In continuing our preseason awards series, we have arrived at the boring one. Sorry about that, but these things happen. Sometimes the pick is too obvious and the drama is lacking. This is one of those times.
On Sunday, I ran down our list of the The Nine Best AL Starters for 2013 and there are a lot of great names on that list. Felix Hernandez, David Price, Yu Darvish, and my breakout pick Matt Moore are all going to make a run at the top pitching honor in the AL, but the award will be outside their grasp.
And the award will go to…
Justin Verlander (SP – Tigers)
You knew this was coming. Verlander enters his eighth major league season as the front man of one of the best, if not the best, rotations in all of baseball. He’s been a machine and continues to mix dominance with durability.
He has run off four 6 WAR or better season in a row and has a Cy Young and MVP from his 2011 campaign. Heck, he should have won another Cy Young last season.
Verlander is the best pitcher on the planet, and there are really only a handful of guys who really compare. Anything can happen, but it usually doesn’t. Usually, Goliath beats David and the Soviet Union wins the 1980 Gold Medal.
This seems like one of those times. Justin Verlander is simply too good at throwing a baseball to not pick him for the Cy Young. I just couldn’t pick anyone else, even if I wanted to. It’s certainly possible that he doesn’t win the award in 2013, but if I picked anyone else I would simply be making a bold prediction just for the sake of doing so, and I hate people who do that.
Justin Verlander is the best starting pitcher in the American League until someone proves otherwise.