Early NL Cy Young Candidates

Sorry, I didn’t have internet access yesterday, so no post.  On to the NL’s top pitchers…

1. LHP Johan Santana, Mets

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Santana had some bad run support at the start of the season, but has put up stellar numbers none the less.  He leads the NL in Strikeouts (86), and Wins (7), he is second in ERA (1.77), and fourth in WHIP (1.09).  He should maintain these rates, as is BABIP is average.  Santana is one of the best pitchers in baseball, yet he manages to be underrated; maybe fans are just taking this production for normal.  They certainly have a right to, Santana is the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young.
2. RHP Josh Johnson, Marlins

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Josh Johnson is one of many pitchers who have Cy Young talent, but just can’t stay healthy.  He’s among the league leaders in ERA (2.67), WHIP (1.10), Strikeouts (59), and Innings Pitched (67.1).  He has an average BABIP.  Durability will be the number one concern for Johnson, he just can’t seem to stay healthy.
3. RHP Dan Haren, D-backs

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I’ll start this off by saying that Dan Haren won’t win the Cy Young.  Then why am I including him?  Simply this, Dan Haren has excellent peripherals, a 2.57 ERA, a league-leading 0.91 WHIP, he averages 7 IP per start, he strikes out a batter an inning, hardly ever gives up a walk, and leads the NL in SO/BB rate.  His BABIP is on the low side, so his ERA and WHIP will go up, but he will still dominate.  If I could choose one pitcher to build a team around, Haren would be a top possibility.  Than what’s his problem?  The D-backs have a poor offense.  What’s that got to do with anything?  Haren has received no run support, in fact, he has a losing record.  He won’t win the Cy Young, because he won’t put up a flashy, (and meaningless), win total on the D-backs.  Danny Haren deserves much better.
4. RHP Chad Billingsley, Dodgers

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I consider Chad Billingsley a darkhorse candidate for the Cy Young, he will catch voters’ attentions with gaudy win totals, produced not by Billingsley, but by the Dodgers offense.  Billingsley has received an average of almost 6 runs per game in support, he’s not a Dan Haren.  Billingsley has a good 2.67 ERA, and a solid 1.19 WHIP, he also has a BABIP a sliver on the high side.  Billingsley rarely gives up homeruns, but his glaring weakness, not illustrated by his WHIP, is walks, he walks 4 batters per 9 innings, he offsets this somewhat, by striking out a batter an inning.

Haren has the best peripherals, Billingsley has undeserved win totals, Santana has the “dominate” numbers that voters will look for.

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