The NL Cy Young race is exceptionally close this season. There are about 15 pitchers in the National League that are in position to win the award, one of whom is Aroldis Chapman. The case for Chapman was laid out by Jayson Stark in this piece – http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8265725/the-case-aroldis-chapman-winning-national-league-cy-young-award.
The central argument is that Chapman, a reliever, is the dominant pitcher of the year, more so than any other starter. But is he even the best relief pitcher in the NL?
Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves has a better WHIP, an identical ERA, a better Batting Average Against, a significantly better OPS against, and has given up only 3 XBH all season to Chapman’s 10, though Chapman has pitched 14 more innings. Chapman has struck out a mind-boggling 16.74 batters per 9 innings, but Kimbrel is at an equally astonishing 15.70. It’s likely a wash when all is said and done, but the idea that Chapman is somehow blowing away every starter in the Cy Young race when he can’t even separate from another reliever is silly.