My Vote for American League Cy Young

This is the second in a series of four blog posts that I plan to type up between now and Friday; all of which will focus on who I feel should win the three major awards of Most Valuable Player (MVP), Cy Young and Rookie of the Year (ROY). (If you haven’t read my posts on who I think should win the AL MVP and NL MVP, go ahead and check those out now.)

When making a pick for American League Cy Young, I feel I can rely on stats (and not just personal opinion) more so than I did with Most Valuable Player. Unlike with MVP–where I didn’t let stats influence my decision–stats played a big role in my decision making for AL Cy Young; as the numbers don’t lie.

But don’t get the impression that the decision was an easy one. There are SO many good candidates for AL Cy Young that it made it impossible for me to choose just one player. So I ended up letting the stats do the deciding for me.

I took the American League starting pitchers with ERA’s below 3.00 (Price, Verlander and Weaver) and compared them from 20 different statistical angles. (I chose to use so many different stats to compare them because I felt that using Wins, ERA and strikeouts alone didn’t tell the whole story of how good a particular pitcher was.)

My method works as follows: The pitcher with the best numbers in a given category receives 1 point; with the 2nd and 3rd place pitcher receiving 2 and 3 points, respectively. (The occurence of a tie in a particular category results in the tied players receiving the same point amount.) In the end, the pitcher with the lowest combined total would be my pick for the Cy Young award.

It took me awhile to crunch all of the numbers, but once I finally finished, this was the result:

As stated earlier, the pitcher with the lowest combined total is declared (by me) as the winner. Which makes Jered Weaver the statistical choice (as well as my pick) for AL Cy Young.

I’m a bit shocked by the results, but not THAT shocked. (It’s not like Jered Weaver doesn’t deserve it.) Posting a record of 20-5, with a 2.81 ERA, Weaver is definitely worthy enough. He led the league in opponent batting average (.214), as well as WHIP (1.02), and in addition, pitched a no-hitter on May 2nd against the Twins.

Just icing on the cake for Jered Weaver–my pick for 2012 American League Cy Young.

Do you agree or disagree with me?

As always, feel free to leave a comment below.

7 Comments

I know I read it in the MVP entry, but I still don’t understand how you didn’t let stats influence your decision for MVP. I just don’t see how you could look at who is even a candidate for MVP, much less the MVP himself without looking at stats. Maybe not looking at any advanced stats, but I don’t think an MVP can be eyeballed. That’s how the whole culture of “you can’t have an MVP who isn’t on a playoff team” came to be. Anyway, that’s just my opinion. Oh, and I believe you know my “other” vote for Cy Young.
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

It’s kind of hard to explain (and maybe the way I’m looking at it is wrong–maybe I’m the one that needs explaining to) but I’ll do my best to clear things up. When I say that stats didn’t influence my decision for MVP, I don’t mean that I didn’t examine the stats when selecting my top two or three candidates (that would be impossible, as you pointed out), what I mean is that I don’t use them for 99.9% of my actual decision making–when I narrow it down to who I think deserves the award the most. I use my own personal observations and opinions of who I felt helped their team out the most (stats asside). Not the player that drove in the most runs; not the player that hit the most home runs; but the player that had the biggest impact on their team in terms of their mere pressence making the team better as a whole. That’s what I mean when I say I don’t use stats. Does that make sense? (Hopefully so; probably not–but I did the best I could at explaining it over the internet. I would be able to do a better job of it in a face-to-face conversation.) And yes, I’m aware of your “other” vote for Cy Young. Haha.

Gotcha. I think it was just the absolute that threw me off. I can see not using stats when you get down to just a couple people.
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Yeah, I probably could’ve worded it better, but I’ve been scrambling to stay on schedule with these award posts, so some things didn’t turn out like I wanted. Glad I could help you understand where I was coming from, though.

Well what are you doing wasting your time replying to a commenter? Get on the next one! :)
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Haha, I’ll get it done!

You must normalize your data by number of innings pitched. Yes Weaver led in many categories, but he also pitched the fewest innings.

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