Statcast's view of the 2017 Cy Young finalists – MLB.com

We know that different voters choose in different ways for different reasons. Some rely on old-school numbers like wins and ERA; others dive into the most advanced numbers they can find. Let’s share with you some of those numbers now, and explain why these choices may not be as simple as they seem.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Let’s start with perhaps the most interesting number of any award discussion all winter: By the most advanced Statcast™ pitching metric we have, Sale and Kluber are tied… to the third decimal point.

AL Cy Young Award finalists

Finalists revealed for 2017 AL Cy Young Award

Luis Severino, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber are named as the finalists for BBWAA’s 2017 American League Cy Young Award

That’s Expected Weighted On-Base Average, or xwOBA, and while it may sound complicated, it’s really not. It attempts to remove the effects of defense and ballpark by simply looking at the quality of contact of each batted ball (by exit velocity and launch angle), and identifying the usual outcome of that combination across baseball, as well as including real-world strikeout and walk totals. 

Across baseball in 2017, the average xwOBA was .314, and of the 228 starters who faced at least 100 hitters, the range went from .242 at the very top end to .404 at the bottom. The second-best starter, at .248, was Kluber. Also the second-best starter, at .248, was Sale. The most advanced tool we have says that the two were identically dominant this year, and Severino, for what it’s worth, was elite as well, coming in at No. 9 with a stellar .267 mark. 

AL Outstanding Pitcher: Kluber

Kluber is Players Choice for AL Outstanding Pitcher

Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber is the winner of the 2017 Players Choice Award for AL

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