Last season, Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young award after compiling a 21-3 record and 2.90 ERA in 214 1/3 innings. Depending on who you ask, he may not have even been the best pitcher on his own team. Anibal Sanchez won the AL's ERA crown, but only won 14 games. He also had the best FIP in the league and was worth 6.2 WAR.
This season, the debate is a bit more one-sided. Scherzer led the rotation in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and ERA. He was second to David Price with a 3.12 xFIP, and third (behind Price and Sanchez) with a 2.85 FIP. He finished the year with a 4.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and stranded a career high 77.2 percent of the baserunners he allowed. Scherzer's 18 wins were tied for the American League lead, and he made his second consecutive All-Star appearance. Scherzer led the team with 5.6 WAR, over two full wins better than the next best Tigers pitcher.
Scherzer's biggest competition came from an unlikely source: Rick Porcello. The oldest 25 year old pitcher in baseball tossed a career high 204 2/3 innings, allowing a career best 3.43 ERA. His 3.67 FIP was slightly worse than last year's 3.53, but it marked his third consecutive season under 4.00. Porcello also led the American League with three shutouts.
Anibal Sanchez was great once again in 2014, but only threw 126 innings. His 3.43 ERA was nearly a full run higher than last year's career best, but his 2.71 FIP and 3.4 WAR were second-best on the team to Price and Scherzer, respectively.
Justin Verlander had a disappointing season, allowing a 4.54 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. His 3.74 FIP indicated that things weren't quite so bad, and a 3.29 FIP in the second half is encouraging for Verlander's prospects in 2015. His streak of five consecutive All-Star appearances ended in 2014 as well.
Who is your 2014 Tigers Cy Young winner?