If the season ended today, this is how the standings and playoffs would look and these would be my picks for the post season awards. Of course the season does not end today. We are just at the ¾ pole, and it will be fun (hopefully) to look back and see what might have changed 7 weeks from now. Please feel free to debate and argue my picks. That’s what these are for, not to be taken TOO seriously.
Note: I’m not posting tables here, but please follow links where appropriate or needed.
- The Diamondbacks would be playing against the Braves in the NLDS. The Braves would have the home field advantage.
- The Brewers would host the Phillies in the Wild Card game, with the winner facing off against the Cubs in the other NLDS matchup
- The Yankees would host the A’s in the AL Wild Card, with the winner playing the Red Sox in the ALDS.
- The Indians would face the Astros in the other ALDS with the Astros having HFA
Post Season Awards:
NL CY Young: Jacob Degrom: The top three including Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola are almost impossible to choose from. When you look at park adjusted bWAR, RA-9 WAR, ERA-, ERA+, etc, there is very little to choose from between these 3 pitchers. However when you look at underlying peripherals, and Metrics such as FIP-, Degrom opens up a sizable lead over Scherzer and Nola. Degrom has gotten by far the worst run support, and along with Nola played in front of the worst defense.
I think Degrom has been the best NL pitcher this year, although it’s so close that going with a guy like Scherzer due to higher IP & Win totals or Nola because he is on a team likely bound for the playoffs would be understandable. Personally I wouldn’t vote for Scherzer over deGrom just because of the traditional win total, due to Run support and defense support advantages.
NL MVP: Freddie Freeman: It’s hard not to vote for Matt Carpenter. He is pretty much at the top of every advanced offensive metric there is such as OPS+ or oWAR . His insane hot streak since May 16th has not only propelled him to the top of the leader boards, but propelled the Cardinals into the Pennant race. But as of today, the Cards are on the outside looking in. And he was hitting .140/.286/.272, .558 OPS on May 15th, contributing to a bad start for the Cardinals and probably helping get a manager fired.
Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman is essentially just an eyelash behind Carpenter in all the metrics. But he has been the most consistent player among the MVP candidates. His worst month this year has been an .864 OPS. His Best was April, .995. That is the model of consistency and the Braves are in first place in large part because of it. Goldy would be 3rd for me and I’d probably catch as much flak as Nick Piecoro does.
NL ROY: Juan Soto, with Ronald Acuna and Giants hurler Dereck Rodriguez very close seconds. Soto’s combination of power, average, and plate discipline/obp is unbeatable in my view. NL Rookie Hitters NL Rookie Pitchers
NL MOY: Gabe Kapler: Steering the youngest, rawest team of position players and 3rd youngest pitching staff in the league to the post season, beating the Pythag by 3 games. Philly has arrived early. I’m giving him some extra points for overcoming a rough start with the Philly fanbase and media.
NL Comeback Player: Clay Buchholz: Hey, I’m allowed one homer pick !. Criteria: Needed to previously have been good. Had to have been either hurt or really bad last year, (or both), and performing at high level this year. Clay checks all those boxes and his performance has been a huge boost to the Diamondbacks playoff push
American League Award Winners:
AL MVP: Mookie Betts . Betts in dead heat with Mike Trout, also slightly ahead of Jose Ramirez. Boston’s great season the tie breaker here. AL Leaders
AL Cy Young : Chris Sale clear winner here, and should be unanimous. Both ERA & FIP. In Boston, in the DH league. Every start is an event. It’s Pedroesque what he is doing right now. Honorable mention to Trevor Bauer as clear # 2 as well.
AL ROY: Shohei Ohtani: Combined 2.7 COMBINED WAR leads AL Rookies, 1.4 Batting , 1.3 Pitching despite making only 9 starts.
AL MOY: Bob Melvin picking up his 3rd MOY Award here, steering the low payroll A’s to a 71-48 record and a Wild Card birth.
AL Comeback Player of Year: Rougned Odor: Last year .203/.252/.397 , 64 OPS+, -0.2 WAR. In 162 Games !. Despite 30 HR !!. No other player had ever posted an OPS+ below 81 when hitting 30 or more HR. This year: .272/.352/.472, 114 OPS+, 2.6 WAR
DIAMONDBACKS PLAYER AWARDS
Pitcher of the year: Patrick Corbin : Corbin and Greinke neck and neck in ERA/ERA+, and bWAR. Zack has more traditional wins, but the team record in their starts is identical, (14-10 for PC, 14-11 for ZG) More importantly, Corbin has almost the exact same K/BB ratio and has given up half as many homeruns, so his FIP is over a run lower than Zack’s and therefore he has higher fWAR. Corbin has pitched better, on the whole. DBacks Pitching Leaders
Player of the Year: Paul Goldschmidt: Overcame a horrific slump in May to lead the team in OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, HR, RBI, RUNS, and WAR DBacks Hitting Leaders
Rookie of the Year: Yoshihisa Hirano : The veteran Japanese closer has provided sometimes excellent, usually very solid relief work in his first year in MLB at age 34. He qualifies as a rookie of course, but some may have issues with JPL veterans getting this award. Matt Koch is a worthy candidate as well, giving the team 12 starts and 73 IP. Yes, his peripherals were much worse than his ERA, but he filled a gap at a critical time for team, and managed 6 of 12 quality starts.