Sunday, April 11, 2010

Awards Predictions

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of their weekend. I thought I'd go out on a limb today and make a few more predictions that will probably make me look like a fool by the end of the season. This time with awards predictions, something even harder to predict than teams that will play in the postseason. Once again, keep in mind I am simply making predictions based on who I feel is the most likely to win the award.

Anyway, let's get these predictions out there.

American League

MVP Award Prediction: Mark Teixeira (NYY)

The numbers that Teixeira put up last year would typically be enough to win the MVP. Unfortunatley for him, a certain man in Minnesota batted .365 and won the modern triple crown (Batting Average, On-Base percentage, Slugging Percentage), making it pretty hard for him to win. Barring an unexpectedly great season from someone else, Teixeira seems likely a good bet to win the award. It also helps that he plays in New York, which gets a lot of love from the voters, and pretty much guarantees his team will make the post season. If you haven't noticed, almost every MVP award winner the last 10 years has been on a team playing in the post season.

Honorable Mention: Evan Longoria (TBR)
If Evan Longoria can continue on an upward slope as he has thus far in his career, he could easily put up Teixeira-esque numbers. If Longoria can hit around 40 Home Runs (which he seems perfectly capable of) and manage to help the Rays either win the division or the Wild Card, I could see him winning the award.

AL Cy Young Award Prediction: Felix Hernandez (SEA)

Hernandez has been pretty dominant in his career, and managed to finish second in Cy Young Award voting last year. Kind of like Teixeira, the only reason he didn't win the award was because of a completely ridiculous season out of someone else. Granted, that's usually who wins the award, but I think if anyone has a ridiculous season this year it will be Hernandez. He will only be 24 this year, and even if he doesn't win it this year, there is definitely a Cy Young Award in this impressive guy's future. The one thing that might hold him back this year is a lack of run support from a weak looking Seattle Mariners offense, which might lead to a reduction in Wins for Hernandez. Luckily, it seems like the voters have finally realized that Wins aren't the best stat for evlauting a pitcher, as Greinke's Cy Young win last year indicates.

AL Rookie of the Year Prediction: Wade Davis (TBR)

Wade Davis is part of the reason the Rays felt comfortable in trading Edwin Jackson. Wade Davis has been completely dominant in the minor leagues and has showcased dominant stuff in his time so far in the major leagues. He also has the comforts of a powerful offense, meaning he will be in fewer pressure situations and get more Wins than most rookies would.

National League

NL MVP Award Prediction: Albert Pujols (STL)

Yeah, it's kind of the easy way out, but obviously he has the best chance of doing it. In my opinion Pujols is the greatest player currently playing in the major leagues, and the likelihood of him putting up yet another monster season and winning his fourth MVP award are very high. The scariest thing about the numbers he put up last year is the fact that he actually had some elbow problems that he finally had fixed during the off-season. Could we see 50 homers out of Pujols this season to go along with his typically ridiculous .320+ batting average?

NL Cy Young Award Prediction: Roy Halladay (PHI)

The numbers that Halladay has put up every season in the AL East have been completely ridiculous. Halladay has thrown more complete games in the last 5 years than anyone else, and also has more shut outs. He also Most people feel that the AL East is the strongest division in baseball, and he still put up those numbers. He also managed to win 149 games over the last 10 years despite not always having the best offense behind him, with the Phillies he won't have that problem. Halladay also won't have to worry about facing a DH in NL line-ups. I could see Halladay easily winning more than 20 games in Philadelphia.

NL Rookie of the Year Award: Jason Heyward (ATL)

Heyward's potential seems pretty limitless, and he is drawing comparisons to another 20-year-old starter named Miguel Cabrera. If Heyward can put up numbers like .280/.350/.465 with about 20 homers he should be a lock for the award. It is not unfathomable that his numbers will not be even better than that. Alcides Escobar and Gaby Sanchez are the only other high-ceiling rookies who seem like candidates for the award, and they don't have near the potential Heyward does. Notice I didn't mention Stephen Strasburg, because I don't think he will make enough starts to win the award, if he makes any at all.

It will be interesting to see how many of these I managed to guess correctly come the end of the year (my guess is probably about 1). That's all for now.


Steve said...

I think Heyward definitely wins NL Rookie of the year. Is Neftali Feliz eligible for Rookie of the Year in the AL? If so, I'm going with him, as I think he'll dominate as a closer.
I also like Pujols and Tex, and Felix as well. I'm taking Lincecum in Cy Young though.

Jacob said...

Neftali Feliz is Rookie of the Year eligible, but I'm not sure if he will spend enough time in either the role of bullpen or starting pitcher to accrue enough numbers as one or the other to get the award.
He is definitely a good candidate, though.