However, they both fell to Cubs starter Jake Arrieta for the honor, as he received the award with 17 first place votes and 169 voting points, to Greinke’s 10 first place votes and 147 points and Kershaw’s three first place votes and 101 voting points.
Arrieta was an extremely deserving Cy Young winner as he had a legendary second half of the season and wasn’t too shabby in the first half either. He finished the season with a 22-6 record and a 1.77 ERA/2.35 FIP combo. His second half overshadowed his first half, as he posted a .75 ERA and a 12-1 record after the all star break.
Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) throws a pitch during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
As much as I don’t want to believe this is the case, the 22 wins seems like the stat that put him over the edge. Pitcher wins are an extremely useless stat, but the BBWAA have weighted it a little heavier than they should in the past and that was really the only edge Arrieta had on Kershaw and Greinke. Greinke had a better ERA, Kershaw smoked them both in strikeouts and FIP, both of which have more to do with the pitcher and less to do with defense.
It’s also possible that Kershaw and Greinke split votes, being pitchers from the same team. Kershaw also could have brought some voter fatigue as he had won the previous two Cy Youngs and three of the last four before today. Unlike Arrieta and Greinke, Kershaw’s ERA was above two (despite his FIP being under two), but he literally struck out 301 batters this season.
Arrieta was a highly deserving winner, and nobody should be batting an eye that he won, just like no one should bat an eye had Greinke or Kershaw taken home the award. Looking at the ballots, however, there are a few reasons to be confused. Two people voted for Gerrit Cole over Kershaw, and one of those also voted for Madison Bumgarner over Kershaw. It honestly surprises me that Bumgarner got ANY votes, let alone more than Jacob deGrom, but him over Kershaw is borderline insane.
Congrats to Arrieta on his win, and as long as he doesn’t no-hit the Dodgers again, he’s a pretty easy guy to root for. He had an incredible season and next year will tell if it was a flash-in-the-pan or if he can elevate himself even further.
The Dodgers don’t have a candidate for the MVP award, which is the final BBWAA award and will be given (to Bryce Harper) tomorrow. Seriously. If Harper doesn’t win it would upset me more than Kershaw or Greinke not winning.