September 19, 2010

CC wins 20th, but should he win Cy Young?

CC Sabathia won his 20th game of the year last night against the Orioles, the first time he’s accomplished the feat in his 10-year career. However, what do wins even mean toward the Cy Young voting?

The fact is, pitchers can’t win games by themselves. If a starter throws 20 innings of shutout ball in a game, but his offense doesn’t give him any support, he won’t pick up the W.

Wins come down to run support. It’s not the only thing, but it plays a major factor in whether a pitcher earns the win or not. This is why Sabathia will not win the Cy Young this year and Felix Hernandez will.

Pitcher ERA Run Support Wins
Sabathia 3.05 5.99 20
Hernandez 2.35 3.16 12

There you have it. And with a little mathematics, assuming each starter had the same run support (4.575, the mean), Sabathia winds up with 15 wins and Hernandez gets 17.

Wins should be disregarded in the Cy Young voting. Yes, something can be said about a pitcher’s ability to win games, but a pitcher’s ability to limit the number of times the opposition scores is the biggest key.

Felix gets my vote.

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