Baseball Post: Who Should Win the National League Cy Young Award?

In my last post I examined the arguably twelve best pitchers in the American League this year up until September 8th. Now I will do the same for National League pitchers. To reitorate from last time:

I am using data gathered through September 17th: Innings Pitched (IP), Earned Run Average (ERA), Strikeouts (K), Walks (BB), Average number of strikeouts and walks per nine innings (K/9 and BB/9, respectively), Batting Average Against (AVG), and the average number of batters a pitcher has on base per inning, the Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP).

The best pitchers have:

-pitched many innings

-a low earned run average

-a high strikeout total and a high strikeout average per nine innings

-a low number of walks and a low walk average per nine innings

-a low batting average against, and

-rarely have men on base.

In addition to this criteria, I will further thin the crowd of pitchers by mandating that as of this writing they have pitched 150 innings, or roughly started 25 games and lasted 6 innings. I have also subtracted any intentional walks from the overall walk total, as pitchers generally have little say in the matter.

Now, let’s meet the (arguably) twelve best pitchers in the National League, listed alphabetically by surname. I am culling my stats from Major League Baseball’s official site. Pitchers will be scored 1-12 points per criterion depending on how they rank in the group; in other words, being first in strikeouts (K) is worth twelve points, whereas coming in ninth is worth four points. The highest possible score is 96. The pitcher with the highest cumulative score is the one I feel should win the NL Cy Young. Once again, all data is as of September 17, 2011.

Candidates:

Chris Carpenter

Innings Pitched: 213.1 (4th) : 9 points
ERA: 3.80 (11th): 2 points
K: 170 (T-9th): 4 points
BB: 46 (5th): 8 points
K/9: 7.17 (10th): 3 points
BB/9: 2.15 (6th): 7 points
AVG: .272 (12th): 1 point
WHIP: 1.31 (12th): 1 point

Total Score: 35 points, finishing tenth.

Matt Cain

Innings Pitched: 209.1 (5th) : 8 points
ERA: 2.79 (6th): 7 points
K: 170 (T-9th): 4 points
BB: 53 (11th): 2 points
K/9: 7.31 (9th): 4 points
BB/9: 2.41 (8th): 5 points
AVG: .216 (4th): 9 points
WHIP: 1.07 (5th): 8 points

Total Score: 47 points, finishing sixth.

Zack Greinke

Innings Pitched: 153.2 (12th) : 1 point
ERA: 3.87 (12th): 1 point
K: 181 (7th): 6 points
BB: 36 (2nd): 11 points
K/9: 10.60 (1st): 12 points
BB/9: 2.11 (5th): 8 points
AVG: .245 (10th): 3 points
WHIP: 1.18 (T-9th): 4 points

Total Score:  46 points, finishing tied for seventh.

Roy Halladay

Innings Pitched: 219.2 (T-1st) : 12 points
ERA: 2.34 (2nd): 11 points
K: 211 (4th): 9 points
BB: 28 (1st): 12 points
K/9: 8.64 (6th): 7 points
BB/9: 1.23 (1st): 12 points
AVG: .241 (9th): 4 points
WHIP: 1.04 (4th): 9 points

Total Score: 76 points, finishing third.

Cole Hamels

Innings Pitched: 199 (9th) : 4 points
ERA: 2.71 (5th): 8 points
K: 177 (8th): 5 points
BB: 39 (3rd): 10 points
K/9: 8.01 (7th): 6 points
BB/9: 1.85 (3rd): 10 points
AVG: .212 (2nd): 11 points
WHIP: 0.98 (T-1st): 12 points

Total Score: 66 points, finishing fourth.

Tim Hudson

Innings Pitched: 203 (8th) : 5 points
ERA: 3.19 (8th): 5 points
K: 150 (11th): 2 points
BB: 49 (T-6th): 7 points
K/9: 6.65 (12th): 1 point
BB/9: 2.44 (9th): 4 points
AVG: .232 (7th): 6 points
WHIP: 1.13 (7th): 6 points

Total Score: 36 points, finishing ninth.

Ian Kennedy

Innings Pitched: 208 (6th) : 7 points
ERA: 2.99 (7th): 6 points
K: 182 (6th): 7 points
BB: 52 (10th): 3 points
K/9: 7.88 (8th): 5 points
BB/9: 2.25 (7th): 6 points
AVG: .233 (8th): 5 points
WHIP: 1.12 (6th): 7 points

Total Score: 46 points, finishing tied for seventh.

Clayton Kershaw

Innings Pitched: 218.2 (3rd) : 10 points
ERA: 2.30 (1st): 12 points
K: 236 (1st): 12 points
BB: 49 (T-6th): 7 points
K/9: 9.71 (2nd): 11 points
BB/9: 2.10 (4th): 9 points
AVG: .207 (1st): 12 points
WHIP: 0.98 (T-1st): 12 points

Total Score: 85 points, finishing first and my pick for the NL Cy Young.

Cliff Lee (Boston thanks you again!)

Innings Pitched: 219.2 (T-1st) : 12 points
ERA: 2.38 (3rd): 10 points
K: 223 (2nd): 11 points
BB: 42 (4th): 9 points
K/9: 9.14 (5th): 8 points
BB/9: 1.72 (2nd): 11 points
AVG: .225 (5th): 8 points
WHIP: 1.02 (3rd): 10 points

Total Score: 79 points, finishing second.

Tim Lincecum

Innings Pitched: 205 (7th) : 6 points
ERA: 2.59 (4th): 9 points
K: 212 (3rd): 10 points
BB: 76 (12th): 1 point
K/9: 9.31 (3rd): 10 points
BB/9: 3.56 (12th): 1 point
AVG: .215 (3rd): 10 points
WHIP: 1.18 (T-9th): 4 points

Total Score: 51 points, finishing fifth.

Shawn Marcum

Innings Pitched: 188 (10th) : 3 points
ERA: 3.40 (9th): 4 points
K: 149 (12th): 1 point
BB: 51 (T-8th): 5 points
K/9: 7.13 (11th): 2 points
BB/9: 2.59 (10th): 3 points
AVG: .227 (6th): 7 points
WHIP: 1.14 (8th): 5 points

Total Score: 30 points, finishing last.

Anibal Sanchez

Innings Pitched: 186.1 (11th) : 2 points
ERA: 3.62 (10th): 3 points
K: 191 (5th): 8 points
BB: 51 (T-8th): 5 points
K/9: 9.23 (4th): 9 points
BB/9: 2.75 (11th): 2 points
AVG: .250 (11th): 2 points
WHIP: 1.26 (11th): 2 points

Total Score: 33 points, finishing eleventh.

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