Can Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers make it 2 straight Cy Young Awards? Later today the finalists for the MVP and Cy Young races will be anointed. Yet one more way for baseball to ramp up the drama was to create a tiered approach to naming the winners of baseball’s most coveted individual awards.
Each trophy will have 5 finalists assigned tonight at 6 pm and the votes will be aired on MLB Network during an hour long show. A week from today the Cy Youngs will be awarded and a week from tomorrow the MVPs will finally be decided.
Back in the Motor City, fans are once again forced to turn their attention to these votes, rather than watch their team parade down Woodward Avenue with the World Series championship under their belt.
Last year it was Justin Verlander with the clean sweep, winning both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards.
The Cy Young race in 2012 has a pretty clear top 5 attached to it: Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver, Fernando Rodney, and Felix Hernandez. Anyone other than these 5 making the final table would be a surprise.
The MVP discussion has been whittled down to two names: Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout.
The Cy Young winner, in my estimation, is going to be David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Price had a career season going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 205 K’s in 211 innings of dominance. He front-lined a stellar rotation in Tampa all year long.
My opinion is that the voters will favor his win total and efficiency over Verlander’s more workhorse like numbers. JV was 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and an MLB-best 239 K’s laid down over the course of a league-high 238.1 innings.
Weaver is going to lose some votes due to being on the disabled list for a stretch and only logging 188.2 innings. He still managed to go 20-5, 2.81, 1.02, and posted 142 K’s.
Fernando Rodney produced possibly the best season as a reliever in baseball history. He logged 48 saves with a frighteningly low 0.60 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and 76 K’s in 74.2 innings. It’s hard to imagine a reliever having a better season and not winning the trophy, but historically this has been a starter’s award. Rodney faces an uphill battle as a result.
Finally, King Felix did his usual fine work out west in Seattle. He had a 13-9 record for the scuffling Mariners, a 3.09 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 223 K’s in 232 innings. That effort is not going to be enough for him to claim the Cy Young this time around though.
My prediction as to how the voting will go:
It will be Price’s complete resume of workload, strikeout ratio, and win total that will sway the voters away from giving Verlander his 2nd consecutive Cy Young award. Rodney will finish a fairly close 2nd.