Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: If the Season Ended Today: MLB Awards Voting

If the Season Ended Today: MLB Awards Voting

by Jacob, Vegas Watch

Over the last couple days, the Epic Carnival writers voted on who should be the MVP and Cy Young in each league. In total there were 14 ballots, although Lozo only voted for the AL awards (appropriately prefacing his ballot by saying "Screw the NL"). I used the same scoring system that's used for the Rookie of the Year voting- five points for first, three for second, one for third. First place votes are in parenthesis.


AL MVP

Easily the most straightforward of the four awards. Now that the Yankees are back in the race, A-Rod's .300/.407/.633 line trumps Magglio's .356/.430/.595. Rodriguez leads the AL in SLG%, HR and RBIs. The only way this voting gets close is if the Yankees don't make the playoffs and the Tigers do. In that case, Ordonez has a chance, as he already has 104 RBIs (second to A-Rod's 110), and we know how the voters love RBIs.

AL Cy Young

I think our voters put a little less emphasis on wins than the BBWAA does. I don't say that critically; in fact, it's a compliment, as the BBWAA is completely insane when it comes to this. Haren got off to an unbelievable start (8-2, 1.64) but has come back to earth in his last ten starts, with a 3.98 ERA. He's still right up there though, with the only problem with his Cy Young resume being the fact he has "only" 13 wins.

Lackey has been great all year, but has improved his Cy Young resume recently, going 5-1 in his last 8 starts, moving into a tie for the ML lead in wins with 15. ESPN's Cy Young Predictor actually think he'd win the award if the season ended today.

The league's other 15-game winner is Boston's Josh Beckett. His resume is very similar to Lackey's, although he actually has 14 more strikeouts in 14 less innings. If Beckett hadn't missed two starts in May, he'd probably be the front runner at this point. As it stands, if he can get up to 20 wins he still has a shot.

Bedard is the dark horse here. On June 20 he was 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA. Since then he has been lights out, going 8-0 with a 2.38 ERA, striking out 87 batters in 68 IP. With 199 Ks already Bedard is on pace for 273, which would be the most by an AL pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2000 (284).

NL MVP

The NL MVP vote is absolutely wide open. Holliday is having a great year (.339/.401/.585, 21 HR, 93 RBI), but not really that much bettter than last year (.326/.34/114), when he finished 15th in the voting. He probably has a shot if the Rockies sneak into the playoffs. Of course, there's a chance I'm just misjudging the whole thing, as he obviously got a ton of support in our voting.

It seems to me that Prince probably has the inside track. He has the numbers (36 HR, 88 RBIs), he's relatively well known, and the Brewers have had a good year. If the Brewers take the Central, I think the award is his to lose.

Chase Utley (.336/.414/.581, 82 RBI, plus excellent defense) was in great shape before breaking his hand. As great as Hanley Ramirez has been (.341/.393/.574, 37 SB), I feel like most of the BBWAA writers wouldn't recognize him if he walked by.

The "x-factor" here is Braun. There's no doubt he's been the league's MVP since he was called up on May 25. But, obviously, therein lies the problem, as he's only played 70 games. He's on pace to finish at .348/36/96, which probably isn't good enough, as his teammate Fielder will be way ahead of him in HR and RBIs. But if he gets those numbers up to 40 and 100, I think he'll have a shot.

NL Cy Young

After staring the year 13-1, Brad Penny has gone 0-2 in his last three starts, allowing Jake Peavy to pass him, according to both our voting and Cy Predictor. Peavy is clearly in the lead, as he's compiling quite a resume- low ERA (2.23), second in the league in wins (13), and leading the league in Ks (164). I don't really know how his teammate, Chris Young, got two first place votes- although he does have the impressive ERA (2.02), he's only pitched 124.2 innings (to Peavy, Penny and Zambrano's 157.2, 156, and 161, respectively) because of the time he missed.

As you may have heard, Brandon Webb has come on strong lately, now allowing a run in his last four starts (32 IP). Webb had a lot of catching up to do, as before this streak he was only 8-8, 3.38. Webb has benefitted this year from a boost in his strikeout rate, seeing his K/9 go from 6.8 to 7.9.

A week ago, it seemed like Carlos Zambrano was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the voting. After beginning the year 5-5, 5.62, he had a 12 start stretch where he went 9-2, 1.43. But he's allowed 13 runs over his last two starts (the second of which was Tuesday night, after our voting concluded), getting the loss in each of them. Seems like that's a huge blow to his candidacy, as his ERA is now up to 3.86, and, although he does lead the NL with 14 wins, going into Tuesday night's games there were eight guys tied at 13, so his lead in that category seems as though it will soon come to an end.

Stats taken from Baseball Reference and FanGraphs. Pictures taken from MSNBC, TSN, USA Today, and Padres Nation.

12 comment(s):

Lozo said...

i am really the only one to cast a vote for putz? you sons of bitches.

sager said...

Matt Holliday is hitting .378-.439-.700 at Coors and a respectable (but not MVP-like) .299-.362-.470 on the road. I'd rule him out based on that. Fielder isn't a winning case either -- all his value is in his HRs and RBIs.

Neither of the Fla. guys have a realistic chance in the BBWAA vote but they're right up there. So is Eric Byrnes with the D-Backs. And if Eric Byrnes is a MVP candidate, maybe they just shouldn't award it this year.

(Don't laugh, check out this: http://www.hardballtimes.com/thtstats/main/index.php?view=winshares&linesToDisplay=50&season_filter[0]=2007&league_filter[0]=NL&pos_filter[0]=All&Submit=Submit&orderBy=total&direction=DESC&page=1 .)

Simon said...

Wow no love for Ryan Howard... I understand he's hitting .264 and that stinks but he's hitting .352 with RISP with two outs, which is arguably the most important stat for a hitter. Getting the job done when you're the last line of defense.

Vegas Watch said...

Sure, that looks impressive, but he's hitting .218 in "Late & Close" situations...you can spin those "clutch" stats either way most of the time.

Sooze said...

It must be pretty lame when your name is Erik Bedard and your team sucks ass.

Big Al said...

Give Magglio some MVP love. He had another monster game last night. He's on pace for 140+ RBI and a .350+ average.

Personally, I could never talk myself myself into voting for A-Rod, even though he's admittedly having a huge season, as he's been the antithesis of "Clutch" throughout his career. I can't get the image of Joel Zumaya making him look utterly foolish at the plate in the 06 ALDS out of my mind.

Plus, being a Detroiter, we have enough of an inferiority complex as it is...

Steroid Nation said...

A-Rod is hitting the cover off the ball. With the talent the Yanks buy, it gives him potential RBIs on-base, as well as protects him in the hitting order.

Maggs is simply superb this year. It would be hard to vote for someone other than A-Rod, buts Maggs is a tempting vote.

Who will contribute the most valuable for their team to make the playoffs?

On the National League side, Fielder leads the Brewers with the HRs, however many Brewers contribute to their victories.

I think a case could have been made for Soriano before his injury. He was key to pulling the Cubs up to the 1st place tie.

Holliday is a good all-around hitter, however will he lead his team to the playoffs?

Kyle Smith said...

3 Observations:

1. The N.L. MVP was the hardest to choose. There really isn't one clear cut candidate, much less three this year.

2. You make a good point about Putz, Lozo.

3. I'm certain I'm one of the few who takes defense into account, but Braun needs to learn how to use that leather thingy on his hand before I would vote for him. He's atrocious defensively.

The Feed said...

Jamie Walker just made Erik Bedard's chances a little worse. He served up a dinger to Shelley Duncan to blow the game with two outs in the ninth with the Orioles up 3-0.

Loren said...

It's a shame Eric Bedard is wallowing away on the O's. He is running away with the K's and figures to post the highest K/9 in a long time (>12). Though he has fewer wins than the top candidates, he has the highest win perecntage out of all of them (tied with Beckett at .750). His 2.98 ERA is lower than any starter not named Haren or Santana, while his 1.08 is only bested by Santana.

In Bedard's whopping 10 no decisions this year, he has posted a 3.41 ERA, giving up more than 3 runs only twice. If you remove a 5.2 inning 6 run disaster from that equation, you see that he has 9 starts with a cumulative 2.67 ERA and no wins to show for it. If the O's had a halfway decent bullpen or offense, Bedard could feasibly already have won 20 games.

He turned in the most dominating performance of any pitcher this season with his 15 K, 2 H shutout of the Rangers in which he faced the minimum number of batters due to 2 double plays.

Batters are only hitting .210 against him.

I can go on, but it doesn't matter because he plays for the O's.

One good thing I take out of this is that the early season trade I made of BJ Upton and Jon Garland for Prince Fielder and Eric Bedard is looking real real good.

Lozo said...

i have never seen a more overwhelming endorsement of a player when the endorser couldn't even spell the player's name.

Kevin said...

The idea of how your team does overall, and (as alluded to in the original post) a pitcher's win-loss record are ridiculous measures. You can't argue on one hand that Haren is the forerunner for the AL Cy Young, and then say Bedard probably won't get it because he plays for the Orioles.

Oakland is 60-64, 12 games out as I write this. Baltimore is 57-64, 16 games out in a much tougher division. Does that really matter? If Peavy played for the Reds, would voters be less inclined to vote for him? The answer is yes, and that's just sad.


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