The 2011 AL Cy Young race is a three-headed monster.
Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and CC Sabathia all have an exceptional year on the mount.
They are keeping their teams in the hunt for October baseball and opposing players from reaching the base.
Wins, ERAs, Strikeouts, Walks, etc. are all statistics that will decide who will win the 2011 AL Cy Young award. However, statistics are not everything; there are a lot more factors that have to be taken in consideration when deciding on who was the best AL pitcher in 2011.
The following five reasons explain why CC Sabathia should win his second AL Cy Young award after 2007.
The numbers of Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver are nothing less than impressive, but both don’t face the same kind of talent and hitting power like CC Sabathia does in the AL East.
The AL East is the only division that has currently four of five teams with a record above .500. Over the last decade, six AL teams have won the World Series, and out of those six four were from the AL East.
Since its completion, shortly before the start of the 2009 season, New Yankee Stadium is known as a hitter's ballpark.
One-hundred-fifty-four baseballs have left Yankee Stadium since opening day on March 31, 2011, compared to 95 at Angels Stadium and 114 at Comerica Park.
New Yankee Stadium favors hitters with winds that can carry a normal fly out over the wall. What might be an advantage for the Yankees’ lineup is a clear disadvantage for the Bronx Bombers pitching staff.
To this date, Sabathia gave up seven home runs at Yankee Stadium in 2011.
Out of the three candidates that will battle for the AL Cy Young award Sabathia is pitching with the highest efficiency.
He appeared in 27 games, pitched 197.2 innings and needed only 2899 pitches to win 17 games.
In comparison, Weaver started 26 games, pitched 188.1 innings and needed 2990 pitches to win 14 games. Detroit’s Verlander started 28 games, pitched 209.2 innings and threw 3260 pitches in order to win 19 games.
The reason why Sabathia is so effective is his aggressive pitching style. He rarely gets into a full count and needs on average one pitch less per inning than his Cy Young competitors.
In his 27 starts this season CC Sabathia has faced 809 batters, that are six more than Justin Verlander and 79 more than Jered Weaver.
His numbers regarding ERA, strikeouts, walks and complete games are almost identical to those of Verlander and Weaver, despite his greater amount of work.
Sabathia also faces a higher amount of pressure than the two pitchers in Los Angeles/Anaheim and Detroit.
Playing for the Yankees means being under constant attack of the media, fans and hated by everybody else.
30-year-old Sabathia seems to have a natural ability of handling this incredible amount of pressure and still being able to perform at the highest level.
The Yankees spent $152 million in 2009 to acquire CC Sabathia from the Milwaukee Brewers.
His statistics are staggering and the Yankees seem to have spent their money wisely. In his two complete seasons in a pinstripe jersey Sabathia was able to win 19 games with an ERA of 3.38 in 2009 and 21 games with an ERA of 3.18 in 2010.
This season could become even better he has already won 17 games and his ERA of 2.96 is the sixth best in the AL.
He is the heart and soul of the Yankees rotation and the number one reason why an aging team has a realistic chance of winning yet another championship.
He deserved the Cy Young award in 2009, but it was the year of Zack Greinke. He deserved the Cy Young award in 2010, but Felix Hernandez played unbelievable.
Three is a charm and 2011 is CC Sabathia’s year.