Two Man Race for NL Cy Young, Who’s going to take the Crown? Part 1

The NL Cy Young has come down to a two-man race between LA Dodgers Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Atlanta Braves Closer Craig Kimbrel. This is a two-part series that breaks down each player and his respective season. This is part one.

(Note: Stats for Kimbrel and Kershaw are not final. 2013 Regular season not over yet.)

Craig Kimbrel Case

Having a closer with a really good chance of winning the NL Cy Young is a big deal because in the 45 years of the NL Cy Young Award a closer has only won the award 5 times. The last closer to win the Cy Young was Eric Gagne of the LA Dodgers; with 55 saves he converted in a row.

9879699215_a68992a9b2_kLet’s compare the major stats of Gagne’s 2003 season v.s. Kimbrel’s 2013 season.

Saves Strikeouts ERA WHIP Blown Saves
Gagne 55 137 1.2 0.69 0
Kimbrel 49 93 1.27 0.91 4

When looking at the stats Eric Gagne does have an edge in every major category. A big part of the Cy Young that has to be considered though is the success of the player’s team. Kimbrel has team success going for him, where as Gagne did not. Kimbrel’s Atlanta Braves have the best record in the NL and are going to be the top seed in the 2013 Postseason. In 2003 Gagne’s Dodgers didn’t make the playoffs and finished 15.5 games out of first in the NL West.

Stay tuned for the next post which will break down Kershaw and say who wins the 2013 NL Cy Young.