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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer win Cy Young | MLB.com

No strangers to the Cy Young Award, Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber once again proved themselves as aces among aces in 2017. Now, they’re back atop baseball’s pitching totem pole.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:12 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, corey kluber, cy young award, max scherzer

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   1. Baldrick Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:37 PM (#5576903)
These both looked like close calls to me, but apparently the voters disagreed. 27 and 28 first place votes for the winners. Huh.
   2. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:41 PM (#5576904)
Both ROYs were obvious and well deserved. Both CYAs, while not as obvious, were both well deserved. If the MVPs go Stanton and Judge or Altuve, like I think they will, this would be about as perfect a voting result as there has ever been.
   3. Baldrick Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:48 PM (#5576906)
Voting has gotten much better, compared to the early days of Primer. Very little to complain about these days.
   4. Khrushin it bro Posted: November 15, 2017 at 07:55 PM (#5576910)
I was surprised by how many extra votes Kershaw got over Strasburg. They had very similar seasons. HOW WILL THIS EFFECT STRAS'S HOF CASE???
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5576911)
Voting has gotten much better, compared to the early days of Primer. Very little to complain about these days.


Counting backwards from 2016, the MVPs and their league rank in WAR (points behind leader if not them) NL, AL:

1, 1
1, 2 (0.6)
1, 1
2 (0.3), 4 (2.0)
1, 5 (3.6)
3 (0.9), 1
3 (1.5), 1
1, 3 (2.6)
1, 1
7 (2.6), 1

That's the last 10 years. Some less than optimum results (Rollins, the 2 Miggy C's), but nothing like 2006: 10(3.3), T19 (3.2)
   6. BDC Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5576912)
I was thinking that Kluber also won last season, but looking it up, it was three years ago. Time really speeds up as you age :)
   7. shoewizard Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5576914)
These both looked like close calls to me, but apparently the voters disagreed. 27 and 28 first place votes for the winners. Huh.


Reposting my comment from the dugout

If you avg RA-9 WAR and FIP WAR you get this

Name RA9-WAR fWAR Avg
Kluber
.. 8.5 7.3 7.9
Sale
.... 7.3 7.7 7.5
Carrasco 6.1 5.5 5.8
Severino 5.5 5.7 5.6 




Name RA9-WAR fWAR Avg
Scherzer
7.1 6.0 6.6
Strasburg 6.1 5.6 5.9
Kershaw
.. 6.5 4.6 5.6
Greinke
.. 5.5 5.1 5.3 


also

Interesting timing to check out Bill James World Pitcher Rankings

#1 Kluber.. 601.3
#2 Scherzer 601.1

Dead heat


I think sometimes you can have both a clear leader even though 2nd might be very close, and then you get this kind of result. It helps that you don't have some guy flukeing his way to a 22-4 record with a 3.5 ERA in a pitchers park.

   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 15, 2017 at 08:49 PM (#5576925)
If the MVPs go Stanton and Judge or Altuve, like I think they will, this would be about as perfect a voting result as there has ever been.

The voters have done a good job so far, and Stanton should win fairly easily, but my guess is that Judge - Altuve will be very close. Easy to justify a 1st-place vote for either one, and it says something that such dissimilar players, in both size and what they contribute, end up so close in value. A voter not listing them one-two may be playing games to increase the advantage provided by a 1st place vote.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 15, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5576943)
my guess is that Judge - Altuve will be very close


I disagree, I think Altuve will win it in a cantor. Judge will, and deservedly so, be a clear 2nd. I think all the first and second place votes will go to these 2. Judge had a monster year but I think Altuve's lack of stature, all around game and the fact that Houston won over 100 games will work in his favour.
   10. shoewizard Posted: November 15, 2017 at 09:26 PM (#5576945)
A voter not listing them one-two may be playing games to increase the advantage provided by a 1st place vote.


Guys doing that should have their ballot taken away
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: November 15, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5576981)
also their children

#meme
   12. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 15, 2017 at 11:01 PM (#5576990)
Much as I love Judge, I think his post-ASB slump will hurt him and the terror tot will win pretty easily (and deservedly).
   13. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 15, 2017 at 11:46 PM (#5577014)
I think sometimes you can have both a clear leader even though 2nd might be very close, and then you get this kind of result.

This is an interesting point and could very well be seen in the Altuve-Judge vote as well. Sometimes a vote that looks like a landslide is actually very, very close, it's just that there's near-unanimity that #1 was slightly better than #2. The 2017 and 2016 AL Cy Young awards are a good comparison.

In 2016, Porcello out-pointed Verlander 137-132 in one of the closest votes ever. Verlander got more first-place votes (14-8), four different pitchers got first-place votes, and no one got a majority. But even though the final result was very close, I get the feeling that it wasn't necessarily close for many of the individual voters -- i.e., Verlander voters didn't have a hard time choosing him over Porcello (look at the WAR!), Porcello voters didn't have a hard time choosing him over Verlander (22-4!), and Britton voters were determined that IP weren't going to compete with saves and ERA. So this was a close vote because everyone had different ideas/values, even though many of the voters, individually, may have seen a big gap (one way or another) between Verlander and Porcello.

In contract, this year Kluber seemingly beat Sale "easily," 28-2 in first place votes, 204 to 126 in points, but literally everyone had those two guys #1-2 or #2-1, and I imagine just about everyone who voted for Kluber thought "But Sale was really close" and vice versa. So this was not a close voting result, but in fact, for individual voters, the top two were closer to each other than last year's pair.
   14. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:13 AM (#5577050)
In contract, this year Kluber

Oops, in contrast. In contract, Sale's doing a bit better, but still underpaid.
   15. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:25 AM (#5577055)
Kershaw vs. Scherzer was extremely close to me. Five more innings would have actually flipped my vote. If Kershaw had 2016's peripherals, I would have picked him.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2017 at 01:59 AM (#5577062)
I think sometimes you can have both a clear leader even though 2nd might be very close, and then you get this kind of result.


The best example of that was the 2010 NL MVP race. Joey Votto and Albert Pujols were about as close as you could get statistically. But Votto's team was a surprising winner of the NL Central over Pujols' Cards, and the voters gave him 31 first-place votes to one for Albert.
   17. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 16, 2017 at 02:16 AM (#5577063)
Kershaw vs. Scherzer was extremely close to me. Five more innings would have actually flipped my vote. If Kershaw had 2016's peripherals, I would have picked him.

I value IP/"showing up for work" more than a lot of people do, which is why Scherzer with his 4-start, 25-inning advantage was a fairly easy choice for me. Digging deeper, though, I think I still would have voted for Scherzer even if they had the same number of innings (everything else prorated), but it would have been a much more difficult decision.

In Kershaw's favor:
Better ERA (and RA)
Fewer walks/better K/BB
Slightly better QS%
Better team performance in his games (pitcher wins don't mean much, but they still mean SOMETHING)

In Scherzer's favor:
Better K rate
Better HR rate
Lower WHIP/fewer hits allowed
Better DIPS
Tougher pitcher's park(?)

Interestingly, they were as close as could be in innings per start, another important stat for me though it's turning more and more into "manager's decision": 6.481 for Kershaw, 6.473 for Scherzer. If Scherzer had retired one more batter, he would have moved ahead of Kershaw at 6.484.

Anyway, it would have been a very interesting race if Kershaw had 2 or 3 more Kershavian starts.
   18. shoewizard Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5577111)
Regarding Kershaw's better ERA, when you go to park adjusted, ERA-, that advantage pretty much goes away, -56 to -57

Bigger picture, going forward, is This Chart a trend and indicator his run of dominance may start to wane now, or is it just a one year home run aberration on the road to Cooperstown ?

   19. DCA Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5577170)
That Kershaw graph shows the same thing (increased HR allowed) three different ways.

Kershaw gave up an extra 10 HR this year. That's it. His BB/9, K/9, and non-HR H/9 are all right in line with the last couple years. His ERA and ERA+ would be the best of his career if you take out the extra HR.

   20. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5577198)
So, Scherzer has probably crossed the threshold to be considered a likely future HOF now, right?

Scherzer is now a 3x CYA, 5x AS and his peak (thus far) is 1092.1 IP of 144 ERA+ over the last 5 years, averaging 18-7, 2.87 ERA, 218 IP, 2 CG and plenty of black ink over that stretch.

He's obviously a peak candidate and he's equally obviously not as good as someone like Koufax, but I have a hard time seeing a future for Scherzer that doesn't include the HOF (barring black swans.)
   21. Blastin Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5577204)
I remember in 2012 he had all the strikeout stuff but couldn't stop with the walks. I went to see the ALCS game where Jeter broke his ankle, and Scherzer wouldn't give up a hit but kept letting men on base, and I was like, this guy, this guy is not that great.

I was not correct.

Also, thaaat's a funny back to back duo to comment. Hahaha.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5577206)
So, Scherzer has probably crossed the threshold to be considered a likely future HOF now, right?


He's definitely likely. But, unlike fellow three-timer Kershaw, he probably needs a little more career bulk to guarantee it.
   23. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5577228)
If Scherzer ages fairly normally until 35/36, he should be a good bet, but he's at least another two or three years from getting to even Halladay territory (who I think is a slam dunk, but doesn't seem to be for everyone).

Didn't start to dominate until age 27, whereas Halladay and Kershaw pretty much started being awesome after their first 200 IP.
   24. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5577229)
Scherzer remids me of Don Drysdale. Scherzer has a better peak, drysdale a better career. Scherzer at 28.1 WAA, 44.6 WAR. Drysdale 28.6 WAA (29.4 peak WAA), and 61.2 WAR. The difference between them is ~1500 league average IPs. Drysdale had 3 seasons of 4+ WAA, with a high of 4.9. Scherzer has 5, with a high of 5.7.
   25. shoewizard Posted: November 16, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5577240)
That Kershaw graph shows the same thing (increased HR allowed) three different ways.

Kershaw gave up an extra 10 HR this year. That's it. His BB/9, K/9, and non-HR H/9 are all right in line with the last couple years. His ERA and ERA+ would be the best of his career if you take out the extra HR.


Yeah, I know...thats what I was trying to show. Glad I got the point across. :)

Thats why I ask the question, and specifically point out it may just be an aberration:


going forward, is This Chart a trend and indicator his run of dominance may start to wane now, or is it just a one year home run aberration on the road to Cooperstown ?


I swear it must be my writing style. Seems I often say something quite clearly, and yet people don't get my meaning. My bad I guess. ;)

Anyway, I really don't know exactly whats behind the the HR increase. I am neither writing it off as clear indicator of impending decline, or as a bad luck aberration. The odds are it's somewhere in between.

I do know he has had recurrent back issues, and those don't ever really go away. But I certainly can't pinpoint where that specifically may be impacting him.

Starting here at Brooks baseball, and then flipping through all the different tables, both in the Velo and Movement tabs, and the Usage and outcomes tabs, and also toggling between by month and by year in all those areas I see the following:

1.) No real loss in Velocity. Although early in the year people were saying that the new measuring system was giving higher readings, so staying the same may be a decrease. But I have no idea if the measuring system is an issue or not.

2.) EDIT: Fairly significant drop in Horizontal movement on his 4 seam FB, compared to previous 2 seasons. Slider/curve in line with previous 2 though.

3.) Looks like a few more sliders staying up from looking at the vertical movement.

4.) Horizontal and Vertical pitch locations off just a bit from previous years. It's subtle, but it's there.

On to Usage and Outcomes:

A.) He now throws more Sliders and Curves combined than fastballs.

B.) His whiff percentage down precipitously on his FB, but only slightly on the off speed.

C.) Flyballs per BIP on the Fastball WAY UP, as are of course the slugging and ISO, (The homers obviously)


Kershaw is great. The greatest pitcher of his time, and his 2014-2016 Rate peak is all time great. If the very slight, nuanced changes I am seeing above are "indicators" then we'll see it in his 2018 numbers as well. Stay tuned. :)
   26. shoewizard Posted: November 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5577296)
Adding one more data point, which I don't think is insignificant here:

In addition to his 23 homers in 175 regular season innings, he also allowed 8 more HR in 33 post season innings.

That brings him to 31 HR in 208 IP for 2017

Yeah, it's the post season, better competition, yada yada, but still.....

Steamer projections are out and they project 22 HR in 209 IP, 2.70 ERA, 2.80 FIP.






   27. BDC Posted: November 16, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5577300)
Comps for Scherzer, centered on him in terms of GS and ERA+ through age 32:

Player              WAR  GS ERAGF   W   L     IP  ERA  FIP
Mike Mussina       54.7 322  131  0 164  92 2238.1 3.49 3.55
Bret Saberhagen    52.6 309  126 13 141 100 2227.2 3.26 3.16
Kevin Appier       49.8 312  125  2 136 105 2084.2 3.63 3.65
Warren Spahn       48.8 268  130 25 145  98 2149.2 2.93 3.25
Hippo Vaughn       48.3 318  125 43 175 126 2620.2 2.34 2.54
Max Scherzer       44.6 296  127  2 141  75 1897.0 3.30 3.25
Lefty Gomez        43.9 306  127 31 183  97 2418.1 3.31 3.85
Tim Hudson         43.2 303  127  0 146  77 2017.1 3.48 3.79
Ed Reulbach        38.9 287  124 71 175  99 2500.2 2.27 2.84
Andy Messersmith   37.4 284  123 30 128  95 2168.0 2.80 3.22
Jimmy Key          36.3 284  123 24 134  87 1932.1 3.37 3.68 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/16/2017.

So on form, Scherzer's path to the Hall of Fame would seem to require either having another seven 20-win seasons on the way to 363 wins, or already having won five World Series with the Yankees :)

But none of the guys on the list stood out against their contemporaries quite like Scherzer has. Spahn and Saberhagen come closest: Saberhagen had two CYAs and another terrific but truncated season in 1994; Spahn had already had four 20-win seasons; there was no CYA for him to win, but he had done well in MVP voting. Spahn, as mentioned, had a great future ahead and was an easy HOFer. Saberhagen had little future ahead and is not.

Reulbach and Vaughn were very strong pitchers, real aces; Reulbach would never have won a CYA, but Vaughn might have in 1918 had there been such an award. But they were both basically through at age 32. Reulbach was in the Federal League at that age, having a great year but against diluted competition. He would win only seven big-league games after that age, and Vaughn only three.
   28. shoewizard Posted: November 16, 2017 at 12:52 PM (#5577368)
One thing that should be remembered here:

Max is a Boras client. When he was drafted, he didn't sign until literally the last second before the deadline a year later. recap

When you look at the list in #27, everyone else (except Jimmy Key) has over 2000 IP.

Max got to the majors one year later than he otherwise might have if he had signed right away and entered the D Backs system in June of 2006 instead of June of 2007.

It probably didn't really cost him any money. Boras did a good job of helping him maximize his FA dollars. But the missing year on his resume could be an issue down the road when it comes to HOF voting.

   29. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: November 16, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5577505)
Scherzer is going to be the least peaky peak-candidate. He's got 3 CYY, and those are some peak credentials right there. But his 127 ERA+ is just not impressive for a peak candidate, especially given that it's going to drop when he gets his decline phase.

Consider

142 Joss
131 Koufax
131 Dean
125 Vance

Advice to Scherzer: become a better pitcher and die young, be incorrectly considered the greatest pitcher ever, become a beloved broadcaster, or stay in the minor leagues until you are 31 and then lead the league in K's for seven consecutive years.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2017 at 06:26 PM (#5577682)
When I think of Scherzer, I think of Verlander -- for the obvious reasons of being contemporaries, one-time teammates, RHP, CYA-winners. Of course 3 of them trophies will take you farther in HoF voting than one but Verlander added the MVP and has the postseason, a ring and probably the more "dominant" rep (deserved or not). Now, do they actually look similar? Through 32:

MS 1897 IP, 141 W, 3.30 ERA, 127 ERA+, 10.2/2.5 K/BB, 45 WAR, 5 AS, 11th in career CYA shares (b-r hasn't updated yet)
JV 2111 IP, 157 W, 3.52 ERA, 121 ERA+, 8.3/2.7 K/BB , 44 WAR, 6 AS, looks like 28th in CYA shares when he was 32, he's moved up to 13th

Pretty close to my eye, the extra 200 IP and 16 wins tipping towards Verlander. And of course he's added two excellent seasons since then. We still don't know how the BBWAA is going to handle the further change in starter usage but I don't think JV is in bus territory yet but another 3 years should put him over 3000 innings and 220 wins and I think that will be enough by the time he hits the ballot ... possibly he doesn't need even that much.

If I'm right, that suggest Scherzer needs another 5 strong seasons ... or 2 strong seasons and three solid ones. I'm not sure he'll need 3000 innings -- I know the rate stats aren't up to Halladay's but 3 CYA in 5 year (plus two other top 5 finishes) is dominant ... granted, over-shadowed by Kershaw. If there are more WAR/WAA-oriented voters, I think he'll have enough after about 2700 innings ... a run of 6.7, 6.0, 7.1, 6.2, 7.3 is a level of consistency we don't often see. For 2013-17, bWAR puts it 33.3 for Scherzer, 33.1 for Kershaw. :-) (Sale, Kluber, Greinke, good ol' Cole Hamels, Verlander) Given Scherzer's FIP and ERA are nearly identical over those 5 years, I assume fWAR is about the same.

Some hope for Cub fans ... 2013-17, Quintana 9, Arrieta 10 (maybe we should re-sign him), Lester 15, Hendricks 27 (on less than 600 IP). Wow, Lackey #28. The Nats have 4 in the top 30 (Roark has been good for longer than I realized). I don't think anybody else has 3, Giants have two (Bum and Cueto). Yes, I know pitcher WAR 2013-17 only tells you so much about pitcher WAR 2018 and beyond.

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