It’s awards time. The regular baseball season is now ended and it’s time for the roundtable crew to pick who they think were the MVPs and the Cy Young’s in the American and National Leagues, respectively.
1) Who are your top two finalists for, and, who wins the AL MVP? Why?
David Ortiz, on his farewell tour, gave us a memorable season. Led the league in RBIs,
SLG, OPS, dbls, and IBB. His team finished 1st in the AL East, easily the toughest division in MLB. And, all the while, he did it at the ripe age of 40. I know there are the arguments for a DH to win any award but I would argue this, “IF the DH cannot be recognized for awards and the HOF, then why the hell does the AL continue to INSIST that the DH position is kept?” Use the DH rule just don’t “label” a player as DH only.
Dan: My top two MVP candidates for the American League is Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. The winner will be Mike Trout, as I feel like he had a better season; was a more valuable player to a horrible Angels’ squad and put up great numbers.
Mookie Betts had other strong contributors on his team which helped him perform, namely Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz, Rick Porcello pitching, etc.
Earl: For sentimental value I’m going to have David Ortiz as one of my finalists. Big Papi has had the finest season a soon to be retiring player could have and is a huge reason why the Red Sox won the AL East.
I’d say Jose Altuve or Mike Trout, but, their teams did not make the playoffs and I think that’s important. So, with that said my second finalist would be Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, and, I think Donaldson will repeat as the AL MVP winner.
Steve: Call me crazy here, but if I had a vote, I am going with David Ortiz of Boston. .315/38/127 is his line, in his final year in the major leagues. At 40 years old, David Ortiz had one of his best seasons ever and why not go out on top with an MVP award. I don’t care if he is a DH or not.
2) Who are your top two finalists for, and, who wins the NL MVP? Why?Archie: Daniel Murphy and (I really don’t have a clear cut second runner). Murphy held the Nats on course this season while Harper struggled at times. His consistency along with Max Scherzer was what kept them in the hunt.
Kris Bryant has been absolutely insane for the Cubs this season and I’m putting him as the winner. Him, along with some other key pieces to the offense, have helped lead the Cubs to the best record in baseball and the favorites, heading into the post-season, to win the World Series.
The winner? I’ll go with Kris Bryant. The Cubs had a great season, and Bryant is huge reason for that.
Overall, I am going with Nolan Arenado, of the Colorado Rockies. Arenado hit .294 with a NL Leading 41 Home Runs, and 133 RBIS. While the Colorado Rockies only won 75 games, they were in the playoff discussion throughout the year and without Arenado, they are probably a 60 win team.
Runner up, has to go to Kris Bryant. Bryant it .292 with 39 HR and 102 RBI, and was one of the key reasons that the Cubs sported the best record in baseball. He finishes runner up, and he did struggle down the stretch, while Arenado kept ripping the cover off the ball.
3) Who are your top two finalists for, and, who wins the AL Cy Young? Why?
Dan: While I really want to say Rick Porcello or Justin Verlander in this, I think Zach Britton (who should’ve pitched in extra innings in Tuesday’s Baltimore-Toronto Wild Card game), and, Corey Kluber (who posted a 6.5 WAR – 1 win above everybody else).
I’m placing Kluber at number two, even though you can make a STRONG argument for him to win it,but, I can’t pass up the opportunity on giving a relief pitcher the Cy Young.
Earl: In my mind it comes down to Rick Porcello or J.A. Happ. Both pitchers won at least 20 games, and both pitchers have under 10 losses. With that said, I have to go with Porcello. Starting pitching coming into the season was a question for the Red Sox, and he went out there and finished with a 22-4 record with an ERA of over 3. It’s hard to not say Porcello after a season like that.
Steve: My AL Cy Young winner is Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox. Porcello was the most consistent pitcher in baseball, sporting a 22-4 record, with an ERA of 3.15. There has not been a pitcher since John Burkett, in 1993, to win at least 22 games and not win the Cy Young award. I don’t see anything different this season.
Runner up may surprise you, I am going with Zach Britton, the closer of the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles clinched a playoff berth winning their 89th game on the last day of the season. Britton saved 47 games for the Orioles, and did not blow a save all year. I am always reluctant to put a closer in the top 5 of a Cy Young ballot, but, considering without him, I don’t think the Orioles are even sniffing the playoffs.
4) Who are your top two finalists for, and, who wins the NL Cy Young? Why?
Dan: This is another very tight race between Kyle Hendricks and Max Scherzer.
Ultimately, I’ll give it to Scherzer because he led the league in WHIP, WAR and strikeouts while being the primary ace on the Nationals squad while the Cubs had 3 top pitchers… Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and then Kyle Hendricks. Scherzer faced aces, was the leader in WAR… which shows value… had the best WHIP and just dominated. I believe Hendricks was a great pitcher, but he doesn’t beat out Scherzer. Not this year at least.
Earl: The award should go to Jose Fernandez. Yes, it will be awarded to him in absentia because of his tragic passing, but before he passed away last month he was having a statistically great season.
Noah Syndergaard was right there with Fernandez, based off of stats, but, I think the right way to honor Jose and his memory would be to bestow onto him the Cy Young.
5) Your opinion of this year’s MLB season… good, bad or indifferent?
Archie: For me it was a down year simply because my team was in a “rebuild” stage. However, I am excited for the Cubs fans this season and I wish them the best in their run for the WS title. I do think it will come down between them and the Red Sox; or at least, that is the two I want to see play for the crown.
Earl: I’d say it was a good season. We have the Cubs looking good, the Red Sox looking good, the Mets are back in the playoffs, the Yankees challenged, and a number of other historic clubs had fine seasons. I think the game is in a good spot heading into the postseason. Hopefully some magic happens to capture the public’s attention.
Steve: I thought this season was great. You had some great storylines, an amazing season by the lovable losers in the Chicago Cubs. You had the two wild card races come down to the final day of the season. That alone, is worth the excitement of the season. You even saw tragedy struck with the passing of Jose Fernandez, which still I am in shock. We saw teams playing with fun and excitement, something that we have not seen in several years. I thought the season was great, and I’m looking forward to the post-season.
The curse began…
It was 71 years from today that Tavern owner “Billy Goat” Sianis brought a box seat for his goat for Game Four of the World Series, one thing led to another and Sianis and the goat were escorted out of Wrigley Field. In retaliation Sianis casts a “goat curse” over the Cubs.
Oh… and… The Tigers tied the series on Dizzy Trout’s 4-1 win.
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