Not many pitchers with a 12-12 record would ever make a compelling case to win a Cy Young Award. But Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners not only has a legitimate case, he is the most deserving to win in the American League.
Forget the 12-12 record for now. Hernandez's numbers are tremendous. His 2.31 earned run average is currently second in major league baseball by a single point and is nearly a full run lower than CC Sabathia, who has eight more wins and is also one of the favorites for the Cy Young.
His 227 strikeouts are also second in baseball. He is tied with Roy Halladay with the most innings pitched with 241.2. He also leads baseball in quality starts and start percentage.
Hernandez also pitches for a team with the second fewest wins in baseball as the Mariners currently sit 28 games out of first place at 59-96.
In his 12 losses, he has received a grand total of seven runs of support. The Mariners have scored won or fewer runs in 10 of 33 starts, and two or fewer runs 15 times and have not scored a run in seven of his last 13 starts.
And finally, and not surprisingly, he has the fewest run support in the American League with 3.09 runs per start. And while Sabathia pitches for the best offense in baseball, Hernandez pitches for the worst.
His support neutral win-loss of 21-12 is the best in MLB. Now would Sabathia have nearly as good of a record that he does if he pitched for the Mariners?
The bottom line is that wins are not the only statistic to judge a pitcher by. And if you take away King Felix's win-loss record, he would be a shoo-in to win the AL Cy Young. But he should be one anyways.
If Felix Hernandez does not win the American League Cy Young, it will be an absolute shame.