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

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Aug 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price (14) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Former Winner: David Price

Another pitcher who is a major threat to Kluber is David Price. Toronto’s new ace has an 11-4 record in 168.1 innings. He trails Kluber in strikeouts, with 162 punch outs, but is too far behind to catch up and move out of fourth place, where he is currently tied with Carlos Carrasco.

Like Gray, Price has a much lower 2.41 ERA, which is ranked third in the American League. His WHIP puts him eighth among AL starters, behind both Kluber and Gray. Much like Kluber, Price would need to pick up several more victories before he could really be considered as a legitimate contender. However, outside of ERA and wins, Kluber has been the better pitcher.

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Price’s biggest shot at a second Cy Young – he took home the award in 2012 – is by showing voters that his performance carried the Blue Jays to the postseason. Even though the Indians are not going to make the playoffs, there were too many extenuating factors for their postseason absence to be blamed on Kluber. Much like last year, he will be viewed separately from the team, except where his win total is concerned. (This is not to say that voters SHOULD consider his win total – they absolutely should not. However, based on past selections, they absolutely will consider it anyway.)

Price, on the other hand, was a key piece at the trade deadline, and Toronto paid a hefty sum to collect him from the Tigers. His acquisition was seen as the moment at which the Blue Jays sacrificed their future to make a playoff push this season. For that reason, if the team does not make it to October, it may be viewed as a shortcoming on Price’s part, even if he pitches extremely well.

Next: Kluber's Cy Young Competition: The Unexpected Ace