Friday, August 29, 2008

An Epic Cy Young Race

As the season has passed the halfway mark it’s only natural to look at who’s leading the way in the player hardware. The Cy Young Race looks as though it will come right down to the wire this year. There are a number of pitchers who are having superb years but only a few stand out as legit Cy Young contenders. The top 3 for consideration in each league as of right now are all having incredible years so far. In the N.L. Florida’s Mark Trammell who is the only reason Florida is around 500 has no trust in the bullpen as he has 8 CG – 142.1 IP, 1.00 WHIP, 2.40 ERA, 108 SO 8 CG, 2 SHO and a record of 12-5. Augusta’s David Lee has been almost perfect in 19 starts this year – 131 IP, 1.11 WHIP, 2.82 ERA, 85 SO, 1 CG and 0 SHO with a record of 14-1. Last but not least is Helena’s Shep Beck – 131.1 IP, 1.08 WHIP, 2.40 ERA, 105 SO, 1 CG, 1 SHO and a record of 9-5. Granted Beck doesn’t have double digit wins yet but with his fabulous ERA it makes it very hard to believe he doesn’t have more wins. In the A.L. Houston’s Carlton Byrne has been absolutely wonderful since coming over from Detroit at the beginning of the year – 135.1 IP, 1.18 WHIP, 3.06 ERA, 101 SO 1 CG, 0 SHO and a record of 14-2. Nashville rounds out spots 2 and 3. Rafael Viriato hasn’t lost yet and has been fantastic –115.1 IP, 1.01 WHIP, 3.20 ERA, 108 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 12-0. The other Nashville pitcher is Timo Redman – 108.1 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 2.83 ERA, 125 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 9-3. The hardest decision making in trying to figure out who the top three were, was who to leave out? There’s a specific reason this Cy Young race is in both leagues is so epic and it’s due to the number of pitchers who are having Cy Young seasons thus far. There are so many pitchers with quality numbers picking a top three was incredibly hard. What stats do you weigh over others? For instance Mark Trammell and Shep Beck have 5 losses clearly the most of any Cy Young candidate but their ERA is better than Byrne’s and Lee’s. Trammell also has more innings pitched then the three others and has less starts. Obviously certain owners will be upset that their pitchers were not recognized in the top three candidates and it’s very understandable. Augusta’s Birdie Perkins is another close call with an ERA of 2.04 that leads the M.L. However he hasn’t reached 100 innings pitched yet and doesn’t have a complete game or a shutout. Both Augusta’s Don Brown and Austin’s Javy Cairo are 11-4 but their ERA’s are just a little higher than the others at 4.08 and 3.83. A real case can also be made for Cheyenne’s Al Estrada who is 10-5 with an ERA of 3.08. Clearly with half a season to go the race is still wide open as so many pitchers are so close together. The race will likely come down to their last few starts of the season. The following is how I see the top 5 Cy Young candidates in each league if the season ended today.

A.L. Cy Young
1. Carlton Byrne (Houston) 1 CG, 0 SHO, 14-2, 135.1 IP, 101 SO, 1.18 WHIP, 3.06 ERA
2. Rafael Viriato (Nashville) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 12-0, 115.1 IP, 108 SO, 1.01 WHIP, 3.20 ERA
3. Timo Redman (Nashville) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 9-3, 108.0 IP, 125 SO, 1.05 WHIP, 2.83 ERA
4. Javy Cairo (Austin) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 11-4, 108.0 IP, 83 SO, 1.26 WHIP, 3.83 ERA
5. Willie Leon (Houston) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 10-4, 111.1 IP, 86 SO, 1.34 WHIP, 3.88 ERA

N.L. Cy Young
1. Mark Trammell (Florida) 8 CG, 2 SHO, 12-5, 142.1 IP, 108 SO, 1.00 WHIP, 2.40 ERA
2. David Lee (Augusta) 1 CG, 0 SHO, 14-1, 131.0 IP, 85 SO, 1.11 WHIP, 2.82 ERA
3. Shep Beck (Helena) 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9-5, 131.1 IP, 105 SO, 1.08 WHIP, 2.40 ERA
4. Al Estrada (Cheyenne) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 10-5, 127.2 IP, 98 SO, 1.21 WHIP, 3.03 ERA
5. Crash Reynolds (Helena) 0 CG, 0 SHO, 9-4, 95.2 IP, 70 SO, 1.12 WHIP, 2.63 ERA

( I’m personally biased of course with Trammell being my guy and placing him first but I think the numbers speak for themselves, mainly his 8 CG and 2 SHO )