Sarris: How should we weigh luck when voting for the Cy Young Award?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on August 30, 2018:

Aaron​ Nola is a beast,​ an artist, a scientist. He should be​ in​ the discussion for​ the best​ pitcher in the​ National​ League.​​ Where exactly he ranks is a question of philosophy as much as analysis. What exactly should we consider when we look at his candidacy for an award? Which stats let us know what he did, specifically, and don’t reward or penalize him for what his teammates have done? Should we consider luck, and if so, how much?

Yesterday, in the seventh inning, with the Phillies leading three to nothing and two runners on base, Nola got Matt Wieters to hit a ground ball that could have led to an inning-ending double play. Instead, this happened.


It’s just one play, but contained within are philosophical questions that go to the heart of measuring pitching performance.

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Originally published: August 30, 2018. Last Updated: August 30, 2018.