Corey Kluber’s case for the 2017 AL Cy Young Award
By Dan Zerby
Corey Kluber has been an unstoppable machine in 2017, but is it enough to net him a second Cy Young?
Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber has been one of the best arms in baseball since he broke into the league, and could be in line for a second Cy Young Award at season’s end. While the favorite by many for the award is Boston’s southpaw Chris Sale, Kluber is catching up.
Throughout his career, the first portion of the season has not been kind to Corey Kluber, and 2017 was no exception. Kluber posted a 4.19 ERA in the month of April, and landed on the disabled list after allowing five earned runs over three innings in one May start.
Following the back strain that held him out for a month, Kluber has come back with arguably the most dominant stretch of his seven-year career.
Kluber’s legitimate case for AL Cy Young is only growing as the season continues on. Despite the fact that his injury has limited him to 123.2 innings pitched (38th among all pitchers), Corey has once again stamped his name all over the league leaders.
Kluber has an ERA of 2.77 (fifth in MLB), 172 strikeouts (fourth), has a WHIP of 0.95 (fourth), has held opponents to a .201 batting average (fourth), and has thrown three complete games (second).
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Sale, has an ERA of 2.70 (fourth), has struck out 216 batters (first), sports a WHIP of 0.91 (third), holds hitters to a .198 clip (third), and has thrown one complete game.
Year in and year out, Corey gets hotter and hotter as the season progresses. Kluber won his first Cy Young in 2014 by putting up a phenomenal 1.73 ERA after the All-Star break – this is just one example of his late-season greatness. Sale, on the other hand, has a reputation of faltering late in the year.
This is not the first year Sale has made headlines with ridiculous numbers early in the season.
In 2015, Sale started off the year with an 8-4 record, along with a 2.74 ERA and 157 strikeouts. He followed it up with a 5-7/4.33/117 second half. Again, just one example of a player’s career trends.
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Nothing is set in stone by any means, but it would seem as if Kluber has a very good shot and edging out Sale when it’s all said and done.