Aug 7, 2008

2008 AL Cy Young Award Predictions

On April 2nd, I made the following predictions for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award:

CC Sabathia (although back then it was C.C. Sabathia)

Erik Bedard

Jered Weaver / Daisuke Matsuzaka

"Wouldn't it be cool if" pick
Francisco Liriano

"Cats and dogs living together" pick
Clay Buchholz

CC Sabathia started off the season with a major THUD - after four starts his ERA was 13.50 and his WHIP was 2.56 - that's no typo: TWO point FIVE SIX. From that point on he posted a 2.16 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with Cleveland, and through his first 48 innings with Milwaukee he has a NL ERA of 1.88 and WHIP of 0.96. Overall, without the first four starts his season ERA would stand at 2.07 with a WHIP of 0.99. From April 22nd on, Sabathia has been the best pitcher in baseball. It's too bad he's not going to get real Cy Young consideration after switching leagues.

Erik Bedard - PASS

Erik Bedard - ok, I guess I'm not allowed to pass (I had to look it up in the RotoAdvantage Blog Constitution). One of the big reasons I liked Bedard heading into the season was the Safeco Park Effect (see original post). And I was correct on that count. For the season, in eight home starts Bedard has a 2.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and .222 BAA. The problem has come in Bedard's seven road starts where he has a 5.73 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and .244 BAA. It's a big "what might have been" season for Bedard who is currently on the DL with shoulder stiffness. Don't be afraid to draft him a bit early next season.

Jered Weaver has had the same problem as Bedard - road starts. In 10 home starts, Weaver has posted a 3.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and .241 BAA. In 12 road starts he has a 4.98 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and .275 BAA. Is Jered really just a younger Jeff Weaver? It's starting to look like maybe that's the case.

Daisuke Matsuzaka really has delivered in 2008. At this point he has to at least be in the conversation when talking AL Cy Young. One interesting stat for Matsuzaka - he has almost exactly double the walk rate against lefties than he does against righties. His WHIP vs. lefties is 1.66 and his WHIP vs. righties is 1.07. His home WHIP is 1.51 and his road WHIP is 1.16. If Boston can get him matched up against primarily right-handed batters in away games for the playoffs he'll be unstoppable!

Francisco Liriano has burned up most of his starts in the minors this season. He's back for good now it would appear, but it's too late for this "Wouldn't it be cool if" pick to pan out. Next year however...

Clay Buchholz went two full months between starts with Boston due to a DL stint for a torn fingernail, followed immediately by a demotion to Pawtucket to work on his consistency. He hasn't been a whole lot better since returning to the Boston rotation. Since his return he's been far too hittable with a .306 BAA.

Here are my current odds for winning the 2008 AL Cy Young Award:

3:1 - Roy Halladay
5:1 - Cliff Lee
6:1 - Joe Saunders
9:1 - Ervin Santana
10:1 - Daisuke Matsuzaka
12:1 - Jamie Shields
15:1 - Justin Duchscherer
20:1 - Mike Mussina

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