Justin Verlander, before this year, has been a very underrated pitcher in all of baseball. He has a career record of 101-57, and he is among the youngest players to reach the 100 win plateau. he is the only pitcher in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year, make the All-Star team, pitch in the World Series, AND throw a no-hitter in the first 2 years of his career.
With all that being said, this year has been arguably the best year of his outstanding career. This year alone, he has thrown a no-hitter, and he leads the league in wins, innings pitched, strikeout’s, WHIP, and win percentage. He is second only in his earned run average, and in complete games. Obviously, his name is being tossed around in the Cy Young award race, along with fellow pitchers C.C. Sabathia, and Jered Weaver. While all of these pitchers have had phenomenal seasons this year, Verlander stands above the rest.
Now I know that so far this post has been pretty obvious in his Cy Young talks, but there is another award that JV should win this year. MVP. I’m not going to get into his stats, those speak for themselves. However, what a lot of people don’t think about is how much more Justin Verlander contributes to his team. Clearly, he wins games for his team. Along with the wins though, because of Verlander, the Detroit Tigers have not had a 3-game losing streak since early June. He not only gives the coaches a break, but also his bullpen. There has not been an outing this year in which JV has not thrown at least 100 pitches. The shortest outing he has had so far this year, he threw 104 pitches. That is quite a feat in itself.
Currently, the Tigers are in first place in the Central Division. Surely, it will stay this way if Justin Verlander keeps pitching the way he has been pitching all year long. While it is a long shot, JV has a shot at winning 25 games this year. if he were to do so, he would be the first pitcher since Bob Welch of the Oakland Athletics in 1990 to win at least 25 games. that alone would make him the Cy Young front runner without any doubt at all.