With about 6 weeks to go in the MLB season there are 5 players who will headline the race for the CY Young. They are as follows: Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez & Tim Hudson. It's time to look at each player's case to see if they will be determined the best pitcher in the National League at the end of the season.
Roy "Doc" Halladay: During the off-season Halladay got traded to the Phillies and has been putting up great numbers. He has a career best 1.03 BB/9 and 8.16 K/9 is second best 8.20 in 2001, he only pitched 105.1 innings though which is a SSS. His FIP this year is 2.64 which is yet another career best for him. Do you see a trend here, because I sure do. Another career best is his xFIP which is at a 2.82, not too shabby. His ERA is 2.24 so you can see how close it is to his FIP and xFIP. One thing that you notice when looking at Halladay's stats is that he isn't getting lucky or unlucky. His BABIP is at .301 so he is almost perfectly pitching to his talent level. So far Halladay has posted a 6.3 WAR which is outstanding. If he keeps pitching like this he could easily (and should) be the NL CY Young winner.
Adam Wainwright: Adam Wainwright is also having a great year, a career year at that. Like Halladay he has a career best 2.14 BB/9, not as good but still very solid. Last year he posted a career best 8.19 K/9 but this year he is striking out a very solid 8.06 per 9. Not a big difference at all. He has also done a good job on keeping the ball in the ballpark, his .56 HR/9 shows this. Wainwright is getting somewhat lucky though because his BABIP is at .258. I'm not sure if he could sustain it the rest of the year. His FIP is 2.89 this year, another career high. It's lower then his 3.11 FIP which was posted last year. He has a solid xFIP of 3.19. Another solid pitcher who can easily make his case for a CY Young.
Josh Johnson: Here's one of my favorites, no not because he is from Minnesota. I don't really know why but anyways back to the thread. Johnson is having a steller season, possibly better then Wainwright this year. Johnson is posting career highs in K/9 and BB/9 respectively. His K/9 is 8.85 and his BB/9 is 2.16. Johnson's ERA this year is 2.27 and his FIP is 2.33, both very solid and career highs. His xFIP is 3.17 so far this year. His ERA is a very nice 2.27, very similar to his FIP. Like Halladay he is pitching to his amazing potential as his BABIP is at .302. He has a very nice WAR for the Marlins, 5.6. Overall I would say Johnson deserves to be second in the race for the CY.
Ubaldo Jimenez: After his epic start to the season he has "cooled" off some. He's still striking out 8.43 batters per 9, career best for him but he's walking a btter too much I feel. He's walking 3.58 per 9. Even though Jimenez pitches in an epic hitters park he only gives up .39 HR/9. His ERA has rose a run or so but it's still at a nice 2.59. His FIP and xFIP are above 3, with his FIP being 3.06 and his xFIP at 3.73. Besides his 17 wins I don't think he'd be my first choice to win the CY but the voters LOVE wins. His WAR is at 4.8, lower then both JJ and Doc. In my opinion he's my third or 4th choice to win the CY.
Tim Hudson: Hudson has had a very solid year this year after being plagued with injuries. He doesn't strike out too many batters which shows in his 4.86 K/9. He has solid control as he's only walked only 2.95 per 9. Like the other pitchers he keeps the ball in the park, giving up .55 HR/9. Hudson has been getting very lucky this year. His BABIP is at .231. He may be able to hold that up for the rest of the year but that's crazy. He does have a nice sinker so maybe that contributes to it. His ERA is at 2.13 this year which is nice and on pace for a career high. His FIP is 3.89 so his ERA may raise a little and his xFIP is at 4.07. He only has a 2.5 WAR though which surprised me. In the end he'd be my 5th option out of those.
Overall my order for CY Young would be:
1. Roy Halladay
2. Josh Johnson
3. Adam Wainwright
4. Ubaldo Jimenez
5. Tim Hudson
How I think it turns out:
1. Ubaldo Jimenez
2. Roy Halladay
3. Adam Wainwright
4. Josh Johnson
5. Tim Hudson