Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Postseason Awards - American League

As promised yesterday, here is the breakdown for the American League postseason awards.

MVP

Despite all the negative things said and written about Alex Rodriguez, he is still one of the front-runners for the MVP award. He is ninth in the league in batting average, fifth in the league in on base percentage and first in slugging percentage. He has hit 30 home runs, which ties him for sixth in the league. He has also stolen 16 bases. My guess, though, is that he won't win the award this year. The decision this year is not as clear in years past and the Yankees disappointing season, combined with the negative press A-Rod receives will work against him this year.

Maybe he doesn't deserve it anyway. Grady Sizemore has put up a .273/.385/.525 line and has 31 home runs and 35 stolen bases. The problem for Grady is that the Indians are currently under .500 (although they are surging) and voters don't usually like candidates that play for teams that are out of the playoff hunt. Carlos Quentin plays for a contender and has a .288/.394/.571 line and leads the league with 36 home runs. An argument could be made for Josh Hamilton because he leads the league with 121 RBI, but I'm not even going to dignify that. Joe Mauer has a very good line, but his power numbers are a bit too low and his high batting average and on base percentage can't make up the difference between him and other candidates.

I really think that a vote for A-Rod or Grady Sizemore would be a rational pick, but that the BWAA will probably not be rational and will choose Quentin.

My pick: Alex Rodriguez
My preseason pick: Alex Rodriguez

Cy Young

By almost any metric, the answer here is Cliff Lee. He leads the league in wins (20-2) and ERA (2.32) and is second in innings pitched. The only starter that is close is Roy Halliday, who is tied for second in wins (17-9), third in ERA (2.69) and is third in the league in strikeouts with 178. The only problem with these two candidates is that their teams are not in contention, which is important to the voters. Ervin Santana pitches for the Angels, who will win the AL West, and he has a 14-5 record with a 3.31 ERA and 183 strikeouts. Those are great numbers, but I don't think the contention of his team is enough to overcome almost a full run in ERA.

The complicating factor this year is that Francisco Rodriguez will almost certainly break the single season record for saves this year. He already has 54 and those kinds of things really impress the voters. The problem is that, while he has piled up the saves, he hasn't really even been the best closer in the American League, much less the best pitcher. Joe Posnanski (TBSWIA) made the argument that K-Rod is undeserving of the Cy Young better than I could in a digression in this post, so just go there and read Joe's take - I'll wait. Ok, are you back? I can understand if you just stayed over there and read all of Joe's stuff, but then you would miss my picks:

My pick: Cliff Lee
My preseason pick: Daisuke Matsuzaka - he would have been a great pick if he hadn't missed some time this season: 16-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 146.2 innings.

ROY

Evan Longoria was called up a month into the season and has missed about a month since then due to a hand injury, so he only has 381 at bats. In that time, however, he put up a .278/.352/.533 line with 22 home runs, seven stolen bases and outstanding third base defense. His competition is, uh, hmmm... Alexei Ramirez? With a .306/.324/.491 line and 16 home runs, he's had a solid season, but I'd put him short of Longoria. David Murphy? Ben Francisco? How about Armando Galarraga and his 12-4 record with a 3.17 ERA and 108 strikeouts? Nice, but...

My pick: Evan Longoria
My preseason pick: Adam Jones, who has had a good year, but apparently isn't eligible for the ROY (yup, I'm an idiot). I did mention Longoria would win if given enough at bats, so I get partial credit, right?

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Daily Links - 9/4/08

TBSWIA, Joe Posnanski, weighs in on some Hall of Fame comparisons. This is another one of those classic topic to argue in baseball, just like postseason awards.

Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus takes a look at some interesting September call ups.

Buster Olney has the details of a great story from last night's games that will make any true baseball fan smile.

1 comment:

Marlena said...

BEN FRANCISCO FOR ROY!!! im not biased or anything