MLB: Predictions for CY Young Award
The NL CY Young Award for 2014 seems to be an easy decision with the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw the clear-cut favorite to win the award. No one was more dominating on the mound this season. In fact, no one has been this good in quite some time. Kershaw went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA, along with 239 K’s and 2 shutouts. He is the first pitcher ever to lead MLB in ERA for four straight seasons. Kershaw joins Ron Guidry as the only pitchers in the modern period to win 20 or more games and post a sub-1.80 ERA, with a winning percentage of .875 or better. The only other candidate who might get a first place vote, but that is unlikely, is Reds Johnny Cueto, who won 20 games while pitching 243 2/3 innings with two shutouts and 242 K’s.
In the AL picking a winner will not be so easy. There are several candidates to consider. Corey Kluber of the Indians, Max Scherzer of the Tigers, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners and Jared Weaver, Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards all of the Angels are considered contenders for the award. So, it will come down to the votes submitted by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to determine your AL winner.
My vote, would go to Kluber, with Hernandez finishing second. There is no doubt that this is a difficult selection to make. Comparing ERAs, Hernandez ended the season at 2.14, with a slight edge over Klubers’ 2.44. They both worked nearly the same number of innings with 230 2/3 innings for Hernandez and innings for 227 2/3 innings for Kluber. Both had 33 starts and Kluber threw three complete games and had one shutout. Kluber was a key member of the Indians 2014 team, a season in which the team hung in for a wildcard berth, up until the last two weeks of the season. Kluber also had ten starts with double-digit K’s and is the first pitcher in the majors since 2004 to have two straight starts where he struck out 14 or more hitters. At one point in the season Kluber struck out at least two batters in 12 straight innings.
Just what is the CY Young award? It is an honor given annually in MLB to the best pitcher in the American League and the best pitcher in the National League. The award was first introduced in 1956 by then Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick to honor Hall of Fame pitcher CY Young, who had died in 1955. Cy Young won 511 games in his 22 years in baseball and he holds several other records in addition to his wins, most career innings pitched at 7,355, most career games started at 815, and most complete games at 749. He also holds the record for most career losses with 316.
Originally the award was given to the single best pitcher in the major leagues, until 1967 when many fans wrote requesting that then Commissioner William Eckert change the process and he obliged by changing the process to award a CY Young to one pitcher from each league each season.
Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote on the CY Young award and it is usually given out after the World Series has ended. They determine a winner based on points. Since the 2010 season, each voter places a vote for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place among the pitchers in each league. Seven points are awarded for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth, with the pitcher with the highest total score in each league winning the award. Voters received their ballots in mid-August and have to turn them in by the first postseason game, which was this past Tuesday.
Who do you think should win the CY Young awards this year?
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