Why Felix Hernandez should win the Cy Young

There has been a lot of debate lately on who the Cy Young winner in the American League should be. Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia are the leading contenders (and should be). Let’s take a look at each of these players overall stat lines for the season

Player IP W L GS CG HR BB SO ERA WHIP AVG
CC Sabathia 237.2 21 7 34 2 20 74 197 3.18 1.19 .239
Felix Hernandez 249.2 13 12 34 6 17 70 232 2.27 1.06 .212

Both players have phenomenal stats for the season. They were 1/2 in innings pitched for the season. CC led the league in wins ( a flawed stat that I’ll get into). They tied for the lead league in games started. Felix was 3rd in complete games and CC was tied for 14th. Felix was second in K’s and Sabathia was sixth. Felix was second in WHIP, Sabathia tenth. Finally Felix won the ERA title while Sabathia was seventh, nearly a full run behind. The statistics are close, but the only stats that Felix loses to Sabathia are wins and losses.

Let’s get in to some of the sabermetic stat categories. Felix had 30 quality starts this season and Sabathia had 26. A quality start is a start in which you pitch at least 6 innings and give up 3 earned runs or less. The most telling stat for everyone should be run support. Felix received just 3.75 runs of support per game and CC received 7.31 one of the highest in the majors, Felix’s run support unsurprisingly was one of the worst in the majors. Felix had 8 tough losses and CC had 3. A tough loss is game you lose in which you had a quality start. Still not convinced? Thing CC’s numbers are higher because he plays in the toughest division in baseball? Think again.

Felix Hernandez W L G CG IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP
vs BAL 1 0 2 1 16 14 2 1 0 2 13 0.56 1.00
vs BOS 1 0 1 0 7.1 4 2 1 1 1 9 1.23 0.68
vs NYY 3 0 3 2 26 16 1 1 1 8 31 0.35 0.92
vs TOR 0 1 1 1 8 2 1 1 1 4 5 1.13 0.75
Total 5 1 7 4 57.1 36 6 4 3 15 58 0.62 0.89
CC Sabathia W L G CG IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP
vs BAL 5 1 6 0 43 45 18 17 6 10 31 3.56 1.28
vs BOS 1 0 4 0 25 20 11 11 4 8 17 3.96 1.12
vs TAM 1 2 5 0 34.2 29 14 13 0 14 29 3.38 1.24
vs TOR 1 0 1 0 8.1 3 1 1 1 2 8 1.08 0.60
Total 8 3 16 0 111 97 44 42 11 34 85 3.41 1.18

CC had an era 2.79 runs higher and a whip .29 higher than Felix against the AL East and he didn’t have to play against the Yankees! He also padded his win total against the Orioles with 5 wins in 6 starts against them. I hope some of the old school Cy Young voters read this article and realize it’s not all about wins and losses, it’s more about how you pitch in those game.