In case you haven't noticed, Justin Verlander is all of a sudden the best pitcher in the American League. Well, actually he's been that for over a year now. But now he's got the stats to match it, and people are finally starting to realize what's been true all along.
Currently, JV leads the AL in innings pitched, in strikeouts, is second in wins and fifth in ERA. He's second in complete games with 3, third in K/BB, and first overall in WHIP (walks + hits / inning pitched). In the era of statistical obsession, Verlander is turning into a household name. But forget all the numbers, one fact is most impressive - he's the only pitcher since maybe 2001 Randy Johnson who can throw triple-digits speeds into the 9th inning.
Right now he's well on his way to a Cy Young, and has the Tigers 1 game ahead of Cleveland. But we shouldn't get too comfortable, because starting tonight we have 6 straight road games against NL West teams, while Cleveland gets the luxury of a three-game homestand against the Pirates.
In other news, it's just a few months away from football season and we still don't know squat. By this time last year I was ranking the fantasy tight ends and had written tens of thousands of words about the upcoming season. Now I am holding off on my thoughts and predictions until I have a reason to think and predict. Rumor has it we're close to a deal, but I won't believe anything until it's done.
This timing stinks, because the Lions are set to contend for the playoffs as long as Stafford doesn't completely suck.