Earlier today, talking baseball with my dad, as we often do, one of our many topics of conversation was who would win the Cy Young if the season ended today, as well as how the first month has impacted our picks for the end of season Cy Young winners. As a result, I decided to make a new monthly feature here: a monthly Cy Young breakdown. I'll update my Cy Young picks for the season, award a Cy Young for that month only (April in this case), and pick a year-to-date Cy Young (obviously the same as the monthly Cy Young for this month).
"Bill James" monthly/year-to-date winners use the formula found here.
Here we go:
Preseason Pick: Chris Sale
April/YTD Cy Young Winner: Chris Sale
Bill James April/YTD Winner: Chris Sale
How can you ignore five wins in five starts and a 1.66 ERA? The strikeouts haven't been there to the extraordinary extent we've come to expect from Sale, but perhaps that's part of his maturation as a pitcher, pitching to miss barrels instead of pitching to miss bats, which would help him work deeper into games by getting him quick outs and quick innings. Perhaps the lack of whiffs should concern us, but he nevertheless had an amazing month deserving of the April AL Cy Young.
Updated Cy Young Prediction: Chris Sale
Yes, I'm concerned about the missing strikeouts and the 3.46 xFIP, but when your pre-season pick has a month like that, it's not the time to change your mind.
Preseason Pick: Jake Arrieta
April/YTD Cy Young Winner: Jake Arrieta
Bill James April/YTD Winner: Jake Arrieta
A 1.00 ERA, 5 wins, and a no-hitter. What more can you ask for? Arrieta is so dialed in, you get the sense he could throw another no-hitter or two. That's probably not realistic, but his numbers since the all-star break last year are video-game like, with a 0.82 ERA during that time frame. In my opinion, he has the best arsenal in the game. He's also the king of weak contact. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. What a time to be a baseball fan.
Updated Cy Young Prediction: Jake Arrieta
Why the heck would I change now?
So far so good for my pre-season picks, but they weren't very bold, so that's no surprise.