Friday, September 10, 2010

Why There Shouldn't Even BE A Debate Over the AL Cy Young Award This Year

Posnanski has it covered:

When you compare him [Sabathia] to, say, Felix Hernandez in any way except wins, he falls short. He has thrown fewer innings, given up more runs, given up more hits, has a significantly higher ERA, has walked more batters, has struck out fewer batters, has fewer complete games, does not have a shutout. Those advanced statistics that some people love and other people despise make it very clear hasn't just been better than Sabathia - he has been a lot better. Hernandez's WAR is 5.7/5.9 (Baseball Reference/Fangraphs) while Sabathia's is 4.0. Hernandez's fielding independent numbers are all markedly better than Sabathia. Hernandez has also faced better competition, not least because he has had to face the Yankees three times while Sabathia has gotten to face the Mariners three times. And those Mariners are as bad an offensive team as I can ever remember.
Yes, yes, and yes. It's ridiculous that anybody still needs to say this, but I'll say it again: wins tell us almost nothing. What little useful information we can derive from wins tells us about as much as a team's offensive abilities as it does about a pitcher's abilities. There was a time where wins were a good indicator of a pitcher, but that time is long, long past. Based on any metric, King Felix is this year's AL Cy Young winner, and it's not even close. It's the most open-and-shut case in the Cy Young in a long time.

So of course, don't be remotely surprised if and when the Cy Young voters give it to Sabathia instead.