Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy had seasons of remarkably similar value. I would have chosen Brandon Webb for Cy Young, but I can't really quibble with the choice of Peavy. The thing that astonished me is that Peavy won the Cy Young unanimously. I can not believe that NOT ONE of the 32 writers who voted thought that Webb had the better season.
Let's break it down:
ERA: Peavy posted a 2.54 ERA in one of baseball's friendliest environments for pitchers, while Webb had a 3.01 ERA in a hitters park. Park factors excluded this is essentially a wash.
Innings Pitched: In the same amount of starts, Webb pitched 13 more innings than Peavy this season. Not a huge deal, but that is 13 less innings of wear and tear on a bullpen. Minor advantage for Webb.
Strikeouts: Peavy struck out many more batters than Webb.
Walks: Webb walked 4 more guys in 13 more innings than Peavy. Walk rates: identical.
Wins (if you care about such things): Peavy-19 Webb-18. Insignificant difference.
Playoffs (again, if you care): Webb's D'Backs made the playoffs. Peavy's Padres missed them, largely because of his hideous performance in the play-in game against the Rockies.
You can't see daylight through the gap between these two men's 2007 performance. How does Peavy win in such a landslide?