Hello, baseball fans. It’s been a while since my last post, and the baseball regular season is nearly over. It’s time to look over my award selections for the past season.
Justin Verlander- AL Cy Young
Justin Verlander had been one of the best pitchers in the majors over the past several seasons but it appeared he lost a step this year. Verlander lost some speed on his fastball and, apparently, his intimidation factor as well. He is by no means a bad pitcher now, but a 3.66 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP is a big step down from his domination in 2011 and 2012. It turns out my prediction was not too far off, however, as Max Scherzer emerged as the ace of a very good Tigers rotation (composed of Verlander obviously, Anibal Sanchez, and Doug Fister). With a 2.95 ERA, an AL best .96 WHIP, and a 19-3 record, Scherzer seems likely to emerge from a pack of very good AL pitchers including Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, and Felix Hernandez. So it appears I may have gotten the team, but not the pitcher.
Mike Trout- AL MVP
Is there anything else to say about Mike Trout? The guy is 22 and he has already accomplished unprecedented feats. He just became the first guy in AL history to have 25 home runs, 30 steals, and 100 walks in a season, and he leads the league in WAR-again. Perhaps the most mind-boggling thing about Trout’s season is that he is not a lock for the AL MVP. Thanks to Miguel Cabrera being the second coming of Jesus and Chris Davis being the second coming of Barry Bonds- the cream of this crop is pretty unclear (PEDS are fun, aren’t they?). Thanks to Cabrera’s recent abdominal injury, however, I think Trout will get the award that some argue he deserved last year this year.
Andrew McCutchen- NL MVP
McCutchen has been a very good player for a while now, finishing as good as 3rd in the NL MVP race last year. This year, however, Cutch has a good shot at winning the award. Despite having arguably worse stats than last year (11 less HR and 14 less RBI as of September 20, but a better WAR), McCutchen has less competition than last year. In addition, he has been the core piece of the surprise, feel-good team of the year. Yadier Molina might have posed a challenge had he remained healthy, and Paul Goldschmidt would have if the D-Backs won the West. Fortunately for McCutchen, he seems to have no real competition for this award.
Clayton Kershaw- NL Cy Young
At a certain point, it’s stupid to think that anyone other than this guy will win this award. Kershaw has again been otherworldly. Despite slowing down in his last couple starts, allowing several runs in both (unheard of for him), Kershaw still has a .93 WHIP, 214 K’s, and a 1.94 ERA. Right now, ESPN’s (frankly stupid) Cy Young Predictor says Kershaw will finish 2nd behind Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel. While Kimbrel is by far the best closer in the NL today, anyone who makes the argument he should win over the young southpaw–who may turn out to be one of the best of all time–is kidding themselves and should be exiled to the Turner Field Chicken Waffle House immediately. Kershaw should win his 2nd Cy Young this fall.
I didn’t make any Rookie of the Year or Manager of the Year predictions at the beginning of the season. If I had to guess who will win now, I’d say Wil Myers and Terry Francona (if the Indians get into the playoffs) in the AL, and Jose Fernandez and Clint Hurdle in the NL.
Thanks for reading! I should be back soon with a review of my postseason picks.