Buccholz, Lester In Early Crop of AL Cy Young Candidates


I was having dinner with friends last night in Richmond’s Church Hill district. My buddy turned to me and said, “Buchholz and Lester are wrecking my fantasy league. This can’t continue.” While his second statement is true, this can’t continue, Boston’s one-two punch is currently the best in baseball.

April 20, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) pitches during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 7, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) pitches to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Combined, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are 9-0 with a 1.73 ERA. Their stat lines are so similar as to be nearly indistinguishable from one another. Lester has been very, very good. Buchholz has been dominant. Lester’s 28 strikeouts, 1.11 WHIP and 10 walks rank him among AL league leaders in pitching efficiency. Buchholz’s 39 Ks – second only to a surprisingly high 43 for Ryan Dempster, 1.01 WHIP and 13 walks and one additional win currently gives him the edge over Lester.

In the AL, Buchholz is tied with the Rays’ Matt Moore, who is also 5-0, for most wins. Moore has an even better ERA of 1.13 and WHIP of 0.88. Buchholz and Lester are in the top 20 in nearly every statistically significant category. When combined, they are ranked 1 and 3 respectively in the AL.

It’s true that this can’t keep going forever but their combined quick starts have been an oh so pleasant turnaround from the 2012 season. Keys for success going forward for Buchholz will be continued health, unlike his injury-plagued season last year. Lester has always enjoyed good health. Key to keeping it going for him will be staying focused, even in the face of bad calls, that last year led to mental letdowns and resulting shellings.

Yes, Dan, Lester and Buccholz are wrecking your fantasy league but right now they’re making my real-time watching delicious.