MLB Cy Young races: Breaking down potential ballot with Robbie Ray and Zack Wheeler taking top honors

A staple on Friday for the previous month-plus has actually been me signing in on the race for the Cy Young in each league. I’ve been measuring how I believe the ballot body would jointly slot the pitchers, however today we’re simply going to publish what my tally in each league would appear like. 

For those who dislike what follows, I have some great news for you. I do not have a Cy Young vote this season (I have NL Manager of the Year). I still go through the procedure on each and every single award so I’m in practice, nevertheless, so this is precisely as it would have been had I got a vote this year in this classification. 

There are 5 areas in Cy Young ballot, so it’s simply an easy 1-5 in each league. 

It’s a bit much easier to figure out than MVP, in my viewpoint, since we have a much smaller sized swimming pool of prospects, certainly, and there isn’t a “value” connected to make us quibble with how to evaluate that versus group efficiency. No, the Cy Young is simply for the very best pitcher, so if his group is awful, it does not — or a minimum of it should not — matter. 

Now I’ll let you understand what I appreciate. We’ll begin with what I do not: Wins and losses. But Matt, a pitcher’s task is to win. Nope. A pitcher’s task is to put his group in position to win as finest he can. How? 

  • Most significantly, run avoidance. Keeping runs the board. That’s as basic as it gets. It’s AGE. Some choose FIP, however I’m still an AGE person. AGE+ assists change for ballpark, too. 
  • Workload. The finest pitchers do not merely assist their group win when they pitch. They likewise consume innings to conserve the bullpen. Innings pitched.
  • Keeping runners off base, which minimizes pressure on the defense and assists a pitcher work much deeper. WHIP. Low stroll rate. Low struck rate. 
  • Again, keeping pressure off his defense. This time by missing out on bats. Strikeouts. Strikeout rate. 

I’ll likewise take a look at WAR (it’s a catch-all of the above) and win likelihood included. 

Also, as kept in mind in MVP watch, I do not care about predictive statistics here. It does not matter if something appears unsustainable approaching next season since it’s been sustained for this season which’s all that matters in handing out awards. 

American League

1. Robbie Ray, Blue Jays
2. Gerrit Cole, Yankees
3. José Berríos, Blue Jays
4. Frankie Montas, Athletics
5. Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox

Ray leads the league in AGE, WHIP, AGE+, strikeouts and innings pitched. With that mix, it’s an extremely simple choice for me, even if I’m not stating it’s a blowout. It’s definitive, unlike the NL. 

Cole is likewise a simple 2nd and would be the clear winner if not for Ray. Berríos and Montas have actually wonderfully integrated AGE, WHIP, AGE+ and innings pitched like Ray, simply not rather too. Eovaldi is liked by WAR and FIP while assisted by AGE+, painting the photo that he’s been injured a lot by his defense and simply bad fortune, yet he’s still 8th in AGE and seventh in WHIP. 

Several White Sox was difficult omissions, however nobody integrated outstanding run avoidance with an appropriate work. Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease came closest. 

Also close: Mariners ace Chris Flexen. 

National League

1. Zack Wheeler, Phillies
2. Walker Buehler, Dodgers
3. Max Scherzer, Dodgers
4. Corbin Burnes, Brewers
5. Brandon Woodruff, Brewers

This was exceptionally close and it is difficult to arrange them out, however a lot eventually boiled down to innings. For example, while Burnes has a better AGE at 2.29 than Wheeler’s 2.78, Wheeler tossed 48 1/3 more innings. He had almost 30 percent more innings. I do not understand where the line is, precisely, however I seem like with that much less work, the space in AGE and WHIP (where it was paper thin) needs to be a lot more. Innings are the separation point on Buehler (2.49 AGE, 0.97 WHIP in 202 2/3 innings) and Scherzer (2.46 AGE, 0.86 WHIP in 179 1/3 innings). Burnes and Woodruff were both outstanding, however were restricted in innings. 

These 5 were so close that I would not argue much with rushing them a bit, though I seem like Woodruff is absolutely 5. I believe what I’m stating is that you can put Woodruff 5th, put the leading 4 in any order you desire and I’d state it’s sensible. 

Kevin Gausman and Adam Wainwright were the most difficult omissions, however we just had 5 areas. They’ll each get down-ballot votes and it’s significant since it’ll be the very first time in Gausman’s nine-year profession and the very first time for the 40-year-old Wainwright because 2014. 

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