Watch Verlander, Cease face off FREE on MLB.TV

August 17th, 2022

Justin Verlander on one side. Dylan Cease on the other. Two of the leading candidates for the American League Cy Young Award are going toe to toe right now, and you can stream this highly anticipated pitching matchup for free on MLB.TV.

The Astros’ showdown against the White Sox in Chicago is the Free Game of the Day presented by Roman.

Runs could be hard to come by with these two on the hill for their respective clubs.

Verlander and Cease rank first and third, respectively, among qualifying MLB pitchers in ERA -- Verlander with a 1.85 ERA over 136 innings and Cease with a 1.96 ERA over 128 2/3 innings.

Both pitchers enter this matchup on quite a roll. Verlander has put up a 1.17 ERA in 53 2/3 innings over his past eight starts. Cease, meanwhile, has allowed one earned run or fewer in each of his past 14 starts, notching a 0.66 ERA across 82 innings during that span.

After missing all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Verlander has dazzled in his return to the mound this year at the age of 39. In addition to his MLB-leading ERA figure, he leads the Majors in wins (15) and WHIP (0.86) and has recorded a 5.58 K/BB ratio, putting the right-hander in the mix for his third career Cy Young Award, a number only 10 pitchers have reached.

Cease is only in his fourth season and hasn't earned any Cy Young votes yet, but he made a dramatic leap last year before taking another huge step forward in 2022.

This marks his first matchup against Houston since Game 3 of last year’s ALDS. Making the first postseason start of his career, Cease didn’t get out of the second inning against the Astros, allowing five of the 10 batters he faced to reach base and giving up three runs, although Chicago pulled out a 12-6 victory. The White Sox ultimately would lose the series in four games.