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July 5, 2008

MLB Midseason Report: Part 3

Here’s my ballot, which you know if perfect.

RIGHT NOW AWARDS

AL MVP

1. Josh Hamilton, Texas
2. JD Drew, Boston
3. Milton Bradley, Texas
4. Jermaine Dye, Chicago
5. Ian Kinsler, Texas

AL ROY

1. Evan Longoria, Tampa
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
3. Joba Chamberlain, New York

AL MANAGER

1. Joe Maddon, Tampa
2. Bob Geren, Oakland
3. Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota

AL CY YOUNG

1. Cliff Lee, Cleveland
2. Roy Halladay, Toronto
3. Ervin Santana, LA of A
4. Justin Duchscherer, Oakland
5. Mariano Rivera, New York

NL MVP

1. Lance Berkman, Houston
2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida
3. Chase Utley, Philadelphia
4. Albert Pujols, St. Louis
5. Chipper Jones, Atlanta

NL ROY

1. Geovany Soto, Chicago
2. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta
3. Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago

NL MANAGER

1. Fredi Gonzalez, Florida
2. Tony LaRussa, St. Louis
3. Lou Pinella, Chicago

NL CY YOUNG

1. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
2. Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati
3. Dan Haren, Arizona
4. Ben Sheets, Milwaukee
5. Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles

END OF YEAR PROJECTION AWARDS

AL MVP

1. Josh Hamilton
2. Evan Longoria
3. Grady Sizemore
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. JD Drew

AL ROY

1. Evan Longoria
2. Joba Chamberlain
3. Jacoby Ellsbury

AL MANAGER

1. Joe Maddon
2. Bob Geren
3. Jim Leyland, Detroit

AL CY YOUNG

1. Ervin Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Andy Sonnanstine, Tampa Bay (OK, this is the ONLY pick that I feel is outrageous enough to explain. Sonny is, right now, the unluckiest 9-3 pitcher to ever grace the majors. As one of the top 10 starters in the AL in terms of K/BB, you would expect Sonnanstine to have better than 1.39 WHIP and 4.60 ERA. The reason for this is an absurdly high .342 batting average on all balls put in play (BABIP). For a comparison, Justin Duchscherer’s BABIP is .227 (absurdly low and bound to even out) and most of the league’s top pitchers to this point are sitting comfortably between .280 and .300. Sonnanstine almost always gives the Rays a chance to win, but he’s struggled with keeping his pitch count low enough to get through six. I also am taking a chance that this will even out over the second half and he’ll have a very good chance to win 20. He’s also throwing his cutter with extremely increased frequency; out of the 2100 pitches he threw last year, less than 6.5 percent were cutters. This year, of the 1550+ pitches he’s thrown, 28 percent have been cutters. If he is becoming more comfortable with the pitch, it would stand to reason that he’ll get even better with it in the second half. A lot of Rays fans have commented on Sonny’s arm angles and how they affect his performance (Rays Index did a nice little piece on that here.) . Again, I’m going out on a limb here, but I think he was simply trying to get comfortable as a major league pitcher (let’s remember he’s just reached the one-year mark in his major league tenure), which involved working on the arm angle and pitch variation throughout every start. I understand this seems like an insane pick when you could make the argument this Sonny is the 4th best starter on his own staff, but I’m projecting him to go 19-6 with a 3.80 ERA (35 ER in 105 2nd half innings pitched, starting today against KC)
4. Cliff Lee
5. Francisco Rodriguez, LA of A

NL MVP

1. Albert Pujols
2. Chase Utley
3. Hanley Ramirez
4. Lance Berkman
5. Pat Burrell, Philadelphia

NL ROY

1. Geovany Soto
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Jay Bruce, Cincinnati

NL MANAGER

1. Tony LaRussa
2. Bobby Cox, Atlanta
3. Lou Pinella

NL CY YOUNG

1. Tim Lincecum
2. Brandon Webb, Arizona
3. Ben Sheets
4. Edinson Volquez
5. CC Sabathia (I think he goes to Milwaukee for LaPorta+ and sets the world on fire)

PLAYOFF PICKS

ALDS
Tampa (AL East) over LA of A (AL West) in 5
Chicago (AL Central) over Boston (AL Wild Card) in 4

NLDS
Arizona (NL West) over Chicago (NL Central) in 4
Milwaukee (NL Wild Card) over Philadelphia (NL East) in 3

ALCS
Tampa over Chicago in 5
Milwaukee over Arizona in 7 (Holy Crap. Could you imagine 4 matchups of Webb VS Sheets and Haren VS Sabathia? This would be a classic series, guaranteed.)

World Series

Tampa over Milwaukee in 7 (AL Home Field)

Projected Pitching Matchups
G1: Kazmir VS Sheets
G2: Shields VS Sabathia
G3: Garza VS Parra
G4: Sonnanstine VS Suppan
G5: Kazmir VS Sheets
G6: Shields VS Sabathia
G7: Garza VS Parra

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4 Comments »

  1. First, love the Rays pick.

    Second, and I am really hoping this is intentional, but the intro “which you know if perfect” makes me wet my pants.

    Comment by eniscookies — July 5, 2008 @ 10:16 pm

  2. I did, mostly because I was fishing for comments or the reassurance that somebody besides Andy is reading every day. So…I guess this counts, right?

    Comment by hoyler — July 6, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  3. […] MVP:Everyone knows what Josh Hamilton has accomplished and the odds he has faced to do so.  He deserves every ounce of praise that is being thrown his away.   With apologies to Carlos Quentin and Alex Rodriquez–add AL MVP to the mounting praise.  Sure, he plays in a hitter friendly park that enhances his offensive numbers, but the man is on pace to drive in 162 runs and hit 37 HRs.  How can you ignore that? […]

    Pingback by MLB Midseason Awards at Heard in the Cheap Seats — July 12, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  4. The smart money to win this award would be on Chase Utley. Utley is currently on pace to hit 43 HRs and drive in 120 runs–all for a division leading team. However, a closer look at Utley’s splits indicates he is benefiting greatly from playing in the bandbox that is Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. At home, Utley has 17 HRs compared with 8 on the road. To be fair, Lance Berkman plays in a bandbox of his own, but the HR splits for him are dead even–11 at home and on the road.

    So the real question is how do you define the MVP award? Is it the best player on a team that has excelled, or is it simply the best player? If you are going with the best player, the answer is easy: Lance Berkman. As we are sitting at the midseason juncture, Berkman is my choice.

    Comment by Chris Iafolla — July 12, 2008 @ 11:41 am


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