The favorites to win the AL Cy Young are obvious but Dylan Cease has been so dominant the White Sox ace can only be overlooked for so long.
Entering Saturday, Houston Astros veteran Justin Verlander has been turning back the clock so exceptionally that he’s the clear-cut favorite to win the AL Cy Young award at season’s end. Not too far behind him in consideration, though, is a fresh face in the race, Tampa Bay Rays young ace Shane McClanahan.
Consensus odds have Verlander as a -125 favorite with McClanahan sitting at +250 to take home the honor. Then there is another drop before you get to Chicago White Sox stud Dylan Cease at +400 before a massive drop-off with the next candidate at +2000.
But even being the only other pitcher in the stratosphere of Verlander and McClanahan, Cease deserves more consideration than he’s getting as an AL Cy Young candidate this season.
Dylan Cease has been dominant enough for White Sox to warrant more serious Cy Young consideration
On Friday evening, Cease led the White Sox to another victory as he lasted six innings while giving up just two hits, three walks, one earned run and striking out five batters (an uncharacteristically low total for him this season) to move to 12-4 on the season.
With that outing, though, the mustachioed hurler became the first starting pitcher, openers not included, since earned runs became a stat in 1913 to allow 1 or fewer earned runs in 13 consecutive starts.
That’s elite performance from the 26-year-old right-hander and he has more than that to back it up. For the season, he ranks first in baseball among qualifiers in strikeouts per 9 innings at 12.2, ranks third in baseball among starting pitchers with a 1.98 ERA and has just a 1.16 WHIP on the year. And again, he hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in 13 starts.
Nothing you can point out could adequately slight Verlander and McClanahan this season — both pitchers have been incredible this season. But the performance that Cease has delivered for the White Sox is equally as undeniable. He’s among the Top 3 Cy Young favorites, but deserves to be more firmly in that conversation given how dominant he’s been.