Disclaimer: I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan. If I were forced to abandon all but one of the teams I follow, I would keep the Tigers. Hopefully that absurd situation will never come, but if it does, I won’t even have to think about it.
The Cy Young Finalists were not huge surprises this season. There were some amazing performances, however, I think one guy in the AL got snubbed.
National League Cy Young: SP, Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
I always follow former Tigers I like, because I know its not their fault, and recently, it was because the modern game of baseball has passed Dave Dombrowski by. But we will get to that in the next award. Anyway, Max deserved this, as he becomes the sixth player to win Cy Youngs in both leagues beating out a pair of Cubs in Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.
Max continues to pitch amazing after signing a massive contract with the Nationals a few years ago, which mixed with their recent signing of Daniel Murphy being shortlisted for the NL MVP, has Washington looking like Free Agent dynamos. Lester and Hendricks had great years, and while both finished with a lower ERA, Max was damn near dominate in every start. He led the NL in Strikeouts, averaged 11.2/game, including a 20-strikeout performance of my beloved Tigers.
He was also great at limiting baserunners, having the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.07) in the NL, as well as a .97 WHIP, which led all of MLB. Also, an NL leading 20 wins, just to tick off the Sabermetrics people. Lester and Hendricks had great seasons, but Scherzer, like ex-teammate Justin Verlander in 2011, was must-watch.
American League Cy Young: SP, Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
Oh Ricky P, how I miss thee. Apparently he wasn’t good enough for Dave Dombrowski in Detroit, with one-year left on his contract, but good enough to dominate the American League and beat out Dombrowski’s boy David Price and his absurdly high contract. Once again Dave, thanks for screwing over my team.
Anyway, Ricky P deserved this one. He shut-up all the critics from last season, as fellow Ricky P lover Jared Carrabis highlights here on Barstool Sports. However, there was controversy as Justin Verlander received almost double the first place votes Ricky P did. Of course I want Verlander to win it, but I also get, like most things, MLB is a shitshow and always will be. In the world of sports, nothing is more backward than MLB Awards, and how they are voted on, Exhibit A.
Verlander came off injury and was lights out. He pitched a lot better than everyone thought he would, and I was thrilled, obviously, but you can’t argue Ricky P being there. Again, MLB writers are so smug and holier-than-thou its gross. So 18 writers thought Verlander was the best pitcher, but two thought he wasn’t even good enough to put on a ballot? Yeah ok, wonder why the average age of baseball fans grows every year???? Again, it was within an antiquated and horrid system, so while I didn’t like it, it’s still valid.
The big snub here I think was leaving Zach Britton off. Nothing against Corey Kluber, last year’s winner, he was the cornerstone of a franchise that went to Game 7, extra-innings, of the World Series. However, Britton put up historic numbers this season. With how important Relief Pitchers have become, this was the year to include one on a ballot if there ever was one. Kluber remains a great pitcher, and will probably have another amazing year next year, but for this past season, and what Britton did, he deserved a spot.