An open and shut case
To no one's surprise,
Now, it's not unheard of for a pitcher to dominate the traditional stats and still be challenged for the Cy Young Award. After all, wins are not really a metric as much a dated scoring construct, subject to the vagaries of chance.
Strikeouts do not always track with performance -- they're a leading indicator, but anyone who watched
In fact, Peavy would seem to be a candidate to lose ground upon closer inspection. After all, he made 19 of his 34 starts in Petco Park, the best park for pitchers in 21st century baseball. Adjusting his performance relative to a pitcher such as Webb, who toiled in the unfriendly confines of Chase Field, should close the gap between the two, perhaps by enough to throw the issue up for debate.
A look at the advanced metrics, however, shows that Peavy was no creation of his environment. He led NL hurlers in Value Over Replacement (77.9, to Webb's 66.1), in Runs Prevented (49.3 to Webb's 36.8), in Expected Wins (17.9, over Brad Penny at 16.1), Support-Neutral Value (9.1, ahead of Tim Hudson's 7.9) and Wins Above Replacement (10.6, beating out Penny and Hudson at 8.6).
Whether you look at Peavy's season using the tools of 1907 or 2007, the conclusion is clear: He was the best pitcher in the NL this year, and a deserving unanimous winner of the Cy Young Award.