After missing most of 2020 and the whole 2021 campaigns while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, he had the tall task of returning to full form at 39 years old this year.
Not only did he complete his comeback successfully and not face any health-related setbacks with his arm, but was so good that he might be the American League’s strongest candidate to win the Cy Young award.
The team, of course, is trying to help his case, showing some of his most dominant stats.
“JV’s 2022 season + ranks among qualified pitchers: 1.75 ERA (1st in MLB), 18 wins (1st in AL), 116 hits (t-1st in MLB), 0.83 WHIP (1st in MLB), .186 AVG (t-1st in MLB),” the Astros tweeted.
JV's 2022 season + ranks among qualified pitchers:
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 7, 2022
Verlander quietly won two parts of the American League’s pitching Triple Crown: he led the junior circuit in wins and ERA.
Verlander Returned To His Old Dominant Ways
He was short on the strikeouts because his former teammate Gerrit Cole, now with the New York Yankees, had 257 to Verlander’s 185.
Verlander was back to his most dominant version, perhaps even better than that.
He was one of the toughest pitchers to his against, as his .186 batting average suggests, and rarely hurt himself with walks as his 0.83 WHIP indicates.
After leading several statistical categories at 39 years old while leading the best team of the AL to the playoffs, the Astros and their fans feel that Verlander deserves to win his third Cy Young award.
Sure, he has a lot of competition: Dylan Cease, Shane McClanahan, and even Shohei Ohtani have legitimate cases to be voted as the best pitchers in the AL; but Verlander’s ridiculously low ratios should give him the edge when all is said and done.