those players include:

Josh Beckett: The ERA is a ridiculous 2.17, and the WHIP is a sparkling .94, but Beckett's record is at 9-4.  Sure Felix Hernandez won last year with a great ERA, but Beckett pitches on the best team in the AL and not the worst.  Furthermore, Beckett has less wins than John Lackey this season.

Felix Hernandez: The aforementioned Hernandez is having a solid, but nowhere near spectacular season.  He's 10-10, his ERA is 3.30 and he's striking out just shy of one batter an inning.

Dan Haren: Haren is putting together a season that could compete for a Cy Young in a down season, as he's 12-6 with a 2.96 ERA.  The problem is he's playing second fiddle to rotation-mate Jered Weaver, who is besting him across the board.

And now that we've eliminated the fringe guys, onto the only three real candidates for this year's award.

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