Justin Lovell, Sports Editor
After a long and tumultuous regular season, the postseason is finally here. Already the playoffs have been filled with exciting and unexpected finishes and with the American League and National League Championship series underway, more history will certainly be made. This also provides a perfect chance to predict who the winners of baseball’s most prestigious awards from the regular season as we await the start of 108th World Series.
AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera
Let me start this off by saying that Miguel Cabrera is the AL MVP this year, no question in my mind. Experts around baseball don’t see it that way though. Instead they consider this year to be one of the most highly debated MVP awards ever between Cabrera and rookie phenom Mike Trout. The 21-year-old outfielder Trout put together an amazing season. His WAR, or wins above replacement, was an incredible 10.7, which lead the majors. He also became the first rookie to ever have a 30-40 season, which means 30 home runs and 40 stolen bases. In fact, he had 49 stolen bases so it was almost a 30-50 season, which is just unfathomable, especially considering he is only a rookie. All that being said though, Cabrera is still the MVP. He lead the AL in batting average with a .330 average, home runs with 44 and runs batted in with 139 to become the first triple crown winner since 1967. That alone should be the reason for his MVP trophy, but another important element in this decision is that Cabrera’s Detroit Tigers made the playoffs and are now in the ALCS, whereas Trout’s Los Angeles Angels have been golfing for a few weeks now. When the awards are finally announced, expect Cabrera to be named AL MVP and Trout to be second.
NL MVP – Ryan Braun
Just like the AL MVP, the NL MVP will be a highly contested race but for the opposite reason. In the AL, there are two candidates that deserve the trophy more than any other player in baseball. In the NL, the three major candidates all could win it but have reasons not to. My choice, Ryan Braun, was last year’s MVP, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him add another to his collection. In fact, his numbers across the board are better this year than they were a year ago when he easily won the award, so why isn’t it as clear cut this season? The whole reason is Braun’s positive performance enhancing drug test that came out after he won the award a year ago. Many believed the award was tainted and should be returned. Luckily for Braun, the ruling was overturned and he kept the award but many voters now don’t feel that they can vote for a “cheater” twice. That leaves Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen, both quality players who had good seasons but to me not MVP quality seasons. This award should be Braun’s again; we will just have to see if the voters agree.
AL Cy Young – David Price
It pains me to say this as a Boston Red Sox fan but the Rays’ David Price could be AL Cy Young this year. With a dominant 20-5 record, a 2.56 ERA and over 200 strikeouts, everything is in place for Price to walk away with the trophy. However, Jared Weaver begs to differ. Weaver had virtually identical stats to Price and both teams missed the playoffs, so what is the deciding factor in this decision? Simply said it is a coin flip, either could win it, we just have to see who will.
NL Cy Young – R.A. Dickey
Dickey was just simply outstanding this year. His first half of the season was spectacular and while his second half wasn’t as good, he did enough to ensure his Cy Young. His 20-6 record, 2.73 ERA and league leading 230 strikeouts will give him the trophy over fellow NL East pitcher Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals. Much like the AL Cy Young though, this year in the NL is a toss up, both could win it but only one can and that man should be R.A. Dickey.
AL ROY – Mike Trout
This is a no brainer. Trout has a chance to win the MVP, so the rookie of the year award is already his. The only other player that could receive votes is Japanese star Yu Darvish, who had a solid season but this award will be Trout’s, no doubt about it.
NL ROY – Bryce Harper
This is another no brainer. Though Harper didn’t dominate as much as Trout, he will be the winner. The 20-year-old did things that veterans can’t even do and will only continue to get better as his career progresses. Honorable mention goes to Wade Miley, who was great for the D-Backs this year but much like Trout in the AL, Harper has this award wrapped up.