2. David Price – 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 8.74 K/9, 2.52 BB/9, 3.05 FIP, 3.12 xFIP, 5.1 fWAR, 6.4 rWAR
3. Felix Hernandez – 3.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 8.65 K/9, 2.17 BB/9, 2.84 FIP, 3.20 xFIP, 6.1 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR
4. Chris Sale– 3.06 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.00 K/9, 2.36 BB/9, 3.27 FIP, 3.23 xFIP, 4.9 fWAR, 5.8 rWAR
5. Jered Weaver – 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 6.77 K/9, 2.15 BB/9, 3.75 FIP, 4.18 xFIP, 3.0 fWAR, 3.7 rWAR
For the 2nd consecutive year, Justin Verlander has been the best pitcher in the American League and deserves another Cy Young Award. He struggled down the stretch, leading many Tiger fans to believe that he doesn’t deserve it, but that just shows how spoiled we’ve become. Verlander led the league in innings pitched (238 1/3), strikeouts (239), complete games (6), and finished 2nd in ERA, WHIP and BAA (.215). While he didn’t lead the league in ERA, he did finish best in both ballpark adjusted stats, Baseball-reference’s ERA+ (158, where the higher the number, the better) and FanGraphs’ ERA- (64, where the lower the number, the better). And finally, he had the highest fWAR and rWAR. He should be the obvious choice.
The surprise here might be putting Jered Weaver 5th. Going strictly on Sabermetrics, he probably should be left off altogether. He finished 14th in the AL in fWAR (behind Tiger pitcher Max Scherzer) due to a merely average 3.75 FIP. Combine that with a league lowest BABIP (tied with teammate Ervin Santana) at .241, suggests that he was helped an awful lot by his defense. But I’m not one to totally dismiss traditional stats and I think a 20-game winner with a sub-3.00 ERA should get recognized.