After tonight's dominance over the Giants, it seems that the talking heads are already handing Kershaw the Cy Young. Why shouldn't they? He's tied for the league lead in wins and leads the NL in ERA and strikeouts. The pitcher's Triple Crown. It's pretty clear that when you put very little thought into it that Kershaw should win the Cy Young. Looking deeper into the stats tells another story.
The most obvious flaw is looking at the hard ERA number without even considering park factors. Dodger Stadium has been one of the most extreme pitchers parks for several seasons while Citizens Bank Park has been neutral for the past few seasons. If you compare what Kershaw did away from home in 2011 to what Halladay and Lee have done things start looking a little worse for the Dodger.
Kershaw: 2.90 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, 4.59 K/BB
Halladay: 2.41 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, 6.38 K/BB
Lee: 2.38 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, 5.31 K/BB
Another argument I've been seeing for Kershaw is about the quality of the teams. Kershaw seems to be getting some sort of degree of difficulty bonus for doing what he's doing on a team that's barely above .500. The Dodgers' offense is worse than the Phillies' so his 20 wins is more impressive than anything that Halladay and Lee have done, right?
Wrong. While at first glance it seems that Kershaw is at a disadvantage, he's actually getting about as much run support as the Philly duo. The Dodgers score an average of 5.46 runs per game when Kershaw starts. The Phillies average 5.69 runs per game when Halladay starts and 4.92 runs per game when Lee starts.
Looking deeper into the stats it appears to me that the player most deserving of the NL Cy Young Award this year is none other than our own Cliff Lee. I doubt that will be the case though. I really can't see voters voting against a guy who is leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts.