As the season ends, avid baseball followers are looking forward to intense playoff pushes and heated debates on who should win the Major League Baseball’s most prestigious awards. The American League Cy Young Award could be one of the closest races. Some of the stars contender who could win the award include Gerrit Cole, Lance Lynn, Shohei Ohtani, and Robbie Ray. Robbie Ray has always been a consistent pitcher, but this year has been one of his best. Ray has become a dominant starter with the Blue Jays. With his stats this season, he can put his past pitching woes behind him on his way to becoming a true Cy Young possibility.
The Dominant Stats of Robbie Ray
Ray is having one of those unbelievable seasons that experts never would have thought could happen. At the age of 29, Ray has started 27 games with an 11-5 record. He has posted 2.60 earned run average, leading the American League by almost two-tenths of a point over the likes of Gerrit Cole.
Another contender, Lance Lynn, is tied with Ray with a 2.60 ERA. However, Ray has pitched 166 innings compared to Lynn’s 135. In fact, Ray leads the American League in innings pitched with five more innings than second-place Cole. Having the lowest ERA with the most innings pitched gives Ray a significant advantage over his competitors.
What hurts Ray’s chances of winning the award is the number of home runs allowed and relatively few strikeouts he has. Ray has surrendered 25 home runs, which leads the American League among Cy Young contenders. Cole has only given up 19 home runs, and Lynn has 16. However, with Ray’s innings pitched advantage, this discrepancy is somewhat mitigated.
Advanced Stats Favor Ray
Some under the radar statistics that should be considered are hits per nine innings, strikeout percentage, and wins above replacement. Ray leads the league in hits per nine innings, averaging 6.7. This is a significant stat for any Cy Young caliber pitcher because it shows the pitcher’s ability to get strikeouts to stay out of trouble. Moreover, according to FanGraphs, Ray has the highest percentage of runners left on base at an outstanding 89.9 percent. He leads this category significantly over Cole’s 79.9 percent.
The last stat that really seals the deal for Ray is his WAR value. According to Baseball-Reference, Ray has 6.6 WAR, ranking as one of the highest in the league. This stat proves that Ray contributes heavily to his team’s success. As of publication, the Blue Jays sit just a half-game out of the second wild-card spot, in no small part due to some of Ray’s fantastic starts. `
How he Takes the Crown
Ray just needs to keep doing what he has been doing. He is the ace on the Blue Jays staff as the club competes for a playoff spot. In the Blue Jays’ last ten games, the team has gone 8 and 2 with an impressive sweep over the New York Yankees.
Ray has the opportunity to increase his strikeout lead and take a more commanding ERA lead. Gerrit Cole is sidelined with a hamstring injury. It also helps that Ray and the Jays are facing offensively poor teams in the home stretch.
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