With bated breath, we wait for the National League Cy Young to be handed out. Will it be Zack Greinke? Will upstart Jake Arrieta race ahead of the pack? Will Clayton Kershaw somehow make it three in a row? There is really no such debate in the American League. The award for best pitcher in the junior circuit should, and most likely will, go to David Price of the Toronto Blue Jays with very little debate.
Other candidates for the AL Cy Young have mostly fallen to the wayside. Chris Sale, Chris Archer and Sonny Gray have run out of steam ever so slightly in the second half. The only real threat to Price is Houston Astros’ ace Dallas Keuchel.
Both Price and Keuchel started crucial games for their respective clubs on Monday night, and both delivered victories. Price downed the New York Yankees with seven shutout innings. Keuchel dominated the Los Angeles Angeles, allowing a single run in 7.2 innings. For Price, it was win number 17 against five losses. The Houston hurler improved his record to 18-8. The Toronto ace lowered his ERA to 2.34, while Keuchel’s comes in just behind in the AL rankings at 2.51.
These two will top the Cy Young rankings in the American League, but there should be no debate as to whose name comes out on top.
Price and Keuchel have nearly identical pitching lines on the season. Both have allowed 16 home runs in 31 starts. Price has struck out 219 to Keuchel’s 203. Both have thrown three complete games. Opponents are batting .228 against Price and .219 against Keuchel.
In such a tight race, how am I so sure that Price will win the award?
Take a look at the road record of each pitcher:
- Price: 16 starts, 11-2 W-L, 110.0 IP, 29 BB, 110 K, 1.08 WHIP, 2.05 ERA
- Keuchel: 14 starts, 4-8 W-L, 96.2 IP, 21 BB, 74 K, 1.17 WHIP, 3.82 ERA
Keuchel has been masterful at home, with a 14-0 record and sub-2.00 ERA, but he is a mess on the road, much like the entire Astros team. His most recent road start was a 4.2-inning, nine-run clunker in a must-win game against the Texas Rangers. The Astros struggle on the road. They need more out of their ace when they are away from home, but he has not been able to deliver.
Since joining the Blue Jays, Price is 8-1 with a 1.95 ERA. He has defeated the Yankees three times while invigorating the Toronto clubhouse. The free-agent-to-be has delivered in a way that Johnny Cueto has not been able to do in Kansas City. Without Price, it’s unlikely the Jays are in position to make their first trip to the postseason since 1993. It was an all-in type of move for Toronto, but Price has not disappointed.
The race for the American League Cy Young will be tight, but David Price will claim his second award. The Toronto narrative is too strong, and he’s been able to deliver on the road where Keuchel hasn’t.