Justin Verlander’s stiffest competition for the AL Cy Young will likely be his own teammate, Gerrit Cole. Blessings upon Lance Lynn and his FIP-blessed season, as well as former Astros arm Charlie Morton, but both Cole and Verlander have been nearly insurmountable all season. Verlander’s edge may come from his ERA-excellence, as his cluster luck has been immense this year (27 of his 33 HRs allowed have been solo shots!), but he remains a dominant force on the hill. The Mariners have chosen to counter him with every healthy LHH bat they have, leaving only J.P. Crawford on the bench as he nurses his way back to health.
Yusei Kikuchi remains trick-or-treat, but hopefully the reasonable control in two of his last three starts can track through once more in what could be his final crack against the Astros in 2019.