Saturday, September 22, 2007

AL Cy Young Award: Beckett or Sabathia? And Let's Not Forget Santana. [Addison Quale]

The final stats aren't in quite yet. But we do have a pretty good sense of who might win the AL Cy Young award (the NL Cy Young is a no-brainer in Jake Peavy of SD). The two obvious candidates seem to be Beckett and Sabathia. In Boston, it seems to be a slam-dunk for Beckett. I'm not so sure. Here are their lines:

20 6 29 1 194.7 179 68 15 40 188 3.14 4.54 145 1.125
18 7 33 4 234.0 230 83 19 36 205 3.19 4.41 138 1.137

You can probably tell who is who. But just glancing at these stats, they are for all intents and purposes identical. Similar wins and losses. Similar Strikeouts. Similar ERA. Similar WHIP. There's one BIG difference though. One pitcher has thrown 234 innings and the other has thrown only 194 innings. That's 4 extra starts. And that's an average of 7.1 and 6.7 innings per start respectively. If you didn't know already, Beckett's line is the one on top and Sabathia's is the one below. It's C.C. Sabathia who has pitched 4 extra starts and who has averaged more innings pitched each of those 33 starts as well. These pitchers are essentially identical in their numbers. But Sabathia has done it more. He never went to the DL as Beckett did. In my opinion, therefore, as much as I love Beckett on the Sox, Sabathia should be the man for the Cy Young. But before we finish up, we should acknowledge that Johan Santana is still probably the best pitcher in the AL. He still is tops in terms of WHIP, has a comparable ERA and his strikeouts are the most of any. He isn't too far behind Sabathia either in IP with 216. If he had gotten some better run support he'd be picking up his 3rd Cy Young award.

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