It’s less than six weeks until opening day, but it’s never too early to handicap who the winners will be when they hand out the major hardware at the conclusion of the 2013 season. The following is our top five list of potential American League Cy Young candidates, in no particular order:
JERED WEAVER Los Angeles Angels
At age 30, Weaver is in his prime and has been the Angels’ ace for a number of years. This season, the Angels will have to make do without Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana in their rotation, which places a greater burden on the whippet-thin right-hander. Last year, Weaver had some minor injuries to deal with (lower back and biceps tendinitis) but still won a career-high 20 games and posted a 2.81 ERA. For the first time in four seasons, though, he failed to pitch 200 innings (188.2) and has become more of a contact pitcher than strikeout king. He topped the big leagues with a 1.018 WHIP.