Buster Olney echoed what I have seen on Twitter at least a dozen times in the past week alone. That is that the debate for Cy Young Award in the American League between Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez will be an old school versus new school debate. That is such a poppycock statement and it is not how it will be at all. First, here is Olney’s tweet:
The Scherzer-Felix Cy Young Award debate is developing into another Miggy-Trout debate: Old School Vs. New School numbers.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 15, 2013
He goes on to state that Felix has way better numbers:
@antoniojg1986 The new school stats suggest Felix is the runaway winner — like Trout last year.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 15, 2013
Seriously? Let’s first look at WAR. Baseball-reference.com lists King Felix at 5.9 and Scherzer at 5.1. That is not that far of a spread and there are plenty of games left. Fangraphs.com has Hernandez at 5.2 and Scherzer at 5.0. That is hardly “like Trout last year.”
FIP is also close with Hernandez holding a slight edge at 2.49 to 2.69 for Scherzer. Hopefully, the “new school” will be smart enough to put away their win bias as a statistic to look at these numbers carefully before making a decision.
Scherzer has Hernandez on strikeouts by a wide margin and Hernandez has a slight edge in WPA. Scherzer has a total pitch value that is higher than Hernandez’s total pitch value.
In other words, this is not a runaway by either and it is nowhere near the debate of last year’s MVP vote. And other candidates such as Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Sale enter the conversation too. There is a month and a half of the season to go. Let’s see how it all plays out before making such stupid and dramatic statements.