Today is the second day of SN Nation's week long community polling project. Yesterday we began the vote for MLB's best hitter. Today we switch gears and will vote for MLB's best pitcher. I decided to follow a similar approach to picking the voting options that I used for the hitters.
I'm going to include the six finalists for the Cy Young award. That's three from the National League and three from the American. The final four candidates will simply be the pitchers with the highest fWAR that were not one of the six finalists for the Cy Young award. I debated going with best ERA or best FIP instead. But I figured WAR was a better description. It was different for hitters because we didn't want to consider their defense. Whereas pitchers are also fielders and so it made sense to include it.
Obviously using WAR will exclude relievers. But personally I don't think the best reliever comes close to matching a top ten starting pitcher. I do think relievers have been undervalued for a while now. This isn't a knock against closers or anything. I just think the most elite reliever is still only about as valuable as a solid No. 3 starter. We wouldn't consider Gio Gonzalez, Francisco Liriano, and Yovani Gallardo to be in the same class as Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, David Price, and Jake Arrieta. So we shouldn't give consideration to Wade Davis or Dellin Betances either. That's how I see it anyway.
So without further digression here are your candidates for MLB's best pitcher in 2015: Sonny Gray, David Price, Dallas Keuchel, Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole.
As a Brewers fan I sometimes forget pitchers can be this good. I miss you Ben Sheets... But how do you pick the best of that bunch? Do you go with WAR? Do you go with ERA? FIP? Do you go with the best K%-BB%? Does the pitcher with them most innings get bonus points? Just like with the hitters I'm not sure there is a completely wrong or right answer.
As with all these polls make sure to log your votes in on time. The polls will close at midnight on Sunday. Let us know your opinion and thought process in the comment section!