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SB Nation MLB Awards: Who is the pitcher of the year?

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Justin Verlander will be on this list next year.

It's either one of these guys or it's not
It's either one of these guys or it's not
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year again! No, not the time where you make your Black Friday shopping plans. Each year, SB Nation's MLB crew forces asks us to participate in their league-wide votes for various awards from the baseball season prior. You may (not) remember last year's awards, which had nothing to do with anything. This year, we're voting on the same things that the BBWAA does, with a couple other fun ideas along the way.

While Monday's vote for best hitter of 2015 wasn't much of a contest, today's should be. Pitching was king once again in Major League Baseball this season, and fans of most teams were treated to some excellent performances from the game's elite. The National League Cy Young vote will be extremely close, and there is a solid duo atop the AL leaderboards as well. Somehow, we have to pick only one.

Clayton Kershaw led all pitchers with 8.6 fWAR, racking up 301 strikeouts in 232 2/3 innings. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young winner was all but left for dead at the start of the season, but held opponents to a 1.39 ERA in his final 24 starts.

Many would argue that Kershaw wasn't even the best pitcher on his own team. Zack Greinke led all starters with a 1.66 ERA in 222 2/3 innings this season, but "only" struck out 8.08 batters per nine innings. He was worth 5.9 WAR according to FanGraphs, and 9.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference (fun times, right?). He also hit a pair of homers and stole a base.

Jake Arrieta is the third pitcher in the NL Cy Young conversation, and many believe he will ultimately walk away with the award. Arrieta was 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA, which should sway several voters, but his advanced metrics were just as sexy. He struck out over a batter per inning and walked fewer than two per nine innings, resulting in a 2.35 FIP and 7.3 fWAR.

David Price will be in the AL Cy Young conversation after dominating in both a Tigers and Blue Jays uniform last season. He went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA, and struck out nearly five times as many batters as he walked. His 6.4 fWAR was tied for third in baseball with former teammate Max Scherzer.

Dallas Keuchel is the other potential AL Cy Young candidate. The Astros lefty was one of two 20-game winners in baseball this year, and he was worth 6.1 fWAR. Keuchel was lights out at home, winning 15 of his 18 starts with a 1.46 ERA.