4 Questions Heading into the MLB Postseason
Who are the AL/NL MVP favorites?
In the AL the past two years, it has been a one-man show for the MVP race with Miguel Cabrera beating out Mike Trout. This year, we might have a changing of the guard. With Mike Trout adding the power element to his game this season, he has got to be the favorite in the AL. A WAR of 8.0 and 36 HR has him on pace to win his first MVP of his young career. Not to mention that his play in center field is way above average as well.
In the NL, there really isn’t anyone that really stands out like in the AL. Without injuries, Troy Tulowitzki would probably be up there, but the list isn’t very long. There is the old argument that pitchers shouldn’t win the MVP because they have the CY Young, and I agree with that.
The favorite then in my mind, should be Giancarlo Stanton. He has put together the best body of work even though he plays for a lesser team. Without his gruesome injury, he would have probably would have reached 40 HRs, but he will end with 37 long-balls and 105 RBIs which is an MVP caliber season. The voters in my mind will lean towards Kershaw just because his numbers this season are absolutely absurd.
Can anyone beat out Kershaw or Felix for CY Young?
The answer to this question is quick and easy. NO. No one will beat either of them out because these years have been career ones for both.
Felix in the AL has been dominant. A 15-6 record with 2.14 ERA, 248 strikeouts, and 236.0 IP, have him on pace to win his second CY Young award of his career. He would have more wins, but his lack of run support has hurt him in that category. Nonetheless, his stuff is absolutely nasty. His change up might be one of the nastiest pitches in the game.
Clayton Kershaw has been hard to describe this year; he has been that good this season. A record of 20-3, ERA of 1.80, and 228 Ks have him on a record setting pace. Even after missing 6 weeks, he still put up numbers like this. Adam Wainwright has 20 wins as well, but Kershaw is in MVP talk, which just comes to show that there isn’t much discussion as to who is the favorite for this award.
Who are the real favorites for the World Series?
This year more than ever, it is about as wide open as it has ever been. Every team has had their struggles and no one team seems to be totally complete.
In the NL Washington and Los Angeles look very strong along with the Angels in the AL. The Tigers can obviously be very dangerous with their pitching and hitting combination, but I don’t necessarily see them as a favorite. The Angels have the most potent offense in the league, but their pitching staff is a major question with the injury to Garrett Richards. The Postseason always comes down to pitching, so it will be interesting if the Angels can be successful with a great offense like they do.
My prediction for the World Series is the Angels in the AL and the Nationals in the NL. These teams both have potent offenses and I think enough pitching to get far in the playoffs.
Are there any sleepers for the World Series?
Because of the parity in the league this year, this year more than ever there is a chance for a team to get hot in the playoffs and make a run at the World Series.
The Pirates are a team that I think can get hot and finally has the pitching to compete and win a series in the playoffs. Andrew McCutchen has come on of late and things seem to be clicking. This team is better than last years’ team that made the playoffs, but the experience might pay off and propel this team into the NLCS.
Along with the Pirates, I can see the A’s making a move. They made the moves for pitching, but have almost completely collapsed down the stretch. The A’s are very prone to winning the close games and their two best starters (Lester and Samardzija) have been fantastic in the past few weeks. If the A’s find some offense, I can see them making some noise and causing some trouble for some teams in the Postseason.
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