Justin Verlander highlights his own merits for Cy Young

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Justin Verlander

On this Election Day, it's clear for whom Justin Verlander would've cast his ballot.

Himself.

At least, when it comes to the American League Cy Young race.

Verlander on Monday afternoon defended his case to win his second Cy Young Award when he sent a prominent baseball writer a spreadsheet detailing all the statistical categories he's No. 1 in – more than the other two finalists, Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox (and a former Tigers teammate) and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians.

Dan Connolly, a Baltimore Orioles beat writer, wrote in a Twitter post:

"I think the stunner, as (Zach) Britton's agent points out, no AL starter had a dominant season. And the guy who dominated still didn't get in the top 3."

Britton, the Orioles’ closer, was surprisingly left out of the top three, when the finalists for the Baseball Writers Association of America Awards were announced on MLB Network.

There's no debating that sentiment. Britton had one of the most dominant seasons ever by a closer, allowing four earned runs in 67 innings.

Verlander didn't take issue with that opinion.

He didn't appreciate someone saying no starting pitcher had a dominant season, so he tweeted the spreadsheet – originally created and posted on the Bless You Boys blog – at Connolly, with no words needed.

Verlander's lead in eight categories was highlighted in yellow – games started (34), strikeouts (254), WHIP (1.00), batting average against (.207), innings (227.2), WAR (6.6 from Baseball Reference, 5.2 from Fangraphs) and games allowing two earned runs or fewer (23).

Porcello led in wins (22-4) and run support (7.63), and tied Verlander in Fangraphs' WAR; Kluber didn't lead in any of the categories listed.

"Admittedly, lotta yellow," Connolly wrote back. "But talking starter dominance, I'm partial to 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8.4 WAR. That's dominant."

Those stats, by the way, were Verlander's from 2011, when he won his first and only Cy Young Award, plus the Most Valuable Player Award.

Verlander seemed to just be having some fun.

Earlier, he sent out congratulations to his fellow finalists, plus Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer, a favorite to win the Tigers first AL Rookie of the Year award since Verlander in 2016.

"No negativity here," Verlander tweeted. "I just enjoy the debate and the stats. That's 1 of the things that makes baseball great."

Or, is that what makes baseball great ... again?

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter @tonypaul1984

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