The American League has seen more than its fair share of great pitching this year. Although mostly known as the better offensive league, it's probably more accurate to just say that it's the deeper half of baseball in general — although the DH certainly doesn't hinder those offensive numbers.
Nonetheless, a litany of pitchers are competing for the AL Cy Young award this season, as opposed to 2011, when Justin Verlander just ran away from the rest of the field. Not that Verlander isn't right in the thick of the race this year — he has a 1.04 WHIP and 198 strikeouts in 196 1/3 innings pitched.
But Verlander isn't the only perennial Cy Young contender back at it. A
couple of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters in 2012 are in contention, too. Felix Hernandez, a past Cy Young winner, is 13-6 with a 2.51 ERA this year, largely on the back of a second-half hot streak. Jered Weaver has never won the award, but he's certainly gotten some consideration, and in 2012 he is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA.
Other contenders for the award include Chicago White Sox 23-year-old Chris Sale, Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price and nearly immaculate Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson.
Who do you think is the front-runner?