No surprises in this year's MLB Cy Young voting: Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers ran away with the awards, much like they rolled over their competition in 2013.
Kershaw — 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 236 innings — earned 29 of 30 first-place votes. He's the 17th pitcher to win multiple Cy Youngs, with a 2011 award already to his name. Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins finished second and third, respectively. Wainwright got the other first-place vote.
It wasn't really close in the AL either. Scherzer — who was 21-3, with a 2.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 214.1 innings — earned 28 of 30 first-place votes, easily besting Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox and Scherzer's Tigers teammate Anibal Sanchez didn't finish in the top three, but each received a first-place vote.
Kershaw, 25, was truly dominant this season, getting compared to another Dodgers great, Sandy Koufax. Kershaw led all pitchers in ERA, ERA+, WHIP and WAR (according to Baseball Reference). He gave up only 164 hits in 236 innings, which is daunting on its own. But combine that with a 1.83 ERA and it's almost unfair. Kershaw's ERA was the lowest since Pedro Martinez's 1.74 in 2000. This is the third consecutive year that that Kershaw has led the NL in ERA and WHIP.
Winning the Cy Young award in 2013 isn't just about having the most wins in baseball like it used to be. With advanced stats, we can measure a pitcher's value a dozen different ways. That led some to argue that maybe Scherzer and his 21 wins weren't Cy Young-worthy. Maybe Iwakuma (who allowed the fewest runs) was more deserving. Truth is, this award had pretty much been Scherzer's since July. He didn't get a loss until July 13, his 19th start of the season. His 21 wins led baseball, of course, but he was great by other markers too.
Scherzer was fifth amongst all pitchers in WAR, third in WHIP and second in strikeouts and K/9. His WHIP was tops in the AL and his ERA was fifth. Beyond just numbers, Scherzer became the ace of his AL Central-winning team, leapfrogging over another Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander. That may prove to be a one-season thing, but, hey, this is a one-season award.
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