R.A. Dickey knuckles his way to the top pitching award in the National League.
While the Rookie of the Year voting in our in-house SB Nation awards was far and away in favor of Bryce Harper, the Pitcher of the Year awards were very close. R.A. Dickey took home the title, but he narrowly edged out Clayton Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez.
Dickey, the knuckleballing Met, had another solid year in what's been a renaissance for the 37-year old. He not only wrote a well-received book, but also was part of a well-done baseball movie. Oh, by the way, he also won 20 games, had an ERA of 2.73, an xFIP of 3.27 and a career-high strikeout rate of 8.86 in 233 2/3 innings.
Here's the complete voting, with nary an Astro in sight:
|R.A. Dickey||New York Mets||13||11||6||2||157|
|Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers||11||12||8||2||1||154|
|Gio Gonzalez||Washington Nationals||9||7||7||6||5||129|
|Johnny Cueto||Cincinnati Reds||2||4||7||8||6||73|
|Cliff Lee||Philadelphia Phillies||5||4||3||26|
|Matt Cain||San Francisco Giants||1||5||4||17|
|Cole Hamels||Philadelphia Phillies||1||3||5||15|
|Craig Kimbrel||Atlanta Braves||1||2||6||13|
|Wade Miley||Arizona Diamondbacks||3||1||7|
|Kris Medlen||Atlanta Braves||3||3|
|Lance Lynn||St. Louis Cardinals||1||1|
My homeristic hat only went so far in these votes, as I voted for Gio, Clayton, Dickey, Hamels and MIley in that order. I went with Gio at the top spot because I weighted his being on a winning, playoff-bound team. He also had a higher strikeout rate than Dickey with good correlation between his xFIP, tERA and SIERA numbers.
But, I think the main thing the voting shows is that you can throw a blanket over those top three. While I haven't seen all the ballots, I'd bet Cueto got two first-place votes from the Cincy writers. He was the only laggard behind those top three, but his inclusion here makes it a bit odd that he wasn't one of the five finalists in the BBWAA voting (which will be revealed later today).
I followed the order of the top two on the results, R.A. Dickey and Clayton Kershaw were my one and two. I then had Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and finally Gio Gonzalez. I've never been a big fan of WAR for pitchers so I relied on that statistic the least. Instead I took into account FIP, xFIP, innings pitched and SIERA. Dickey had the most innings pitched and was second in SIERA which is why I voted him one. I like a pitcher to not only be good, but also pitch as much as he can for his team Dickey did that. Plus there are some analysts that believe a knuckleballer's value isn't properly shown in advanced statistics and I'm inclined to believe that. Kershaw was second in innings pitched and fourth in SIERA, but was fourth by only .02 of a point. He also had the flashy FIP and WAR so I voted him second.
The three, four and five spots on a ballot were a bit of a challenge. After Dickey and Kershaw there were a lot of good pitchers clumped together. Cliff Lee lead the league in SIERA while also finishing 7th in innings pitched so he went third. Hamels was third in SIERA and sixth in innings so he was fourth. Finally, despite finishing 19th in innings pitched (199.1 IP) I couldn't ignore any longer Gonzalez's excellent FIP and WAR numbers so I voted him fifth. --Tim
I want to hear from you all. Did this voting go as you expected? Who would have been your top five picks?