Monday, July 23, 2012

Cueto ranks third in Cy Young Predictor

Is Cueto the best pitcher in the NL?
If you've ever fiddled around on ESPN.com's vast amount of online MLB resources you probably have come across a thing they call the 'Cy Young Predictor'. As the name may hint to, it's a formula co-authored by Bill James and Rob Neyer to predict Cy Young balloting at a given date. With that in mind, the Cy Young Predictor currently ranks Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto as the third-best pitcher in the National League, trailing only Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey and Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan.

Cueto's CYP score of 106.1 ranks as the eighth-best among all pitchers in MLB and is 1.1 points higher than the current fourth-place hurler in the NL, Giants starter Matt Cain.

The Dominican native leads all NL twirlers in WAR (4.1), is second in the league in ERA (2.23), tied for second in wins (12) and complete games (2), and is third in caught stealing percentage (.88). He's also the undisputed ace on a team poised to make the playoffs, thus further aiding his chances of winning baseball's most prestigious pitching award. That's not even taking into consideration the fact that he's received the second-worst run support average (per nine IP) of any qualifying starter in the NL this year at 4.59. Only former Red and current San Diego Padre, Edinson Volquez, receives less support on average (4.15) than Cueto. Simply put, he's making the most of the runs he does receive from his offense.

So, the obvious question you may be asking yourself right now is how accurate this predictor tool really is in regards to picking the true winner. Well, it correctly predicted the CYA recipient for both leagues last season (AL-Justin Verlander, NL-Clayton Kershaw) and has correctly identified nine of the last 12 Cy Young Award winners dating back to 2006. I'm no math wizard but I believe that's an accuracy of 75%, which in my mind makes this measurement tool a good indicator of CYA voting. Let's hope Cueto can continue to climb his way toward the top spot.

And in case you're curious, the precise formula for the CYP is as follows:

Cy Young Points (CYP) = ((5*IP/9)-ER) + (SO/12) + (SV*2.5) + Shutouts + ((W*6)-(L*2)) + VB
VB: Victory Bonus is a 12-point bonus awarded for leading your team to the division championship (pro-rated based on the current standings)

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