Ask Sports

Can Zack Greinke win the Cy Young Award?

What's the worst win-loss record for a Cy Young winner? Does Zack Greinke have a chance?

He's definitely in the running, primarily because no other American League pitcher has separated himself from the pack.

Greinke is 14-8 with a league-leading 2.14 ERA. His 224 strikeouts are second to Justin Verlander, the Detroit ace who fell to 16-9 after Saturday's loss.

Another statistic in Greinke's favor is walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). Entering Saturday, Greinke was at 1.065, considerably better than New York's C.C. Sabathia's 1.134 and Toronto's Roy Halladay at 1.140.

Only Halladay (7) has more complete games than Greinke's six and the Kansas City ace leads the majors with three shutouts.

So how much will wins factor into the voting? Hard to say.

Entering Saturday, seven AL pitchers have won more than Greinke's 14. Of those, Sabathia (17), Seattle's Felix Hernandez (16), Texas' Scott Feldman (16), Verlander (16) figure to get Cy Young consideration.

The last five years the 10 previous Cy Young winners in each league averaged 19.3 wins, with 2006 NL winner Brandon Webb winning the fewest at 16.

Outside of wins by relievers (including Eric Gagne in 2003, Dennis Eckersley in 1992, Mark Davis in 1989, Steve Bedrosian in 1987 and Willie Hernandez in 1984), no Cy Young winner has had less than 16 wins since 1981, when nearly two months were wiped out by a strike.

In that same time period, 16 award pitchers have lost as many as Greinke's eight games this season.

In 1972, Cleveland's Gaylord Perry set the record for most losses while winning the award, going 24-16.

One streak that is nearly certain to end this season is the Royals' drought in Cy Young award voting.

The last Royal to receive any Cy Young votes was also the team's last recipient of the award — David Cone in 1994. He went 16-5 that season a 2.94 ERA and 132 strikeouts.

The only other winner in Kansas City history is Bret Saberhagen, who won in 1985 and 1989.