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Cy Young Predictions

With the 2006 MLB season winding down, I will be predicting the winners of baseball’s greatest awards during the coming week.  I have been updating my Rookie of the Year predictions weekly, and will do the same with the Cy Young, MVP, and all the other award predictions as well.  Anyway, here are my predictions for this year’s Cy Young award winners…

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Johan Santana seems to be the popular choice for AL Cy Young … he’s not my pick though…

Everyone in the baseball world seems to think that Twins’ ace Johan Santana will walk away with baseball’s premier award for pitchers.  And with good reason.  Santana leads the MLB win wins with 18, has the best ERA in the league with a 2.79, and has by far the most strikeouts with a stunning 240.  So why is the dominating 27-year-old Venezuelan not my pick?  Because he hasn’t been quite as important to his team, as another of this year’s greatest AL arms. 

He’s an underdog, but Chien-Ming Wang is my pick to win the AL Cy Young Award

The Yankees have clinched the AL East division and much of their effort this season is due to the great improvement of their starting pitching from last year.  A big part of that has been sophomore righthander Chien-Ming Wang.  Wang has an 18-6 record (identical to Santana’s), with a 3.57ERA, all of which he has compiled while striking-out just 72 batters all season (less than a fourth of Santana’s total).  So now you’re wondering, aren’t Wang’s numbers worse than Santana’s?  Yes, but Wang has been the guy who has stepped-up for the Yankees when they needed a good outing and the guy who has been the most dependable and effective pitcher in their rotation — better than Mussina and Johnson.  The same can be said of Santana, but in my opinion, Wang has been the more valuable pitcher this season. 

AL Pick: Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

The National League Cy Young race is hazy right now.  There is no clear-cut winner.  At times, Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs has looked like the obvious choice.  Earlier in the year, Brandon Webb of the D-Backs seemed like the consensus winner.  Recently however, both of those pitchers haven’t been consistent, so I’m going with yet another underdog. 

John Smoltz has had a spectacular 2006 season

As I mentioned above, the NL Cy Young race is hazy, at best, right now.  That’s why, in my opinion, there is a good chance of the award going to an unexpected winner.  And that’s exactly what 39-year-old John Smoltz is.  Smoltz is 14-9 with a 3.72ERA this season.  He has also K’d a whopping 200 batters (first time since 1997 that Smoltz has accomplished this), good for 2nd in the league behind only Johan Santana.  Had the Braves’ bullpen been better earlier this season, Smoltz might have 18 wins right now, and I pointed that out in an article a couple of months ago (The Unluckiest Pitcher in Baseball … John Smoltz — you can find it in the “Atlanta Braves” category).  While his final month (4.70ERA in September) leaves much to be desired, John Smoltz’s contribution to the Braves this season can’t be denied — he’s the only pitcher to survive Leo Mazzone’s departure without taking a hit to his statistics.  With the picture hazy, and my love for underdogs, I’m taking the veteran Smoltz for this year’s NL Cy Young. 

NL Pick: John Smoltz (Braves)

Picking two underdogs for the Cy Young … I must be crazy, right?  Well, we’ll see how the votes come out after the season is over — for the record, I admit my picks don’t have a great chance of taking home the hardware. 

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Trivia Time!

Yesterday’s Question was…

During the Giants losing effort in the 2002 World Series against the Angels, one “Gigantes” player made history.  He was the first Japanese player to appear in the World Series.  Can you name him?

And the answer is: Tsuyoshi Shinjo

Here’s today’s question…

Who was the last closer to win the AL Cy Young award?

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2 Responses to “Cy Young Predictions”

  1. Are you nuts?? Wang is more valuable to the Yankees than Santana has been to the Twins.. You’re obviously an east coast writer!!
    Everyone knows that Santana is the MVP of the Twins, and should be the
    first pitcher since Pedro to get serious consideration for AL MVP. Without Liriano and Radke, Santana has been the only go to guy on that rotation, and I’m not even a Twins fan. Why don’t you do some more research before making these dumb ass statements!

  2. For the record, I’m actually on the West Coast. I’m also not a Yankees supporter, in fact, I’m a Red Sox fan and dislike the Yankees. So no, there is no “personal” side to my prediction.

    As I mentioned, there is good reason to believe that Johan Santana will win the AL Cy Young award. However, I think Chien-Ming Wang is equally deserving of the award because of how well he has done when the Yankees were in dire need of a solid outing. Statistically, Santana is the obvious winner, but going beyond the numbers, Wang emerges as a darn good candidate.

    If the votes go by statistics, Santana will win in a landslide. If the voters look beyond the numbers, Santana is still the favorite, but I think Wang has a solid chance of taking home the hardware.


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