James Shields is your early Cy Young favorite
We're only two months into the major-league season, but so far, Rays righty James Shields might be the American League's best pitcher. In his MLB Awards Watch column, Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran lists Shields as the leading candidate so far in the American League Cy Young race. Corcoran writes:
Shield's only non-quality start of the season came in his second turn back on April 8. In nine starts since then, he has posted a 1.66 ERA while averaging nearly eight innings per start (a league-leading 7.8 IP/GS to be exact). His best start of the season came two turns ago in Miami, when he shutout the cross-state Marlins on a walk and three singles while striking out a career-high 13 men. Shields is tied with defending AL Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez for the league lead in strikeouts (81 in one fewer inning in and one fewer start than Hernandez), leads the league in quality starts (10, tied with Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander) and quality start percentage, is fourth in the league in ERA, and second in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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