The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t make it to the World Series this year, but that didn’t stop Clayton Kershaw from grabbing his second National League Cy Young award in three seasons. As a multiple Cy Young winner on the senior circuit, the craft lefty is in good company. Stalwart southpaws Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Tom Glavine all won it more than once. Consider him a candidate to win it again. In the American League, Detroit’s Max Scherzer was picked this year, ahead of teammate and former winner Justin Verlander. The American League hasn’t had a back-to-back winner since 1999-2000 when Boston’s Pedro Martinez turned the trick. So, odds are against a repeat winner in either league.
If Boston’s powerful righthanded starter can get over a neck strain and pitch a full year, he’s not that much of long shot for AL Cy Young consideration. He was only able to start 16 games in 2013, but managed an incredible 12-1 record and a miniscule 1.73 ERA. He gave the Sox plenty of quality starts, averaging over 6 and two-thirds innings per start. He also fanned 96 in 108.1 innings pitched and gave up just four home runs or one every fourth start. Bucholz needs a season like he had in 2010, when he was named to the American League all-star team. He got in 28 games (missing about 5-6 starts due to various injuries) and won 17, with a highly respectable ERA of 2.33. His only real downfall is his propensity for giving up untimely walks (he issued 67 in 2010, against just 120 strikeouts).