Is Johan Santana Actually Pitching Better Than CC Sabathia This Season?

There are many who think that Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia is the front-runner for the AL Cy Young this season, which may be true. But, Sabathia still may not be having the best season of pitchers in New York.

That's because there's another lefty, albeit in the other league, having as good of a year despite being overshadowed by the turmoil surrounding the mess that is the New York Mets.

Remember Johan Santana? The 31-year-old lefty is having an incredible year, despite what his pedestrian 10-9 record may say.

Sabathia has the eye-popping 18-5 record. However, in an age of advanced statistics, win-loss record is not always the greatest indicator of how a pitcher's season is going. Just look a little bit harder at the numbers.

Santana's ERA is 3.02. Sabathia checks in at 3.14. Batters are hitting .242 against Santana and .245 against Sabathia. The Yankees ace has struck out more hitters than Santana, but that is one of the only stats — outside of wins — that Sabathia has an advantage in.

After a rough 2009 — by Santana's standards at least — the Mets ace has rebounded to put up one of his better years in recent memory. After only logging 166 2/3 innings in 2009, Santana has already thrown 194 this year. Sabathia, a noted workhorse, has an edge there as well — by 2/3 of an inning.

It's likely that Santana won't get much notice when NL Cy Young voting rolls around. But if he were to play on a team that actually scored runs in his starts, his name would be at or near the top of the list.

But that run support has been nowhere to be found. In fact, this season marks the lowest run support that Santana has ever gotten. The Mets are giving him a paltry 2.9 runs per start. Sabathia, meanwhile, has been the beneficiary of 6.2 runs per start, meaning every night Sabathia takes the hill, he's getting a whole three more runs than Santana.

Because he plays on a better team — a much better team really — Sabathia may very well get the nod when the Cy Young is awarded this fall. Also, proving his value while pitching in the AL East is something that shouldn't be discounted either.

Santana is doing what he can in the situation that's he's in. He likely won't get much support in the NL Cy Young race, but after this season, that's nothing new to him.

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