Arizona Diamondbacks: Why Ian Kennedy Will Win NL Cy Young Award

Matt BowenAnalyst IISeptember 4, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Ian Kennedy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 3, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Tony Medina/Getty Images)
Tony Medina/Getty Images

Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks is a major contender for NL Cy Young and should be honored with the award at season's end.

The 2011 MLB season only has a few weeks left and the NL Cy Young race is coming down to the wire.

Ian Kennedy is having a career year for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 26-year-old right hander has already set a career high in innings pitched and wins. He will also soon set a new career high in strikeouts.

His main competition in the NL Cy Young race are Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

While Kennedy isn't among the top five in the NL ERA, WHIP or strikeouts, he does have the most wins and best winning percentage. The man is 18-4 on the season and has become the ace for the best upstart team in all of baseball.

The Diamondbacks are now 79-60 on the season as Ian Kennedy won for the 18th time on Saturday night in San Francisco. In comparison to 2010, the Kennedy only won nine games and the D'Backs only totaled 65.

One can argue that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw deserves the award, but the Dodgers are 10.5 games back in the NL West standings. Kershaw leads the NL in innings pitched, strikeouts and is second with a 2.45 ERA. He is also second in wins with 17, one behind Kennedy. Kershaw is the main threat to Kennedy in the NL Cy Young battle. He may be near the tops in all these categories, but Kennedy just keeps winning.

The problem with selecting a member of the Philadelphia Phillies is it's hard to even select the best pitcher on their team. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are all having phenomenal seasons, but it's hard to select just one. In the end, 10-1 rookie Vance Worley may be the best pitcher for the Phillies this year. They're that good.

This hurts the Philadelphia Phillies' chances of landing an NL Cy Young winner in 2011.

Kennedy is also getting hot at the right time. He has been good all season but he has been great of late. Kennedy is 10-1 in his last 11 starts. His ERA on the season is now 2.96.

Most importantly, Kennedy is 8-0 against the NL West with an ERA under two. He's also 10-2 on the road. These are numbers that will sway the vote his way.

The Diamondbacks currently hold a six-game lead over the San Francisco Giants and look to be crowned NL West champions at season's end. This will put Kennedy in the forefront for the award.

Arizona Diamondbacks rejoice: Ian Kennedy will be NL Cy Young.