The trade deadline is in the rearview mirror and, as we focus our attention to the playoffs, BoSox Injection will be taking a gander at a few of the biggest postseason events throughout MLB. We’ll be predicting the winners of the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards and making our playoff predictions as well.
AL MVP: Jose Abreu (.307/.362/.624) deserves this award. Some may not like the fact that Mike Trout could get denied for the third straight year. Trout does not have the most homers or most RBI, or highest OPS in the majors. Abreu leads all those categories. Homers and RBI are especially impressive to lead in, because he missed 15 games on the disabled list.
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (10-1. 2.09 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) is a dark horse candidate. He missed about a month of the season. King Felix is going to be pitching for the playoffs. Hernandez has had that great run of 7 plus innings, 2 ER or less, for a record number of starts. Sale’s peripheral numbers are just as good as Felix’s though. Sale in an upset.
AL Rookie of the Year: See AL MVP
NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki (.340/.432/.603) is leading by a wide margin in AVG/OBP/SLG/. Missing time earlier in the year has kept him from leading in the counting categories, like HR and RBI. His team has been terrible this year. The Rockies could easily finish in last in the NL West. Giancarlo Stanton has carried his team most of the season, keeping his team with a chance for the playoffs with help from a resurgent Casey McGehee. Tulowitzki is still my pick, but because the Marlins are still contending, Stanton could sneak in there.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 1.82) is simply the best pitcher in the majors this year. Comparing, perhaps the second best starter in the NL, Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, one thing that jumps out is Cueto’s FIP (fielding independent pitching, usually a better judge of how accurate the ERA is in terms of how well the pitcher is pitching) is about a run higher than his ERA. Kershaw’s FIP is actually a tick less than his ERA. The only category Kershaw trails Cueto is hits per nine innings (5.9 to 6.3). He is Pedro in his prime. If the Dodgers were running away with that division, an MVP could be warranted, but the division is still up for grabs.
NL Rookie of the Year: Billy Hamilton (.271/.299/.397) is the best offensive rookie in the National League. He has hit for more power than people expect, including six homers among his 33 extra base hits. Hamilton burst on to the MLB landscape in 2012 when he stole an eye-popping 155 bases between two minor league levels. Another 75 swipes last year earned him a September call-up last year. He has yet to master the art of stealing yet, 43 steals out of 59 attempts which is in line with the percentage he had in the minors. If perennial MVP candidate, and one-time MVP winner Joey Votto were hitting behind him (he has been limited to 62 games this season with a thumb injury.), his numbers would likely be even better. A close second will likely be Jacob deGrom of the Mets, who has posted a 2.77 ERA so far this season in 15 starts.
AL Wildcard: Los Angeles over Seattle
AL Division Series: Detroit over Los Angeles
AL Division Series: Oakland over Baltimore
AL Championship Series: Oakland over Detroit
NL Wildcard: Milwaukee over San Francisco
NL Division Series: Milwaukee over Los Angeles
NL Division Series: Washington over St. Louis
NL Championship Series: Washington over Milwaukee
World Series: Oakland over Washington