Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber: Three Pitchers He Needs to Beat To Win Cy Young Award

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Aug 9, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) delivers in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber Win Another Cy Young?

On Wednesday, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello wrote about the possibility of Corey Kluber taking home back-to-back Cy Young awards. While the idea seems far-fetched, there is some truth to it. Even after his poor outing at Fenway Park on Wednesday, Kluber could be a reasonable choice.

[Author’s Note: Because games were still in progress at the time of this post, statistics and rankings reflect the status prior to play on Wednesday.]

Kluber’s 3.34 ERA barely cracks the Top-30 list in baseball, but he jumps to 14th when the field is narrowed down to the American League. There are also plenty of categories he’s excelled in. He has 193 strikeouts, behind only Chris Sale and Chris Archer, and he’s got a fairly solid grasp on that spot. Carlos Carrasco and David Price are tied for fourth, but they only have 162 punch outs, so it will be a longshot for anyone to catch the top three.

Related: Should the Cleveland Indians Be Concerned About Trevor Bauer?

Kluber also has more innings pitched than anyone in Major League Baseball, topping Dallas Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw by nine full innings. His four complete games are a major-league best, tied with the ever-efficient Mark Buehrle. While WHIP isn’t considered a true measure of success, Kluber’s is the third-best in the AL, at just 1.04.

As mentioned in the MLB.com article, Kluber has the second-best FIP in the AL, at 2.58, a number that is at least partly due to a 27.1 percent strikeout rate and a 4.9 percent walk rate. His peripheral numbers say he’s almost certainly the best pitcher in the league, so what’s holding him back?

As of this moment, Kluber’s chances rest heavily on his teammates. Cy Young voters are not general comprised of voters who look favorably upon losing records. Kluber has 15 quality starts, but an 8-12 record. He would almost certainly have to pick up wins in most of his remaining outings in order to put himself in the conversation.

And right now, there are at least three other strong candidates:

Next: Kluber's Cy Young Competition: The Youngster

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