Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the NL Cy Young Award -

As first reported by my inexplicably Mormon-loving compatriot (via Facebook, your outlet to the WORLD!), the NL voters definitely got the Cy Young right, ignoring Won/Loss records (somewhat) and going with Tim Lincecum, the only professional athlete whose ass I could probably kick. Now, the strikeouts (A SHITLOAD) sell themselves, as does the sterling ERA, but there's more to the story, as Baseball Prospectus shows us below (click to see the full stats):

SNLVAR is shorthand for, essentially, support-neutral wins above replacement - i.e. how many more wins Lincecum provided his team in an environment devoid of the Pol Pot-level frightening run support Tiny Tim received from the Giants this year. The Giants, remember started a SS opening day that had never put up an OPS above .660 . . . in AA ball. This would be the equivalent of me subbing for a chess Grand Master in a tournament, or me getting Matt Jarmon to take the LSAT for me. LOVE YOU MATTY!

Anyway, the important things to note are that, by really any objective measurement from RA+ (64% above average for Lincecum, 60% for Santana) to SNLVAR, Lincecum put up better numbers while facing approximately equivalent competition (if you haven't yet, click on the image above, and check out Opponent's OPS - now check out the guys in the AL East . . . wow). The NL East simply wasn't good enough to make up the difference in either raw or adjusted numbers between Lincecum and anybody else, but especially not Santana.

Check out Cliff Lee's numbers, though - he's the odds-on favorite to win, and rightfully so . . . hopefully, in a similar season to the NL (where the top teams' top pitchers were markedly worse than the absolute cream of the crop), Lee can pull it out in the AL, and we'll feel all giddy and progressive, like the reverse Bradley Effect from a few days ago. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just don't yell at C - he's sensitive, you know.

1 comment:

cseguin said...

"Inexplicably Mormon-loving compatriot"

I'm touched, and of course glad that I could bring the news to all of my Facebook friendz.