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Searching for an American League Cy Young Award tiebreaker

Before we get into a contention about a American League Cy Young, let us note that what Chris Sale does in U.S. Cellular Field is underrated. Baseball-Reference has it as a neutral park, yet it’s positively one of a best parks for home runs in baseball. He usually competence be a best pitcher in baseball, most reduction a American League, yet he usually didn’t chuck adequate innings. The 8 starts he didn’t make had to go to someone like Andre Rienzo, who didn’t representation good since he is a sculptor or muralist.

No, a Cy Young is roughly positively a two-man competition between Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez. Folks have been debating a merits of both for weeks, and they’ll discuss a contingent preference for years. If there were ever a year to bust out a Mike Cuellar/Denny McLain machine and cut a endowment in half, this is it. As is, we have to collect one. That means we’re looking for tiebreakers.

Leonard Nimoy voice: This is a hunt for tiebreakers.

Hernandez threw 236 innings. Kluber threw 235⅔. Hernandez struck out 248 and walked 46. Kluber struck out 269 and walked 51. Hernandez led a joining in ERA. Kluber led a joining in FIP. They will be foolish tiebreakers. That’s how tighten this competition is. Stupid tiebreakers are all we have. Here we go.

Alphabetical order

Okay, not that stupid. But, quick, that minute comes first, H or K? Now you’re singing a strain for children, we dummy. In this tiebreaker, Felix Hernandez wins, that means this tiebreaker is usually as good as any, deliberation that Hernandez is utterly estimable of a award.


Ugh. we mean, we like WAR. Use it all a time. I’m prejudiced to a Baseball-Reference chronicle since it’s easy to hunt for things with Play Index, yet both versions have their place. I’m still nervous about regulating it to establish that pitcher was improved when a numbers are this close:

Baseball-Reference WAR
Kluber: 7.4
Hernandez: 6.8

FanGraphs WAR
Kluber: 7.3
Hernandez: 6.2

More from a group sites

Seattle Mariners

Cleveland Indians

More from a group sites

The additional win for FanGraphs is a large deal. It’s also an try to apart pitching and defense, that is unusually tricky. The some-more and some-more innings we have in a sample, a some-more expected it is for ERA to outperform FIP in terms of predictive powers. In a representation of 236 innings, ERA and FIP are about passed even. Which means that Kluber competence have pitched most improved than Hernandez, unless he didn’t.

As for a .6 disproportion in a Baseball-Reference WAR, get outta here. WAR is good for distilling all into a singular series that’s park-, era-, and league-adjusted. But if we use it as if it’s a apparatus accurate adequate to cut diamonds, we merit all a one-sentence-paragraph columns that 60-year-old columnists can chuck during you.

This is a recklessness tiebreaker, tough, so we’re looking for whatever corner we can get. At slightest both systems determine Kluber was incrementally better. As a blunt intent to kick a hostile side into submission, WAR shouldn’t be used. As something to chuck on a tiebreaker pile, since not? Throw it on. It’s Kluber, if barely.


Oh, acquire back, 60-year-old columnists. Apologies for besmirching your respect adult there. This difficulty is for you.

I’ve shamefully certified liking pitcher wins in a past, yet usually as a oddity that needs to be supplemented with other statistics. Still, here we go: Kluber led a joining with 18 wins, and Hernandez had 15.

That tells me a few things. One, that a Indians strike improved than a Mariners. Two, that it’s probable Hernandez had worse fitness with his bullpen. Three, it … no, that flattering most covers it. But when we frame divided a statistic and usually use any team’s record when their particular ace was pitching, both a Mariners and Indians were 22-12. Team wins don’t assistance during all, even if you’re meddlesome in them. And pitching wins are a lousy tiebreaker, formed on things out of a pitcher’s control.

Still, it’s Kluber here, too. For what that’s worth. Which is very, very, unequivocally little.

Previous endowment history

This is a tiebreaker that exists in quantum superposition. Hernandez has a Cy Young. Kluber does not. Do we give a tiebreaker to Kluber since you’re meddlesome in swelling a resources around? Or do we give it to Hernandez since you’re used to him being a burning ace of a underworld, since we usually got used to Kluber this year? we don’t consider there’s a wrong answer, that is a thesis of this award, apparently. we gaunt toward a new blood, if ever so slightly.

On a other hand, a second Cy Young competence be something a Hall of Fame voter needs to send him over a corner on Hernandez, since Kluber substantially isn’t expected to have that kind of career.

On a other other hand, maybe this is a closest Kluber will ever get to glory. Hernandez has an endowment and is about 60 percent of a approach down a Hall of Fame path. Just give it to a new guy.

I don’t know. I’m confused.

I’ll go with Kluber here, though.

Complete games and shutouts


Kluber had 3 finish games and one shutout this year.

Hernandez had none.

This would be a second time in a quarrel that a AL Cy Young leader didn’t chuck a finish game. That kind of bugs me. It shouldn’t. It’s not like we complain when a pitcher on my favorite group throws 8 superb innings, that is something Hernandez did 10 times this season. And what does a two-out, ninth-inning double from Albert Pujols meant when comparing Hernandez to Kluber? It’s a non-sequitur. If Pujols had a bad at-bat and waved during 3 pitches, would Hernandez magically be better? Not really.

Still, it bugs me. This isn’t a tiebreaker about value. It’s a tiebreaker about aesthetics.

All told, when we supplement a capricious tiebreakers up, it’s a conflict of tender ERA and a third of an inning corner (Hernandez) vs. WAR, FIP, pitcher wins, finish games, shutouts, and strikeouts. we caring about any of those so unequivocally little. When we keep tossing them on a scale, though, it moves, ever so slightly.

Corey Kluber should be a 2014 American League Cy Young winner, by a teensiest of margins, even if we have small thought of who he is or how he got here.

Article source: http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/11/12/7207705/searching-for-an-american-league-cy-young-award-tiebreaker

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