Monday, September 27, 2010

AL Cy Young...A .500 pitcher?

By Mike Z.

I'm back! Well, kind of. I have some time, so I figured I'd give you a bunch more numbers than you probably don't care to look at. The AL Cy Young debate gets me pretty fired up because I feel there's a clear cut winner, so I'm going to give this my best shot. I'll try to keep it short so you don't get lost in the numbers (plus it took a while to find all the numbers I wanted to use). I used both and Here's a blind comparison of two pitchers:

33 229.3 3.26 1.21 189 7.42 3.82 4.6
33 241.6 2.31 1.06 227 8.45 3.26 6.1

Now, which pitcher is 20-7, and which is 12-12?

The first line is for CC Sabathia, who has a 20-7 record, and really is having a fantastic season. These numbers are almost right in line with how he pitched last season too. Season after season, he's been a workhorse and earned his record.

However, how can you say he's had a better season than Felix Hernandez, who's ERA is almost a full run below CC's. Here are Felix's overall stats in relation to the rest of the AL:
Strikeouts-2nd (Jered Weaver 1st with 229)
WHIP-2nd (Cliff Lee 1st at 1.03)
xFIP-3rd (Francisco Liriano 1st at 3.08)
WAR - 3rd (Francisco Liriano 1st at 6.6)

Not only is Hernandez pitching phenomenally, he's dominating the entire league as well. It's not easy to get any wins with the Mariners' offense backing you up. The fewest number of runs scored since the DH was added in 1970 was by Oakland in 1978 with 532. Seattle is on pace for 521. In his 12 losses, Seattle has scored a TOTAL of 14 runs. He has the lowest run support in the AL at 3.09. In his 33 starts this year, he's received 1 run or less of support in 10 of them.

Keep in mind that Hernandez's ERA was 0.2 higher last year, his WHIP was 0.08 higher, and had 10 less strikeouts in 2009. His record last year, when his numbers were "worse" than this year? 19-5

I'm not taking anything away from CC, because he's definitely deserving to be in the top 2-3 in voting. What frustrates/worries me still is that all the old-time writers who get to vote on this may still be too stubbornly fixed on win-loss record to ever consider voting for him. That would really be a shame, because he is as deserving as almost anybody who has won in the past.

Brandon Flowers - Crossfire

...and to keep you entertained from now until my next post


  1. Solid post. I think we can have faith that voters writers will do the right thing.The AL Cy Young winner last year, Zack Greinke didn't lead the league in wins. Granted, he had 16, but he also played for the Royals.

  2. Felix should definitely get it. He pitched 88% quality starts. The closest anyone has ever come to this in the last ten years is Randy Johnson in 2002 when he threw 86% quality starts. The only research I did was on ESPN's website and that's as far as it goes back, so I'm not sure if this has ever been done.

    I've got another one to throw in there.

    217.1 IP, 3.02 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 229 SO, 9.5 SO/9, 3.5 xFIP, 6.0 WAR

    These are Jered Weaver's numbers, who I think will finish in third place this year even though his numbers are better than Sabathia's. Felix has him in IP and ERA pretty convincingly.

  3. I'm convinced, and I hope King Felix wins.

  4. I don't disagree, in fact I think Felix should win as well. But I don't see the writers passing on a Yankee to award Felix. The West coast bias will be in full effect here. Again, I don't think CC should win, but its what I expect.

    Its the same school of thought to why I think Cano will win AL MVP, although he has a much better case in my opinion.