Corey Kluber
Jason Miller- Getty Images

With Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber dominating second half he has surprisingly become the odds on favorite to win the  2014 American League Cy Young Award.

His competition includes the Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, Los Angeles Angels‘ Garrett Richards,  Boston Red Sox’s/Oakland Athletics’ Jon Lester and Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale.

Richards was well on his way to win the award, yet sustained a season ending injury at the end of August finishing with 26 starts ended his shot.

Sale also has registered 26 starts and missed time earlier in the season due to injury and leads the AL in era at 2.17.

Hernandez and Lester provide the best competition for Kluber as both are attempting to help their teams get the final Wild Card spot.  For Seattle, Hernandez has one more start to make and he now has a record of 14-6, with an era of 2.34, he struck out 241 while walking 46, has a WHIP of .94 and a WAR of 6.4.

Lester has made 32 starts has a record of 16-11 with an era of 2.46, he struck out 220 while walking 48, has a WHIP of 1.10 and a WAR of 4.5.

Kluber finished the season with an 18-9 record with an era of 2.44, he struck  out 269 which is tops in the American League at this point and walked 51, WHIP is at 1.09 and a WAR of 7.4. What makes him the front-runner for the Cy Young is the performance after the All-Star break. He went 9-3 with an era of 1.73, completed two games including his only shutout of the season in which he out-dueled Hernandez, he struck out 127 while walking 19.

What also helped Kluber were his last five starts in which he struck out 54 while walking five, gave up six runs with five earned in 40.1 innings of work and registered a 1.12 era in that span. He also finished the season with three straight starts of at least 10 strikeouts.

For Kluber he followed the adage “it’s not how you start it’s how you finish” and he certainly now has the best chance at the AL Cy Young.

Projected Winner: Kluber
Runner-Up: Lester
Third Place: Hernandez

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