Verlander eyes second straight AL Cy Young Award

Detroit righty Justin Verlander was a unanimous selection for the American League Cy Young Award last season.

The voting likely won't be as lopsided as it was a year ago, but the end result could be the same when the Baseball Writers' Association of America hands out the AL Cy Young Award on Wednesday.

Verlander was not as dominant as he was in 2011, but still enjoyed another magnificent campaign, going 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and an AL-best 239 strikeouts. He also finished the year strong, surrendering just two earned runs over 28 innings in his final four starts to the regular season.

The AL's reigning MVP, who tossed a league-leading 238 1/3 innings, separated himself from the pack down the stretch, posting a 5-1 mark with a 1.93 ERA over his last six starts.

Verlander's other finalists include Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim righty Jered Weaver and Tampa Bay's David Price.

Weaver, who finished second to Verlander in Cy Young voting last year, was terrific this season, going 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA. He also struck out 142 batters and walked just 45. Of course, the highlight of his came when he threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins on May 2, where he faced 29 batters and struck out nine.

He also had the lowest average against (.214), and WHIP (1.02).

But thanks in part to some injuries, Weaver worked just 188 2/3 innings over 30 starts. He also had a 6.14 ERA in a five-start stretch from Aug. 12-Sept. 2.

Price, meanwhile led the AL (and was second in the majors) with a 2.56 ERA and shared the AL lead in wins with Weaver at 20. However, he was eighth in innings pitched (211), sixth in strikeouts (205) and tied for third in WHIP (1.10).

He was the runner-up for this award in 2010 to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.

Price has already collected some hardware this offseason and was named the AL's Most Outstanding Pitcher by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The National League Cy Young Award winner also will be announced on Wednesday.