Today we hand out the hardware for each league’s top pitcher, as voted by the FanSided staff. The American League winner should be no surprise. But the National League award was hotly contested. Any of the top four hurlers on my list could have won the award without raising suspicion. My first place vote went to Cliff Lee. I felt like Lee’s six shutouts and his long stretches of scoreless innings proved his overall dominance. Lee also averaged over a strikeout per inning and walked only 42 batters all season.
My second place vote went to Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers ace led the league in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. He also tied for the league lead with 21 wins. How could I vote for Lee over Kershaw? Lee had to pitch in a much tougher home park. Also, as a lefty, Lee had to face more opposite-handed hitters. Like I said earlier, a case can be made for any of the top four candidates. I just wanted to make a case for my top pick.
Roy Halladay was next on my ballot. Cliff Lee’s teammate backed up his Cy Young Award winning 2010 season with another stellar campaign. Halladay led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and complete games while posting 19 victories. Ian Kennedy got my fourth place vote. The Arizona right-hander had a breakout season, going 21-4 while striking out 198 batters.