You know what I'm really tired of hearing about already is Justin Verlander...this is the hypocrisy of the media and baseball writers. Last year CC essentially didn't win the CY Young award because his 21 wins were discounted. The baseball media and sabrmetric gurus discount a pitchers win count because wins for pitcher are more indicative of the team performance rather than the pitching performance. But now all of sudden it's Verlander has 22 wins he's hands down the CY Young winner. They then remember that we don't count wins anymore so come up with all of his other stats are good too. And they are, I'm not arguing that point, but not that much better.
Here's Verlander's stats so far:
Wins: 22, ERA 2.44, K's: 232, IP: 229, WHIP: .908.
For comparison sake here's CC's:
Wins: 19, ERA: 2.97, K's: 211, IP: 218.1, WHIP: 1.173
Yes Verlander has better #'s, but it's pretty close and not as much of a slam dunk as they are making it out to be. He has one, maybe two bad outings, things get a lot closer. That's it. The difference between CC and Verlander is essentially one bad start. What I think needs to be taken into consideration is the division they play in. The AL Central is really, really bad. It certainly isn't the AL East where 3 teams will be over 90 wins. Even Denny McClain, a former Tiger, the last guy to win 30, former Cy Young and MVP has stated the AL Central is AAA level baseball at best. No wonder Verlander has had one less bad start. What about the park factor? Coamerica Park is very pitcher friendly, while Yankee Stadium is certainly not. CC only had to face the Red Sox lineup 4 times (possibly one more later this year). The Red Sox lineup who after acquiring Gonzalez and Crawford were proclaimed the best team in the AL East and were the odds on favorite to not only make the World Series but win it all. The Red Sox lineup who has arguably (not by my count) 3 or 4 MVP candidates in Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia, and even Ortiz. If the AL Central is that bad doesn't Verlander's stats have to be discounted somewhat and CC's viewed as slightly better??? And remember 4 years ago when CC lead the Brewers to the playoffs and he was the best thing going...same guy and all of a sudden his great performances are attributed more to the Yankees All-Star lineup, than his great pitching. It is the anti-Yankee bias at it's finest.
On to the upcoming games...in the beginning of the season I said the Red Sox would be the biggest disappointment of the year by missing the playoffs. They have a 7 game lead over Tampa right now. Their ace Beckett is due to miss about 2 weeks recovering from a sprained ankle...and the schedule gods are smiling as the Rays are about to play the next 7 of 10 against the Sox. At the end of this 10 days the Rays could actually be in the Wildcard lead and the Sox left chasing. Rays also then close the season with 6 of 9 against the Yankees. So if the Yankees don't distance themselves they could feel some heat as well.
Yankees have a makeup game in Baltimore than a late West Coast swing that includes LA and Seattle. Of course the rotation lines up so the Yankees get Weaver, Haren, and Santana...their three aces. And the Angels are playing hot right now about to take over the Rangers for the AL West lead. Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbow are carrying the Angels offense right now. Yankees have their work cut out for them down the stretch. Whoever wins the AL East, and presumably the wild card, will have earned it. Tough schedules down the stretch. The only good thing about the schedule is that the possibility of rain outs are minimal in LA, Seattle, Toronto, and Tampa (majority of series left for Yankees). Yankees have had 8 games postponed this year and 20 rain delays, both most in baseball.