CC Sabathia leads the American League in wins. And now he's been tagged as the front runner for the 2010 American League Cy Young award.
His wins are pretty, but he certainly hasn't been the best pitcher in the American League. The 7.67 runs the Yankees give him in support per game have certainly helped his Win-Loss numbers. Sabathia has given up five earned runs in three of his decisions where he either got a no-decision or win, because the Yankees offense bailed him out.
Now I'm not trying to say CC is not in the running. He is definitely one of the top candidates, but he is not the top candidate. His numbers speak for themselves: 18-5, 3.14 ERA, 160 K/62 BB, 1.23 WHIP, and two complete games.
Who are the candidates that should be ahead of Sabathia?
1. Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners) has been on arguably the most disappointing team in baseball this year. He has been constantly robbed of wins. In eight of his starts, Hernandez has given up two earned runs or less while getting the loss or no-decision. King Felix should easily be at 16 wins by now. Unfortunately, he won't get as much consideration as he should because of his win-loss record. His numbers are pretty good though: 10-10, 2.47 ERA, 192 K/56 BB, 1.11 WHIP, and five complete games.
2. Trevor Cahill (Oakland Athletics) is the latest All-Star gem out of Oakland's fine starting pitching rotation. Cahill, too, has been robbed of wins, either via a loss or no-decision in four of his appearances that he gave up only two earned runs or less. He's first in the American League in WHIP and second in ERA. The only thing that might hurt him is his lack of innings pitched (155.2). Take a look at his numbers: 14-5, 2.43 ERA, 88 K/46 BB, 1.00 WHIP, and one complete game.
3. Cliff Lee (Texas Rangers) hasn't performed as well as many thought he would in Texas, but his overall numbers this season are too good to ignore. He, tied with Cahill, leads the American League in WHIP and he has thrown the most amount of complete games in the American League. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is historically great. His numbers for the season are: 10-8, 3.26 ERA, 156 K/12 BB, 1.00 WHIP, and seven complete games.
4. Clay Buchholz (Boston Red Sox) leads the American League in ERA. Like Cahill, he will be hurt by his low amount of innings pitched (146.2). However, he has dominating for Boston and should at least be in the discussion. Buchholz has been especially dominating later in the season, when it counts, and even he was rob of a couple of wins early in the season. Buchholz's numbers are: 15-5, 2.21 ERA, 101 K/55 BB, 1.18 WHIP, and one complete game.
Jered Weaver (Los Angeles Angels), Jon Lester (Boston Red Sox), David Price (Tampa Bay Rays), and C.J. Wilson (Texas Rangers) are other candidates who should be considered just as much as CC Sabathia. The thing is, CC Sabathia keeps on winning and with that Yankee offensive support machine, he will likely take home his second Cy Young award, even if he doesn't deserve it.