Two Man Race For NL Cy Young, Who’s Going To Take The Crown? Part 2

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  the second part of a two part series that breaks down each player and their respective season.

Clayton Kershaw’s Case

Clayton Kershaw might just be the best southpaw pitcher in baseball today. Kershaw has spearheaded the second half surge by the LA Dodgers to put them in playoffs and has led them to the third best record in the NL. Since the All-Star break the Dodgers have gone 43 and 19, which at one point, winning 36 of 44 games. A big part of that is because of Kershaw taking the hill every five days and being that guy who can get a win every time he goes out.

Lets go inside his numbers

Strikeouts Innings Pitched Wins WHIP ERA WAR
232 236 16 0.92 1.83 7.9
1st in the NL 2nd in the NL Tied for 3rd in the NL 1st in the NL 1st in the NL 1st in the NL

As you can see he is either first, second or third in each major pitching category, with the most mind boggling and amazing stat being his ERA of 1.88. No other starting pitcher in the entire MLB has an ERA below two. This number is so amazing because every time he goes out on the hill, he his shutting down almost every offensive weapon a team has to offer. The Dodger’s offensive players know that if they get just 2-3 runs every time he is out there, they will win because he sits batters down left and right.

Who Wins?

Comparing a closer to a starting pitcher can be like comparing apples to oranges because they impact their team differently, but one could not do their job without the other. However, when looking at the numbers they both put up this year, I have to give it  to Clayton Kershaw as the 2013 NL Cy Young winner. Kershaw is having a bigger impact on his team this year and it has shown throughout the second half of the baseball season. Kershaw’s impact has even put him in contention to win the NL MVP award, which is very hard for a pitcher to win. Kershaw is a game changing pitcher every time he steps on the hill. He is a true ace and will be for many years to come.

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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.