Heading into the voting for the AL Cy Young, most bettors must have felt fairly comfortable if they had picked either 20 game winner C.C Sabathia or 19 game winner David Price. Both pitchers teams were among the best in baseball and played in arguably the toughest division in baseball. But it would be the King that would get the crown.
On the surface, King Felix Hernandez the ace for the Seattle Mariners, win loss record doesn’t catch your eye. King Felix went 13-12 on the year, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. When you look at his numbers, he dominated every time he stepped out on the mound, finishing second in strikeouts, first in innings pitched and reduced opponents batting average to rubble. But the Mariners were last in the MLB in run support and seemed to get worse at the plate when Hernandez was on the mound with his hat tilted to the side like G. Voters took all this into account and awarded Hernandez the Cy Young.
Using stats like WAR and discounting things like wins and losses, to me, is a dangerous game. Without question, pound for pound, Hernandez was the best pitcher in the league. But at the same time, the danger exists that wins and losses can be completely thrown out the window. Let’s face it, there’s been many great pitchers in history that should have won Cy Youngs had they not played on shitty teams, that’s just the way it goes. Apparently not anymore. Somewhere Roy Halladay is thinking he should have about four or five Cy Youngs. So what’s next? Some stud on some shitty team goes a dominant 10-15 and wins the Cy Young? What if a guy dominates the league and goes 8-17? Does he get the Cy Young over a 20 game winner because his WAR is better? I’m just saying.
Furthermore, as far as betting goes, this either makes it easier or harder to call it for these awards. Traditionally one could just look at the pitchers with the most wins and make their call. Now, it’s a brand new ball game.