Tuesday, July 16, 2013

American League Predictions Revisited: All-Star Break Edition

At the beginning of the season, I predicted who would win the major year-end awards.  Of course, everyone does that.  Now, we are at the All-Star break and I am going to revisit my predictions.  Everyone does that too.  However, I am going to change my original predictions.  No one does that.  Everyone keeps their original predictions in some misguided attempted to keep their integrity.  I have no integrity to begin with, so I can freely change my mind. 

It's like, you'll hear some expert say something along the lines of "well, I picked the Twins before the season started and even though they're 50 games out of first, their manager was fired, all their players got bone-itis, Target Field disappeared into thin air and Terry Ryan got a neck tattoo, I did pick them before the season, so I'll stick with them."  That's ridiculous.  I'll change my mind every day if I learn something new.  Anyway, enough about my pet peeves, here are some revised predictions. 

AL Breakout Player

Preseason pick - Matt Moore

Who has earned it so far? - Josh Donaldson

Matt Moore has been great, and he has been a breakout player.  However, who saw Josh Donaldson coming?  He came up last year and started his breakout in the second half.  A converted catcher, there was simply no way to know that he would be such a skilled third baseman.  The A's are built on finding guys like Donaldson.  Have you seen Moneyball?  When Brad Pitt found Donaldson, he couldn't have possibly thought he would be this good.  Apparently, he is. Cool.

AL Rookie of the Year

Preseason Pick - Wil Myers

Who has earned it so far? - Leonys Martin

Who will win? - Aaron Hicks

Wil Myers might not play enough games and might be just one "l" short in his bid for AL ROY.  Leonys Martin has been good across the board.  He's been above average at the plate, on the base paths and in the field.  He hasn't been spectacular, so he can't run away with the award.  Also, he'd have to give it back if he did.  I refuse to give the Rookie of the Year Award to Jose Iglesias; I don't reward BABIP because I am principled and saber and sullen and withdrawn.  Instead, I'm going full homer and taking Aaron Hicks to continue to dig himself out of a huge hole and end his season with this award.  What a story it would be.  I'll choose narrative over logic and reason this time.  This time only. 

Do you have a problem with this?  It's my blog!  If you have a problem, good luck starting your own blog.  It's not like Google gives them away for free or something like that.  

AL Cy Young Award

Preseason Pick - Justin Verlander

Who has earned it so far? - Felix Hernandez

Who will win? - Felix Hernandez

Well, Max Scherzer lost over the weekend, so he lost my vote in the process.  Not true!  I would have selected Hernandez even if Scherzer had improved to 140-0.  Not a typo, just proving my convictions against pitcher wins like a real saber.  I just think he's a better pitcher.  Felix leads the league in starts, innings and ERA.  He has cut his walk rate a bit and boosted his strikeout rate a tad.  Bits and tads are enough to take a fantastic pitcher to an otherworldly pitcher.  King Felix is the perfect nickname for pitching royalty.  He'll finish the season as well as he has started it and claim his second Cy Young Award.  


Preseason Pick - Evan Longoria

Who has earned it so far? - Miguel Cabrera

Who will win? - Miguel Cabrera

I want to stubbornly stick with Longoria because I think he is a fantastic player.  If you value defense, you know that he is a better overall player compared with Cabrera.  However, I simply cannot ignore the superhuman offensive effort that Cabrera is putting up this season.  He has a 200 OPS+.  His .365/.458/.674 triple slash proves that he is ready for a promotion to MLB 2.  He's mastered the art of MLB hitting.  I think he maintains this pace, mostly because he is a monster who devours pitchers whole. 

However, Chris Davis went on another home run binge this weekend.  If he hits 62+ home runs, he'll claim the MVP.  Sacred numbers are too fun for writers to pass up.  Cabrera would likely be the more valuable player, but then again, 62 home runs.  I don't think Davis gets there and Cabrera claiming consecutive MVP awards makes for a good story as well.  I actually wouldn't be all that surprised if the award comes down to a Cabrera/Mike Trout battle for the second straight season. 

AL Champion

Preseason Pick - Tampa Bay Rays

Who has earned it so far? - Boston Red Sox

Who will win? - Tampa Bay Rays

Hooray for stubbornness!  I'm happy to stick with one preseason prediction.  Boston has been great, but I think Tampa Bay is better.  The Rays have had the pitching all along.  Clearly, they knew that they could withstand the loss of James ShieldsChris Archer looks dominant at times, Matt Moore has been a breakout player and David Price is David Nice.  Sorry.  The offense has been good, and adding Wil Myers and getting him more playing time will only make it better.

I think the Rays are headed for the World Series.  However, I don't think they will win.  Who do I think will win?  You'll just have to be patient, for goodness' sake.   

I'll return with the National League awards tomorrow.  If I knew how to add a countdown to this blog, I'd do it.  Instead, please just set an alarm on your phone or something.  

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