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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

AL Cy Young voter explains controversial Gerrit Cole decision

Gerrit Cole

Robbie Ray almost became the 19th unanimous Cy Young winner in MLB history … the key word being “almost.”

The veteran lefty took home the AL Cy Young Award on Wednesday, placing first on 29 of 30 voting ballots. The lone defector was MLB.com’s Jason Beck, who had Ray in second place behind New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. The four-time All-Star Cole finished second on every other ballot.

Beck took to Twitter to explain his decision. Though he declined to mention which ones specifically, Beck said that over a dozen metrics he used to make his decision all weighed in Cole’s favor.

Ray led the American League in a number of traditional categories, such as ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.05), games started (32), innings pitched (193.1), and strikeouts (248). That appears to have put him over the top in the eyes of every other voter. But Beck likely relied on more niche metrics like FIP, strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and fWAR, where Cole was superior to Ray.

Shane Bieber was the unanimous AL Cy Young winner last season, but you have to go all the way back to Justin Verlander in 2011 for the last time that it happened before that. Ray will just have to settle for 29 of 30 first-place votes though. But at least Beck’s Cy Young vote was not quite as costly as this one from a couple years ago.

Photo: Feb 14, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a spring training workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

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