Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 Cy Young Award (AL & NL)

The next installment of the Baseball Digest Daily Writers Awards is up, this time taking a look at the Cy Young award.

In the American League I took Roy Halladay over Cliff Lee backing it up with the following rationale,
For me, this wasn’t as difficult as it looked. Entering September, I was fairly convinced that Lee would be the winner. However, an article at Baseball Prospectus (free content) led me to thinking Halladay deserves more credit then he is receiving. The theory was that Halladay had faced substantially superior offensive clubs. The evidence is substantial and enough for me to take Halladay as the American League’s best pitcher.
I am disappointed that my colleagues were intending on taking Lee as the unanimous choice for AL CY before I stepped in. While the ballot is clearly close and an argument can be made for both pitchers, backing up one's argument with wins and wins on a poor team are simply not substantial in my eyes.

However, I am glad that Francisco Rodriguez didn't get much support-although any is probably too much. The reason being, there is a legitimate argument which supports that Rodriguez wasn't even a top 2 or 3 reliever in the American League in 2008.

The National League became more of a tight race then I had initially anticipated. In fact, my research was more or less done in search of my third place pitcher. After which, Johan Santana closed the gap on Tim Lincecum and allowed justification for either pitcher at the top of one's ballot.

My rationale behind picking Lincecum over Santana was the following,
When I first sat down to make my picks, I wasn’t even going to look into the numbers. I figured I knew the story and didn’t need any convincing. While my opinion didn’t change after I eventually looked at the numbers, it became surprisingly close after looking at VORP, WPA, WS, PRC, and SNLVAR. Lincecum came away on top, with Santana finishing second, and fellow Canadian Ryan Dempster completing his full circle surprise season.

I’m not shocked that Dempster isn’t getting more play in the upcoming days of Free Agency, but I am shocked that he isn’t getting much love from writers on the Cy Young ballot.
What blows my mind is that Brandon Webb keeps getting the support he does. There is no denying he is a solid pitcher. He is a work horse and extraordinarily durable. If I'm building a team, he's probably one of about 10 pitchers that I consider building around. However, the guy simply does not put up the statistics to merit being a Cy Young candidate.

As I promised with my Rookie of the Year picks, I fully intend on putting together a more substantial post for my post-season awards. Hopefully I can wait until the Rays come back from being down 3 games to 1.

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