NL Cy Young

Time to unveil my early NL Cy Young pick — and darkhorse — for this season.

The pick: Roger Clemens. Yes, Chris Carpenter is having a nice season. But what Clemens is doing at his age — 43 — is mind-boggling. He’s 7-1 over his last 10 starts with a 1.06 ERA. His ERA on the road is a miniscule 0.37. And let’s not forget, the Rocket pitches his home games in a hitter’s park. His ERA at Minute Maid Park is a more-than-respectable 2.28. And if it weren’t for Clemens’ run over the past six weeks, the Astros would be Wild Card also-rans. Instead, they are leading the pack.

Carpenter has been just as dominating over the past six weeks. He’s 8-0 in his last 10 starts with a 0.97 ERA. He also has more wins (16) than the Rocket (11). But Clemens’ overall ERA (1.38) is better than Carpenter’s (2.26).

And yes, I am giving Clemens the edge because of his age. He was a few months from his 13th birthday when Carpenter was born.

The darkhorse: Jake Peavy. Can you imagine his numbers if he were completely healthy? Peavy leads the Majors in strikeouts, and if the Padres are to win the NL Jest, they are going to need a sharp Peavy. He’s the kind of guy that can pull an Orel Hershiser and let a team ride his back. Peavy’s ERA is a respectable 3.11, and he has the advantage of pitching in a cavernous pitching park.

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