Posts Tagged ‘season’


2014 Baseball Awards V.2

June 5, 2014

Since I’m following baseball closely due to numerous season long bets and because I like to rank things and think my opinion is important, I’ve decided to pretend what I would do if I had a vote in baseball’s major awards. I made my initial rankings right before I left for the World Series Of Poker a couple weeks ago and those rankings are reflected in parentheses. I’ll try to update and post my votes a couple times a month. I should note that I refuse to vote for pitchers in the MVP races or relief pitchers for Cy Young.

American League MVP

1. Nelson Cruz (1)
2. Jose Bautista (4)
3. Josh Donaldson (8)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (UR)
5. Miguel Cabrera (UR)
6. Michael Brantley (2)
7. Jose Abreu (6)
8. Brandon Moss (5)
9. Victor Martinez (9)
10. Alexei Ramirez (3)

Other: Brian Dozier (7), Melky Cabrera (10), Mike Trout

Comments: Nelson Cruz has been the best hitter in the American League and the Orioles are squarely in the playoff hunt, so he deserves to be number one, but if this were truly a “most valuable” award rather than a “best hitter” award, then Edwin Encarnacion has to be in the conversation. EE was hitting .260 with 2 HR and 15 RBI at the end of April and is now amongst the league leaders in all categories after a monstrous May. More importantly, his success has directly reflected that of the Toronto Blue Jays, a .500 team with Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera performing at an MVP level, but have emerged as the best team in the AL with Encarnacion’s production. After a forgettable April, Miguel Cabrera has also entered the MVP race. Victor Martinez is having an overlooked season, hitting over .330 with as many HR (13) as strikeouts (14). Mike Trout has gotten off to such a “slow” start that he’s only a fringe MVP candidate at the moment.

American League Cy Young

1. Masahiro Tanaka (1)
2. Felix Hernandez (2)
3. Chris Sale (UR)
4. Yu Darvish (5)
5. Mark Buehrle (UR)

Other: Sonny Gray (4), Max Scherzer (3), Scott Kazmir, Dallas Keuchel

Comments: Tanaka has absolutely dominated in his transition to the United States. I believed the hype, but I didn’t think he’d be overpowering MLB hitters like he has been. Sale arguably has put up the best numbers in all of baseball, but he’s still pitched less than 50 innings. It honestly pains me to give Buehrle a top five vote. Sure, he’s the only 10 game winner in baseball and boasts a sparkling 2.10 ERA, but he pitches to contact, resulting in a pathetic strikeout rate and allows a lot more baserunners than the pitchers ranked below him. Still, until those runners start crossing the plate, one has to give Buerhle credit for knowing what he’s doing. History suggests his weak peripheral numbers are going to catch up to him eventually and he’ll fall out of Cy Young race. Dallas Keuchel has been the best pitcher in baseball the past month and, remarkably, a Houston Astro pitcher is now in the Cy Young hunt.

American League ROY

1. Masahiro Tanaka (1)
2. Jose Abreu (2)
3. Dellin Betances (UR)

Other: Yangervis Solarte (3), George Springer, Xander Bogaerts, Collin McHugh

Comments: Tanaka and Abreu are easily the top two choices with their Cy Young and MVP caliber performances so far. Betances has put up crazy numbers for a non-closing relief pitcher. Only three closers have been more valuable to their fantasy teams and Betances doesn’t even have a single save. He’s had more fantasy value than legitimate Cy Young contenders like Sonny Gray and Max Scherzer. He’s almost striking out 2 batters an inning. Absurd. Springer got off to a rough start and has struck out in about a third of his ABs, but he had a huge May that would put him squarely in the ROY race if he can maintain an even remotely similar pace. The one stolen base is a disappointment though.

National League MVP

1. Troy Tulowitski (1)
2. Giancarlo Stanton (2)
3. Paul Goldschmidt (6)
4. Yasiel Puig (3)
5. Carlos Gomez (5)
6. Charlie Blackmon (4)
7. Justin Upton (7)
8. Hunter Pence (UR)
9. Michael Morse (UR)
10. Freddie Freeman (10)

Other: Justin Morneau (8), Dee Gordon (9), Ryan Braun

Comments: Nothing too exciting going on in the NL MVP race since my initial rankings. The most notable change is the cooling off of the Colorado hitters. Tulowitski has dropped to a mere mortal pace while Blackmon and Morneau have become ice cold and the Rockies have fallen out of the playoff hunt. Meanwhile, the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants, who had no representatives in my initial top ten, now have two players getting votes.

National League Cy Young

1. Johnny Cueto (1)
2. Adam Wainwright (2)
3. Tim Hudson (UR)
4. Julio Teheran (5)
5. Zack Greinke (3)

Other: Jose Fernandez (4), Michael Wacha, Kyle Lohse, Jason Hammel

Comments: Cueto has been the best pitcher in baseball so far, but I honestly can’t see him holding off Wainwright too much longer. Hudson is similar to Buehrle except he’s not allowing baserunners. He hasn’t been overpowering, but the National League has been helpless against him so far. Jose Fernandez sadly falls out of the race for good.

National League ROY

1. Billy Hamilton (1)
2. Chris Owings (2)
3. David Hale (3)

Other: None

Comments: This race has been uninspiring so far. Hamilton gets the edge due to his game-changing speed (22 steals), but even that hasn’t resulted in a lot of run scoring. Things could heat up soon with the recent promotion of Oscar Taveras and Gregory Polanco, Eddie Butler, and Andrew Heaney all expected to make their debuts in June.


First look @ my 2009 MLB All-Stars

June 3, 2009

So I went to my first Mariner game of 2009 and I picked up an All-Star ballot and filled it out with these results:

American League

First Base – Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins – This was the toughest choice I made on the entire ballot. Mark Teixeira has been beasting over the past month, posting a .345 average to go along with 13 homers and a ridiculous 34 RBI. No one in baseball has been hotter. However, 85% of Teixeira’s production has come in that span and Morneau has been consistent all season long, managing to better Big Tex in both runs and RBI, while posting a much better season average (.345 vs. .279). Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Youkilis have also had great seasons so far, but Morneau is still the pick… for now.

Second Base – Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers – Again, another tough choice. Kinsler has tanked in the past month, posting a .219 average, which puts his season average (.277) significantly lower than Aaron Hill’s (.328), who has posted similar counting numbers. However, I’m still giving Kinsler the slight edge because he’s a threat on the base paths and a more exciting player. Robinson Cano and Brian Roberts are heating up too.

Shortstop – Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays – Not even a recent DL stint has hurt Barlett’s stance as the best offensive shortstop in the league during the first third of the season. His numbers are ridiculous: .373-7-30 with a 1.014 OPS. Are you fucking kidding me? What’s more absurd is that the 7 HR he has in 161 ABs this season is only one less than he hit in 1297 ABs over the past three years combined. That’s mind-blowing. He’s also 13 RBI short of his career high and we’re only a third of the way through the season. It just goes to show you how dope that Tampa Bay line-up has become.

Third Base – Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays – A no-brainer. With A-Rod injured for all of April, Longoria has jumped way ahead of the pack. He’s hitting .322 with 13 homers and an MLB-leading 55 RBI. No one else at this position is even close to that kind of production.

Catcher – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins – Easiest pick on the ballot. Mauer has barely cracked 100 at bats, but he’s almost matched his career high in homers. On top of that, the dude is hitting .433. His 1.389 OPS is by far the best in baseball and even though his position mates have 50-70 more at bats, he’s already bested everyone in homers and is only 3 RBI off position-leader Victor Martinez who has logged over twice as many ABs. Sick.

Outfield – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles, Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays, Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox – I wonder if the Mariners are regretting trading Adam Jones yet? Dude is hitting .344 and is on a pace for 38 homers, 124 RBI, 141 Runs and 14 stolen bases. Those are MVP-worthy numbers and while I expect his power numbers to dip a bit, I do think he is capable of stealing about 30 bases. Carl Crawford is batting .319 with 40 runs… those are good numbers, but he’s on pace for 94 stolen bases. That’s all that really needs to be said. I originally went with a home town bias and picked Ichiro over Bay, but then I got home and looked at the numbers again and realized how stupid that was. Ichiro has a nice average and a long hitting streak, but that’s about it. Bay is on pace for 40+ homers and about 160 RBI. Retarded.

National League

First Base – Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals – No surprise here. Adrian Gonzalez is having a real nice season with a 69 homer pace, but that’s sure to drop off, and Pujols simply has better all-around numbers posting a .339 average to go with 16 homers and 45 RBI, despite being constantly pitched around. Toss in 7 stolen bases from the big guy and only 18 Ks (absurd for a power hitter) and this is still an easy choice.

Second Base – Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies – Utley has been mediocre over the past month (.264, 4 HR), but he’s still far and away the most production two-bagger in the NL posting a .299 average to go with 12 HRs and 36 RBI.

Shortstop – Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins, Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros – Okay, maybe this was the toughest choice on the ballot. It’s so close that I can’t even call it. Both of these guys have posted great averages (.346 for Hanley, .362 for Tejada), while Hanley has the lead in runs and Tejada has the edge in RBI. If Tejada wasn’t hitting .360, I’d give the vote to Hanley because of his 25 stolen base pace and slight lead in homers, but right now, it’s still too tough to call. Give it another month though and I think Hanley will be the clear favorite.

Third Base – Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals – Again, I went with David Wright on my ballot, but I didn’t realize his average had dropped .40 points in the past 10 games or so. Not only is Zimmerman now hitting for a better average (.322 vs. .321), but he’s crushing Wright in the counting numbers with 11 homers, 40 runs, and 37 RBI.

Outfield – Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies, Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks, Carlos Beltran, New York Mets – Ibanez is as much of a cinch as Joe Mauer was and I thought that before he went 3 for 5, with a double, two homers and five RBI tonight. Check out this guy’s pace: .340, 139 runs, 62 homers, 165 RBI, and 13 SBs… that would go down as the best offensive season of all-time if it happened. Obviously, he is going to regress, but still, this is your NL MVP for the first third of the season… easily. Upton has posted some really good numbers with a .322 average, 10 homers, and 33 RBI… that’s impressive… but the most ridiculous thing about it is that the kid is only 21 years old. WTF. I gave Carlos Beltran the nod over Matt Kemp because he’s crushing Kemp in average (.352 vs. .310) while posting similar counting numbers in 25 less at bats.