The Cy Young Chase

With just six weeks remaining in the regular season, the chase for the American League Cy Young award is starting to take shape. As usual, Roy Halladay is one of the few who is up for consideration year after year. This season, there are a few dark horse candidates who could pull and upset and win their first Cy Young award, but in my opinion Doc is still the favourite to win his second Cy.

Pitcher Wins ERA SO WHIP BB/9 K/BB FIP
Halladay 13 (3rd) 2.78 (3rd) 151 (6th) 1.11 (2nd) 1.16 (1st) 6.57 (1st) 3.09 (4th)
Greinke 11 (8th) 2.44 (1st) 182 (2nd) 1.14 (5th) 1.97 (6th) 4.79 (2nd) 2.45 (1st)
Hernandez 12 (7th) 2.73 (2nd) 173 (4th) 1.19 (9th) 2.73 (15th) 3.20 (9th) 3.10 (5th)
Beckett 14 (2nd) 3.65 (11th) 154 (5th) 1.13 (3rd) 2.27 (10th) 3.58 (6th) 3.63 (8th)

Despite a lackluster win/loss record, Zack Greinke is actually Halladay’s closest competition. Both pitchers rank in the top ten in the American League in the statistics above, but unfortunately for Zack Greinke, Cy Young voters place a lot of weight on how many wins and losses a pitcher has. This was one area which worked against Roy Halladay last year in his chances to win the Cy Young award.

Felix Hernandez is not too far behind Halladay and Greinke and if he makes a good run of starts between now and the end of September, King Felix could be the one to put Cy in his trophy case. Just for the sake to silence critics, I included Josh Beckett in the mix because he has the second most wins in the American League. In my mind, a Cy Young winner’s ERA shouldn’t be more than 3.00 and that’s why a pitcher with a 3.65 ERA should automatically be taken out of consideration.


Honourable mention to Justin Verlander, but despite his 10.47 K per nine, his walk totals are a little high and those blowups earlier in the season really affected his ERA.

So even though Doc is coming off his worst start of 2009, he still has a pretty good chance to prove that he’s the best pitcher in the American League. So long as the Blue Jays can continue to give Halladay some run support and he can pick up another three or four runs down the stretch, the odds of another Halladay Cy Young award are just a likely as Vernon Wells hitting 30 home runs this year.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

2 thoughts on “The Cy Young Chase

  • August 25, 2009 at 1:28 am

    So … there should be a mulligan.

  • August 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Definitely. Tonight AND his last start don't count.

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