Fascinating Weekend for the AL Cy Young

September 13, 2007 |

I just saw the Oriole’s score, and I really can’t blame anyone in Baltimore from turning away from baseball and focusing everything on the NFL. But I know that there are a few baseball fans out there. It’s not just you Allen! Anyway, post season awards in any sport are always interesting, however the ones that carry the most intrigue are the Heisman, and the baseball MVP’s and Cy Young’s. This year’s AL Cy Young could have a fascninating ending.

I see seven real candidates, two of which you will see on back to back nights. Escobar and Lackey from L.A., Sabathia and Cormona from Cleveland, Verlander from Detroit, Beckett from Boston and Wang from N.Y. I read somewhere the other day that they thought that Beckett and Wang were the front runners, not just because they each lead the league with eighteen wins, but because the other teams, since they have two players in contention, will cancel each other out. But here’s where it gets interesting. With the Cy Young, it doesn’t always work that way.

When a writer votes for a league MVP, he or she lists his top ten candidates form one to ten. With the Cy Young voting, the voter only lists his or her top three, so of these seven candidates, four will be left off of every ballot. So let’s look at the numbers.

As I said, Beckett and Wang are tied for the league lead in wins, but they are eighth and fourteenth respectively in ERA. The other five guys are 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th. So if one voter believes that it’s all about winning, then Wang or Beckett could get that voter’s first place vote, but for another guy who believes ERA is a better indicator, they would again both be left off entirely. I’m not sure how many times a pitcher received a first place vote from some writers but was left completely off the ballot of other writers, but I’ll bet is hasn’t happened often. This year I’m sure it will. Hey, if I had to vote today, I have no idea who I’d vote for. Look over the numbers for yourself.

Did I mention that Beckett and Wang face off in the Fox Saturday afternoon game in Fenway? It should be great theatre. And you know what I just realized. I’ve got to go to a bowling party with my kid on Saturday. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll have a t.v. somewhere.

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