5 reasons Price worthy of AL Cy Young Award

5 reasons Price worthy of AL Cy Young Award

TORONTO -- David Price helped revitalize a franchise with his impact in Toronto, and now he has a chance to make history if the wins the American League Cy Young Award.

Price is looking to become the second pitcher to win a Cy Young Award after being traded midway through the season. Rick Sutcliffe is the only pitcher who has done it, after he was traded from the Indians to the Cubs and went 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 1984.

That could change tonight, when the Baseball Writers' Association of America announces the AL's top pitcher for 2015. Houston's Dallas Keuchel and Oakland's Sonny Gray also are finalists for the award, with a winner set to be announced at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

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Price finished the year 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 32 combined starts for the Tigers and Blue Jays. His 220 1/3 innings were third in the league, he was fourth with 225 strikeouts and fifth with a 1.08 WHIP. There was consistency across the board, but Keuchel was equally impressive in many categories and finished 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts.

Price earns win No. 16

The award could go either way, but here's a closer look at some of the reasons why Price has a chance to pick up the second AL Cy Young Award of his career:

1. Wins above replacement value
According to FanGraphs, Price posted an AL-best 6.4 WAR, while Chris Sale was second at 6.2 and Keuchel was third at 6.1. The only pitchers with a higher number this season could be found in the National League: Clayton Kershaw (8.6) and Jake Arrieta (7.3).

Price's 100th career win

2. Sparkling ERA
Price had an impressive 2.53 ERA in Detroit, but his numbers with the Blue Jays were even better. He had a 2.30 mark in 11 starts and the overall average was 2.45, which ranked first in the AL. Keuchel was second at 2.48 and Gray was third at 2.73.

3. The division decider
One of the main reasons the Blue Jays acquired Price was to match him up against the Yankees. In four starts vs. New York after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Price went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA (five earned runs in 26 1/3 innings) and was in line to win a fourth decision but his bullpen wasn't able to hold the lead. Price went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA down the stretch and helped Toronto overcome an 8 1/2-game deficit to overcome the Yankees and take the division crown.

Price's dominant start

4. The competition
Both pitchers played integral roles in getting their teams to the postseason, but Price has the slight edge in matchups vs. the league's best opponents. The 30-year-old went 14-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 23 starts against teams with a winning percentage above .500, compared to 12-4 with a 2.67 ERA for Keuchel. In high-leverage situations. Price limited opponents to a .445 OPS, with Keuchel's at .646.

5. The peripherals
When it comes to fielding independent pitching (FIP), Price finished the year at 2.78, with Keuchel at 2.91. Price also had more strikeouts (225 vs 216) and surrendered fewer walks (47 vs 51). Keuchel makes his case with a league-best 162 ERA+, 232 innings and a sparkling 1.017 WHIP.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.