Dr. Doom here (via Doug) again with an awards-voting post. We’re switching leagues (and awards), as we vote for the Cy Young in the AL. I don’t think I’ve ever written a Cy Young post before, so here we go.
There are two clear frontrunners for the award. Let’s look first at Chris Sale. Sale paced the AL in strikeouts with 308. (When was the last time someone had 308 strikeouts in a season? It was in 2002 – a little fella named Randy Johnson.) Sale also led the league in strikeout rate – 12.9 per 9 innings, the third-highest rate in history, and placed second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.16). Sale’s 2.90 ERA and 157 ERA+ were also second ranked, while his 2.45 FIP and 214.1 IP paced the junior circuit. And, oh yeah, those traditional numbers? Sale also won 17 games, only one off the league lead.
The other strong candidate in the AL is Corey Kluber. Kluber posted an unbelievably low .869 WHIP – second lowest (behind Pedro‘s .737 in 2000) in the AL in the DH era, and a healthy .046 better than Felix Hernandez (2014) in third place. Kluber pretty much finished first or second in the league in everything: K:BB (7.36, 1st); FIP (2.50, 2nd); WHIP (.970, 2nd); walks (1.6/9, 1st); strikeouts (265, 2nd); ERA (2.25, 1st); and wins (18, first).
Of course, while there are two really strong candidates, we all have five-man ballots to fill out, so who else has an interesting case?
- Justin Verlander split his time between two teams, but was third in the league in innings and pitched lights out down the stretch for Houston. He also led the league in starts at 34.
- Luis Severino was third in the league in a lot of things: ERA (2.98), ERA+ (3rd), FIP (3.08), and WHIP (1.040).
- Ervin Santana started incredibly hot and managed the league’s third-best win total (16) and 4th best ERA (3.09).
- Carlos Carrasco tied for the league lead in wins with 18, pitched 200 innings, and ranked third in K:BB (4.91).
There are other candidates – plenty of ’em. So enjoy, and good luck sorting out who’s going where on your ballot!
DIRECTIONS: Please list 5 players on your Cy Young ballot in a NEW comment below (ballots with fewer than 5 candidates will be thrown out; I ask for a new comment because it’s easy to lose one if it’s in a reply, especially since we got rid of numbered comments). Ballots will be scored as per BBWAA scoring (7-4-3-2-1). Strategic voting is discouraged, though that’s unenforceable, so please just don’t do it, as the goal here is to (somewhat) mimic the BBWAA process. The post will be live for about a week; I will comment shortly after the post goes live to tell you when ballots are due. Please discuss and vote whenever you’d like, but there will be NO vote changes, so don’t vote until you’re sure you’re ready!