As the 2016 Season hits the final two months, our weekly MLB award watch will begin . We’re going to take a look at the rising, and falling stocks of the major award candidates each week. Last week we set the scene for the award races. Now let’s take a look at whose stock is up, and whose is down.
Weekly MLB Award Watch
AL CY Young
In his last three games, Kluber has had a quality start in each, and had 18 strikeouts in 18 IP. According to Fangraphs, he’s the AL leader in War and xFIP. His 1.04 WHIP is also top five in the AL. He currently has one of the best overall resumes in the AL which makes him our front-runner at the moment
Hamels has the second best ERA in the AL, and a WHIP at 1.32. His ERA and win combo alone will put him into the minds of voters, but he’s allowed the most runs (50) out of the top three or four candidates.
Fulmer’s stock has gone down simply because he is no longer a qualifier in any stat category for AL Pitchers. He’ll need to get his innings total higher frankly. He had a bad start in his last outing against the Red Sox on 8/19. Fulmer only went 5.2 innings and allowed six runs on ten hits, and had only one strikeout.
NL Cy Young
Hendricks’ stock has gone up, mainly due to the fact that he’s continuing his domination of hitters at home. His ERA at Wrigley is below two, and thanks to Kershaw losing his Qualifier status, Hendricks now leads all of baseball in ERA. Not only does he lead the MLB in ERA, but also leads baseball in WHIP. This now makes him the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young in my opinion.
While the Angels are now in last place in the AL West (somehow they’re worse than Oakland), Trout leads the MLB in WAR. His WAR with 35 games left is already at the “MVP type season” level. Trout is clearly the best all-around player in baseball, and has been since he set foot in the league. He would have, and should have won the AL MVP in 2012, but Miguel Cabrera had the first triple crown in decades. But WAR alone shouldn’t make him the front runner. This year, much like 2012, there is someone who’s numbers plus WAR makes him the front runner. That is Jose Altuve.
Altuve leads the AL in hitting (.361 BA/180hits), has the second best WAR in baseball (7.3). Altuve also has a higher slugging percentage, and OPS than trout. The only person with a number higher than his in those categories, is David Ortiz. Frankly, Altuve is having an all-time season. Altuve winning the MVP, and Trout being the best all-around player in baseball should be able to be synonymous. Right now, I’d give the MVP to Altuve. If Houston makes the postseason? It most definitely should be Altuve.
I don’t plan on doing many write-ups on the players whose stock stays even, just because I don’t think they’ve done much in the last week. That’s usually why their stock stay even. However, I feel the need to say something about Ortiz. Ortiz is having one of the greatest seasons a DH has ever had. That being said, the other two are having even better seasons than him. I do think Trout, based on his resumé, will jump Ortiz in the “favorites” for the award. That shouldn’t take away from Ortiz though.
Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado have been stellar, and nobody else in the NL is really at their level. According to Fangraphs, Corey Seager has the second best WAR in the NL. That is quite the feat for a rookie. It’s been quite clear lately that his play is helping propel the Dodgers to first in the Division. That being said, Kris Bryant’s WAR is clearly above Seager’s. With the Rockies falling off, Kris Bryant might just become the frontrunner for the NL MVP
As I said, the Rockies are slowing fading into the “playoffs are a figment of our imagination” as they seem to do every year. This year, it’s not players coming back to earth, but loads of injuries to key players. The NL MVP award rarely goes to somebody whose team didn’t make the playoffs. This makes Kris Bryant the front runner. Arenado would need to have an INSANE final 30 games to out-shine Bryant.
AL Rookie of the Year
Michael Fulmer is still the runaway favorite for me. Regardless of one bad outing, he’s been utterly dominant since he got called up. Nomar Mazara and Cheslor Cuthbert have been doing even better recently, getting both averages above .300. A late entry to the race might be Tyler Naquin. Talk about Naquin has been pretty quiet until recently, thanks to his walk off inside-the-park home run. His plus .300 average and .942 OPS have helped him shoot up the rookie ranks. While Gary Sanchez has been smashing baseballs the last two weeks, I just don’t anticipate him being in the top 4 in votes, unless he helps propel the Yankees to the postseason.
NL Rookie of the Year
Corey Seager is still the run-away favorite at the moment. Aledmys Diaz has been slowing down just a bit. His OPS and Average has now dipped below Seager’s, and Seager has far better power numbers. It remains to be seen if Seager will catch Trevor Story’s home run total by the end of the season. With a little over 30 games left, Seager would have to hit a home-run every six games if he were to match Story’s total of 27. If he goes above it, you can virtually etch Seager’s name onto the plaque.
Manager Of the Year
While the AL stock may stay the same, Dave Roberts has certainly stuck his name into the conversation. Without Clayton Kershaw, Dave Roberts has the Dodgers sitting two games above the Giants in the NL West, after being down six and a half at the all-star break. Some of that is due to how bad the Giants have been since the break, but none-the-less, they’re in first place in the NL West. If they Win the NL West, it should be a virtual tie between him and Baker for the Award. Of course you can’t leave out Joe Maddon. However, Maddon is doing what you would expect him to do with a team that was favored to win the world series. Baker and Roberts have defintiely performed above their expectations.
Stay tuned in, as next week we’ll take a look again at whose stock has risen, and whose fell.