MLB

New-age stats shed light on old Cy Young votes

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For so many years, the formula for winning a Cy Young Award was pretty simple: Win a lot of games. Denny McLain was a unanimous pick in 1968 and deservedly so. He posted 31 victories - the combined total of this year's Cy Young starters, Tim Lincecum and Zack Greinke. A whopping win total, a good ERA and a bunch of strikeouts often brought home the hardware. But the perception of pitching has changed, with fans and voters now relying more heavily on new-age stats such as WHIP (hits plus walks per inning) and FIP (a designer equation that factors out a team's defensive ability). Pitchers have taken notice, too. Greinke talked about his Fielding Independent Pitching after this week's win and Lincecum pointed to his WHIP. A look back at some Cy Young races and how they might've been seen under modern light: 2005 AL: Bartolo Colon leads the league at 21-8 and takes the award by a wide margin. Johan Santana is a distant third at 16-7, despite a better ERA (2.87 to 3.48), more strikeouts (238 to 157) and being the only starter in the AL with a WHIP under 1.00. 1998 NL: Tom Glavine takes the award as the league's only 20-game winner. Braves teammate Greg Maddux is way back in fourth place with an ERA that's a quarter-run better. Maddux is the lone NL pitcher with a WHIP under 1.00; Glavine isn't in the top 10. 1996 NL: John Smoltz is the overwhelming pick with 24 wins and 276 strikeouts. Kevin Brown barely gets a look with 17 victories - plus an ERA that's a full run better and a more impressive WHIP. 1993 AL: Jack McDowell goes 22-10 with a 3.37 ERA for the White Sox and is an easy winner. Kevin Appier is far back in third at 18-8 with a 2.56 ERA and a sizable edge in WHIP. 1990 AL: Bob Welch breezes on the strength of 27 wins for Oakland. Roger Clemens is runner-up with 21 wins despite a 1.93 ERA that's a run under Welch's, more strikeouts and a better WHIP.

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