First-third awards – AL Cy Young

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Yeah, it’s a no-brainer, but let’s look at a few lists anyway.

Top 10 in ERA

1. Zack Greinke – 1.10 in 82 IP
2. Jered Weaver – 2.26 in 75 2/3 IP
3. Edwin Jackson – 2.30 in 74 1/3 IP
4. Erik Bedard – 2.37 in 60 2/3 IP
5. Roy Halladay – 2.77 in 91 IP
6. Mark Buehrle – 2.91 in 74 1/3 IP
7. Cliff Lee – 2.96 in 82 IP
8. Josh Outman – 3.02 in 53 2/3 IP
9. Jarrod Washburn – 3.22 in 64 1/3 IP
10. Kevin Millwood – 3.23 in 78 IP

Halladay and Lee are the only pitchers here that have made 12 starts so
far. The rest are at 10 or 11, except for Outman at nine.

Top 10 in VORP

1. Zack Greinke – 43.4
2. Roy Halladay – 31.3
3. Jered Weaver – 31.3
4. Cliff Lee – 28.5
5. Mark Buehrle – 25.7
6. Edwin Jackson – 25.4
7. Kevin Millwood – 23.0
8. Erik Bedard – 22.3
9. CC Sabathia – 21.1
10. James Shields – 20.8

Halladay’s innings count boosts him here. Jackson, who has given up
more unearned runs than any of the contenders (six), falls back a bit.

Top 10 in FIP

1. Zack Greinke – 1.57
2. Justin Verlander – 2.31
3. Roy Halladay – 2.76
4. Cliff Lee – 3.13
5. Felix Hernandez – 3.28
6. Edwin Jackson – 3.31
7. Gil Meche – 3.35
8. CC Sabathia – 3.51
9. Erik Bedard – 3.56
10. Jered Weaver – 3.57

Verlander soars once one tries to separate defense from pitching.
I’m not sure I buy it, though: he really was that bad at the start of
the season. Of course, he’s been right there with Greinke as the AL’s
best pitcher over the last five weeks.

By virtue of that innings total, I think Halladay is pretty
comfortably in second place right now. Third is a tougher call, with
Weaver and Lee having the best cases. I’m giving the edge to Weaver,
mostly because he’s had a somewhat more difficult schedule.

First-third AL Cy Young

1. Greinke
2. Halladay
3. Weaver

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.