My predictions as to who should win the regular season awards.
By Cam Cain 10-29-11
Everybody tries to pretend that they are part of the group that votes on the end-of-the-season awards. But we’re not. However, it’s always fun to try and say who you think should win. So that brings me to my choices for each of the awards.
AL MVP: Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
Verlander was simply dominant on the mound this year. He led all Starting Pitchers in Wins with a remarkable 24, ERA at 2.40, innings pitched with 251, WHIP at 0.92, and strikeouts with 250. He also had a WAR, or Wins Above Replacement (I don’t understand that entirely) of 8.6, higher than any American League hitter or pitcher. However, I think that the writers will not give the award to Verlander because he is a pitcher and some people say that pitchers have their own award, the Cy Young Award and MVP is for hitters.
Runner up: Curtis Granderson- New York Yankees
NL MVP: Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
This was a difficult one to choose between Braun and Matt Kemp because without Kemp, who very nearly won the triple crown, Los Angeles would be dead last. Along with first baseman Prince Fielder, Braun had led the Brewers to the second best record in the National League. Most Valuable Player basically means the player who is most important to his team’s success. That perfectly describes Braun. He led the league in OPS, On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage, with .994. He also hit a remarkable .332 with 33 Home Runs and earned a trip to his fourth consecutive All Star Game.
Runner up: Matt Kemp- Los Angeles Dodgers.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
Same reasons I said earlier
Runner up: C.C. Sabathia- New York Yankees.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
Kershaw, like Verlander, has won the pitching triple crown for his respective league; leading the league in strikeouts (248), Wins, (21) and ERA (2.28). It is amazing that Kershaw has won 21 games for a team that has only won 82, winning nearly 26% of his team’s games. This is in large part due to a very strong second half in which Kershaw was 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA.
Runner up: Ian Kennedy- Arizona Diamondbacks
AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson Tampa Bay Rays
This was a wide open race from the beginning and a very difficult decision between 4 or 5 viable candidates. But it was the Tampa Bay right-hander who I chose. Hellickson made 29 starts and went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA.
Runner up: Ivan Nova- New York Yankees
NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel Atlanta Braves
Never since 1981 have both of the Rookies of the Year been pitchers when Fernando Valenzuela and Dave Righetti won the award. There is no reason that Kimbrel shouldn’t win here. Kimbrel led all closers in saves with 46 and shattered the Rookie save record set last year by Neftali Feliz. He also had an ERA of 2.10.
Runner up: Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon Tanpa Bay Rays
NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson Arizona Diamondbacks