Baseball Thoughts: Cy Young Awards, by Robert BC Carlson

Baseball thoughts:

— No surprise that Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger were unanimously chosen as the Rookies of the Year. No one else came close to their performances.

— I predict the Indians’ Corey Kluber will win the AL Cy Young Award, to be announced tomorrow night. While the Red Sox ace Chris Sale was almost as good (by some measures, they are in a statistical heat), Kluber had the better ERA and was more consistent throughout the year (Sale struggled in the last two months of the season). Fangraphs lists Sale as having the best Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of any pitcher, but rival website Baseball Reference (which measures WAR a little differently) has Kluber on top. I think a case could be made for Kluber as the AL’s MVP, but that is an honor rarely accorded to pitchers.

— Blessed are the Nationals, who hold two of the three NL Cy Young finalists, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg; the other is the formidable Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw. This one is too close to call, frankly. Some will give the edge to Kershaw, who led the league in both wins (18) and ERA (2.31). Reigning Cy Young winner Scherzer had the superior WAR and was better overall when you look at the so-called “deeper stats” (I won’t go into those in detail, but Scherzer had the MLB’s best Expected Weighted On-Base Average, a number that takes into account such factors as how hard balls were hit against a pitcher and at what launch angles). I can’t guess which factors the voters considered this year, but I’m pretty sure this vote will be very close.

— I’ll discuss MVPs in a later post.

— Any other baseball fanatics out there have thoughts on the Cy Young?

Robert “B.C.” Carlson

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