If you're going to penalize CarGo for Coors Field, you have to credit Ubaldo


In light of the Carlos Gonzalez/Coors Field hate, Dave Krieger of the Denver Post says the following:

one thing for baseball experts to penalize Carlos Gonzalez in the
National League MVP race because he plays half his games at Coors Field.
It’s quite another not to reward Ubaldo Jimenez in the Cy Young race
for exactly the same reason . . . As the days of summer
dwindle down and the eastern experts handicap baseball’s awards, you can
count on two things: Coors Field will be prominently mentioned in the
MVP race, devaluing
CarGo’s numbers, though he’s contending for the Triple Crown. And it
will get no mention whatsoever in the Cy Young race. Instead, Jimenez’s
candidacy will be devalued by his failure to maintain the pace that had
him at 15-1 at the all-star break.

It’s a pretty fair point. Jimenez’s home/road splits should be acknowledged. Let’s acknowledge them:

On the road Jimenez has a 2.30 ERA and a WHIP of 1.052 (at home he’s a
at 3.35 and 1.263). His strikeout rates are pretty similar at home and
on the road. He actually walks fewer in Coors. He’s given up the same
number of home runs at home and on the road, but he has allowed 17 more
hits in two fewer home starts. It’s a big outfield there in Denver.

I haven’t analyzed the NL Cy Young race all that much yet, but my gut has me thinking Roy Halladay would be my choice.  Let’s check his splits out:

Halladay has an identical road WHIP as Jimenez and a
higher ERA (2.72). He has thrived in Citizens Bank Park, however,
posting a 2.12 ERA and a 1.048 WHIP.  He strikes out more guys and walks
fewer guys on the road. Halladay has five fewer road starts than home
starts but has allowed only one less home run on the road.

Halladay and Jimenez aren’t the only two names to consider, of
course. Adam Wainwright has been a beast. Mat Latos has been excellent,
though in far fewer innings than the others. Josh Johnson was at least
in the conversation until he was shut down the other day. Tim Hudson
should be acknowledged.  It’s not a two man race.

If you put a gun to my head right now I’d probably still choose Roy Halladay, but Krieger is right: if you’re going to penalize Carlos Gonzalez for Coors Field in the MVP race, you have to at least acknowledge that Ubaldo has to pitch in the joint when you’re thinking Cy Young.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.