Only a weekend a way from the All-Star break, it’s time to evaluate our picks for MLB awards at this point in the season.
Mike Trout (2), Miguel Cabrera (1)
- Danny Henken: Miguel Cabrera
- Jeremy Gopin: Mike Trout
- Zach Rosen: Mike Trout
Cabrera was batting .350 with 15 HR and 54 RBI, but he will be out for five more weeks minimum. Trout was the winner among our selections for his AL-leading WAR statistic (5.4) paired with a .305 average, 24 HR, and 50 RBI through Wednesday’s action. It’s worth considering Josh Donaldson, Jason Kipnis, and Manny Machado for the award as well with their strong first halves.
Bryce Harper (3)
- Danny Henken: Bryce Harper
- Jeremy Gopin: Bryce Harper
- Zach Rosen: Bryce Harper
There was no debate amongst us for this award. Harper is top five in the Triple Crown categories for hitters on the division-leading Nationals, and leads baseball in WAR (6.1). Paul Goldschmidt is his immediate competition as he also is top five in the Triple Crown (and he leads two of the categories), but his team is not looking playoff-bound.
AL Cy Young
Chris Sale (2), Dallas Keuchel (1)
- Danny Henken: Dallas Keuchel
- Jeremy Gopin: Chris Sale
- Zach Rosen: Chris Sale
There is a lot of competition for the Cy Young in both leagues this season, but Sale’s record-tying eight straight games with 10+ strikeouts makes his case the most compelling. Keuchel does however lead the AL in ERA and wins, so Danny’s pick may be the winner right now. Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Felix Hernandez, and David Price, the other AL starting pitchers that are All-Stars are also in competition.
Max Scherzer (3)
- Danny Henken: Max Scherzer
- Jeremy Gopin: Max Scherzer
- Zach Rosen: Max Scherzer
We all went with Scherzer on this one, mainly for his three-game stretch where at one point he retired 54 of his last 57 batters. He is top five in ERA and wins, but his WHIP is what really stands out at 0.80 (that’s nasty). His competition is Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, Jacob DeGrom and Zack Greinke.
AL Rookie of the Year
Carlos Correa (2), Billy Burns (1)
- Danny Henken: Billy Burns
- Jeremy Gopin: Carlos Correa
- Zach Rosen: Carlos Correa
Correa’s impact on the field, his fielding, and clutch hitting gave him the nod here, despite only playing in about 1/3 of the team’s games. His presence and late call-up ROY campaign is similar to what Ryan Braun did for the Brewers when he was first called up, although the statistics are a bit different. Billy Burns has been exceptional for the Athletics as well and has played more of the season. Joey Butler, Devon Travis (if it wasn’t for his injury earlier in the season), Kendall Graveman, Lance McCullers, and Nate Karns all deserve looks as well.
Kris Bryant (3)
- Danny Henken: Kris Bryant
- Jeremy Gopin: Kris Bryant
- Zach Rosen: Kris Bryant
Bryant was the unanimous pick amongst us three, but Joc Pederson, who was named an All-Star reserve, has had a stellar rookie campaign with his power numbers. Bryant has 12 HR and 50 RBI with a .275 average, and he’s already an All-Star caliber player. Bryant’s consistency puts him atop Pederson at this point. Honorable mentions for Yasmany Tomas, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Heston, Maikel Franco, and Matt Duffy.
A.J. Hinch (2), Paul Molitor (1)
- Danny Henken: A.J. Hinch
- Jeremy Gopin: A.J. Hinch
- Zach Rosen: Paul Molitor
It’s hard to argue with either of these rookie managers as the selection, but the historic, turnaround season Hinch has lead the Astros to gets him the majority. His reputation as a player’s manager and having a loose locker room has done well for the young Astros. Molitor has done a lot with less, especially pitching. Rookie manager Kevin Cash has got the Rays playing much better than expected, and Joe Girardi deserves some credit in New York for getting the Yankees back on the right track.
NL Manager of the Year
Mike Matheny (2), Joe Maddon (1)
- Danny Henken: Mike Matheny
- Jeremy Gopin: Mike Matheny
- Zach Rosen: Joe Maddon
It’s incredible how good Matheny’s Cardinals have still been this year, despite losing Adam Wainwright (done for season), Matt Adams, and Matt Holiday for much of the first half. Maddon has given Wrigley-goers something to root for after years of losing. There really isn’t anyone else in discussion besides Clint Hurdle for the Pirates’ strong season and Fredi Gonzalez for the work he has done with almost nothing in Atlanta.
World Series Matchup
Kansas City Royals (1), Pittsburgh Pirates (1), Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
- Danny Henken: Kansas City Royals over St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals are the best team in baseball. They have the best lineup 1-9, and their starting pitching is coming around. KC has a dominating back end of the bullpen that knows how to solidify games and win them.)
- Jeremy Gopin: Pittsburgh Pirates over Houston Astros. The Astros will be another classic AL upstart team that loses the World Series, like Tampa in ’08, Texas in ’10, and KC in ’14.
- Zach Rosen: Los Angeles Dodgers over Kansas City Royals. I think the Cardinals will slow down a little due to injuries – they already have – and the Nationals and Dodgers will only get stronger through trades. Dodgers will finally get it together this year with three dominant starters and an insane lineup and beat the Royals, who will navigate out of the AL once again after trading for one more starter. Alex Gordon’s injury concerns me about the Royals’ chances; he’s just a glue guy for that squad.