BBA 2009 Cy Young Award Ballot

For starters, here is how I added up the numbers, showing you which stats I added more weight to and why. If you only care about who I choose, then you can skip over the next few paragraphs.

My Methodology/Madness

Wins + (4.00 – ERA) multiplied by 10 + Complete Games + Shutouts + Innings Pitched + Strikeouts + (K/BB multiplied by 5) + (1.30 – WHIP) multiplied by 100 + (4- FIP) multiplied by 10 – (Wild Pitches + Balks) multiplied by 2


For explanation, FIP is Fielder Independent Pitching on an ERA scale which can be defined at Fangraphs as:

a pitcher’s FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, which calculates a pitcher’s responsibility for the runs he allows based on his walks, strikeouts, and home runs allowed. The FIP formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor that scales FIP to match league average ERA for a given season and league.

About the Multipliers and the Equations

I used an ERA of 4.00 as a benchmark in this day and age of the mark of a good pitcher (obviously, an ERA under 3.00 is preferred) and I multiplied this number by 10 so that an ERA of 3.50 would count as 5 points rather than 0.5 (Verlander would be 5.5, Halladay 12.1 and Greinke 18.4).

I multiplied K/BB to give it a little more weight as most of the other numbers were two or three digits long (probably not necessary I admit).

I used a WHIP of 1.30 as a benchmark, too and I multiplied this number by 100 so that a WHIP of 1.20 would count as 10 points rather than 0.1 (Verlander would be 12, Halladay 17 and Greinke 23).

I used a FIP of 4.0 as a benchmark, too and I multiplied this number by 10 so that a FIP of 3.0 would count as 10 points rather than 1 (Verlander would be 12, Halladay 9 and Greinke 17).

And finally, I added up WP and BK and doubled that number to further penalize those pitchers and again add a number to the mix that was double digits if that total was 5 or more. I considered a multiplier of 10 on this but backed off this a bit.

The Top 3 Cy Young Award Winners

The numbers in parenthesis are the player’s score using my metrics as detailed above.

1) Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals (568.0) …. 5 points

By the numbers:

W 16 ERA 2.16 CG 6 SHO 3 IP 229.1 WP 5 SO 242 K/BB 4.75 WHIP 1.07 FIP 2.3 BK 0

2) Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (558.9) …. 3 points

By the numbers:

W 19 ERA 3.45 CG 3 SHO 1 IP 240.0 WP 8 SO 269 K/BB 4.27 WHIP 1.18 FIP 2.8 BK 4

3) Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays (541.2) ….1 point

By the numbers:

W 17 ERA 2.79 CG 9 SHO 4 IP 239.0 WP 2 SO 208 K/BB 5.94 WHIP 1.13 FIP 3.1 BK 0

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 6:  Pitcher Zack Gre...

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  1. Jon Williams

    October 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I can’t argue with the final result. I find it interesting that you chose to combine statistics like wins,ERA, and WHIP which measure results but have little to say over the skills of a pitcher with FIP and K/BB which do.

    I’d love to hear more of your thinking on why you think this is the way to go.

    • Peter Schiller

      October 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks for the comment. I have a simple answer for you…I just haven’t totally discounted the usefulness of those stats yet. A pitcher’s job is still to win on the team they’re on. A good portion of pitchers have chosen to be on the teams they are on so I say let’s see those stats in use, but also add the independent stats as a way to aid those in pitching hardships. Those who play in Washington, Kansas City, Cleveland (the past two years anyway), etc.

      How’s that for an explanation? 🙂

  2. Ian

    October 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Wow, very thorough analysis Peter! The funny thing is that after the dust settled, no matter what method voters chose, all members ended up voting Greinke for Cy Young.

    Just goes to show you that statistically even though his win/loss record doesn’t show it, Greinke was the clear favourite in the AL this year.

  3. Jon Williams

    October 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Makes sense to me.
    .-= Jon Williams´s last blog ..2010 Free Agents: Catchers =-.

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