Cy Young race tight

With the baseball season ending, the Cy Young Award voting is set to begin, and the sentiment among the handicappers is that this year’s AL race is wide open. Who might take home the hardware?

Cy Young voters always place a premium on wins and ERA, so let’s start there. The AL wins leader is CC Sabathia with 21. Jon Lester and David Price are right behind him with 19 apiece heading into Thursday night’s action. Felix Hernandez is the ERA leader (2.27), followed by Clay Buchholz (2.33) and Price (2.73). Lester comes in fourth, here, with a 2.96 ERA — the AL’s only other sub-3.00 starter.

Among these five, if I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on Sabathia or Price. CC’s team is going to the postseason and he has the most name recognition. Price’s advantage is being in the top three starters in both wins and ERA (and pitching for a contender).
But there are legit dark-horse candidates, too. Felix Hernandez may be one of these, though his low win total (just 13) may hurt him with traditionalists. He does, however, have the most strikeouts of any AL starter (232), the most innings pitched and a nickname — King Felix — which all bespeak a certain swagger. And if there’s one thing the BBWAA can’t resist, it’s a certain swagger.

What about our boys Lester and Buchholz? Lester was my AL Cy Young prediction at the start of the season, and I do believe he’ll win it someday. He, too, has an impressive number of K’s (220, good for third in the league). But he’s hampered by several factors this year: First, there are some who still think, reflexively, of Josh Beckett as Boston’s “true ace.” Second, he’s not pitching for a postseason-bound team (as if I need to remind you). Third, he doesn’t lead the AL in any single category, which may put him under the radar. Fourth, he’s comparatively low (for a Cy guy) in innings pitched. And, finally, there’s Buchholz himself — together, the two of them may split the ballots of some Boston-minded voters. Does Buchholz himself have a chance? Not unless the voters are feeling swept off their feet by the breakout star. … Think of it as The Oksana Baiul Effect.

Advanced metrics would add a couple more names to the list, notably Francisco Liriano and Cliff Lee (and perhaps Jered Weaver), and help improve the case for Hernandez. But the Cy Young is not decided on the basis of FIP, WHIP or WAR. And nor, it’s worth remembering, does it always go to the best pitcher.

– Sarah Green also writes for UmpBump.com. Follow her on Twitter @skgreen.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…