Anticipation is building for the first KBO pitcher to win the Cy Young Award.

The man in question is Merrill Kelly, 34, of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kelly spent four years with the SK Wyverns from 2015-2018. With a career record of 48-32 with a 3.86 ERA, he made his major league debut in 2019, signing a two-year, $5.5 million deal with Arizona, and has since gone from strength to strength, signing a two-year, $18 million extension in early April.

Kelly currently has one of the most consistent races in the National League. As of April 20, he has pitched 90 innings in 15 games with a 9-3 record, 2.90 ERA, 96 strikeouts, 1.07 WHIP, and a .194 batting average.

He leads the NL in wins, ranks fourth in ERA, sixth in innings pitched, tied for seventh in strikeouts, second in strikeouts, and third in WHIP. He ranks at the top of every major pitching title category.

Kelly is ranked first in ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor (CYP), beating out a host of established aces. With a CYP of 89.0, Kelly earned the most points in the National League (NL), ahead of teammate Zack Galen (85.1).

CYP is a sabermetric prediction system created by sabermetrics founder Bill James and baseball columnist Rob Neyer that takes into account variables such as innings pitched, earned runs allowed, strikeouts, complete games, wins, losses, saves, and team standings. As you can see from his record, Kelly is at the top of his game in all of these variables.메이저사이트

Chicago Cubs’ Marcus Stroman leads the National League in ERA. AP
The Cubs’ Marcus Stroman, who leads the NL in ERA and is fourth in CYP at 73.4, is behind Kelly in strikeouts and team rankings. His 78 strikeouts are 20th in the NL, and the Cubs are in fourth place in the NL Central with a 34-38 record. Arizona is in sole possession of first place in the NL West with a 44-29 record entering the day. Even excluding the team standings variable, which is worth 12 points for first place in the district, Kelly leads Stroman with 77.0 points.

Cincinnati Reds closer Alexis Diaz, who is third with 84.5 CYP, also drops to 72.5 without the team standings bonus for first place in the NL Central.

Of course, if the BBWAA were voting now, Kelly’s chances of winning the Cy Young drop significantly, as wins take a backseat to ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP in Cy Young voting these days.

That said, if Kelly carries his first-half pace into the second half, he’ll be among the most competitive candidates.

With his seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 20, Kelly has won eight straight games and five straight quality starts, and he leads the team in wins and ERA. Galen broke out with a 28-inning scoreless streak from the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres on April 5 to the Kansas City Royals on April 27, but his form has been uneven since.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Shane McClanahan leads the majors in wins and earned run average. AFP
In the American League (AL), Tampa Bay Rays left-handed ace Shane McClellanahan leads the way with a CYP of 112.7. That’s 19.0 points ahead of second-place Texas Rangers Nathan Eovaldi (93.7). McClellanahan leads the AL in wins (11-1) and ERA (2.12), and Tampa Bay has been in first place in the AL East all season.

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