Rays fans got a good look at how one bad start this time of year can hurt a pitcher’s Cy Young Award resume when the Rays pounded Jered Weaver in the worst start of his career. And last night, the Rangers may have returned the favor, when David Price had one of the worst starts of his career.
And this morning, when Jayson Stark was asked on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” who should win the AL Cy Young, he said there are two favorites, and neither has the initials “DP”…
If I had to vote right this minute, I think I might still vote for [Justin] Verlander. But it is essentially a dead-heat between Felix [Hernandez] and [Verlander] with Jered Weaver, Chris Sale, and David Price just a tick behind.
This comes one day after one of Stark’s ESPN colleagues, David Schoenfield, said Price “sets the tone,” and is the “Cy Young Favorite in a crowded and talented American League field.”
And if we look at ESPN.com’s “MLB Cy Young Predictor” model, which uses voting patterns from past years, Price is still leading the way, even after last night, with King Felix second. Verlander is all the way down at sixth, behind all the others mentioned by Stark, and another guy you might have heard of, Fernando Rodney. The Rays’ unofficial closer is third.
I’m not going to do the statistical breakdown now. If anything, the last few weeks have shown that a statistical breakdown right now is silly because nobody is voting now and everything will look different next week. And in a situation where the numbers are this close, September starts by pitchers in pennant races will weigh a little more.
So if Price is going to win his first Cy Young Award this season, he is still in the mix. But he is going to need a strong final month. And he can’t afford anymore starts like last night.