National League Cy Young
Player: Jake Peavy
Team: San Diego Padres
Season: 19-6, 2.54 ERA, 240 K, 64 BB, 217.0 IP, 57 ER, 33 G/GS
To say Jake had an impressive season would be an understatement. Jake Peavy had a remarkable season in 2007 for the Padres and really was the clear-cut Cy Young Winner for the National League. If his 19 wins with an ERA just over 2.5 wasn't enough, he also had a great 3.75 K/BB ratio. He also held batters to a .208 average. Unfortunately he may be most remembered in 2007 as the guy who gave up 6 runs to the Rockies in the sudden death game that ultimately lead to the Rockies making the playoffs over the Padres. The 6 runs over the 6 1/3 innings raised his ERA from 2.36-2.54.
Runner Up: Brandon Webb
Mid-Season Winner: Jake Peavy
Mid-Season Prediction: Jake Peavy
National League Rookie of the Year
Player: Troy Tulowitzki
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Short Stop
Season: .291 avg., 24 HR, 99 RBI, .359 OBP, .479 SLG%
This is a very debatable award. There are two very deserving players and anyone can make a case for either. As much as I like Ryan Braun, I had to give the award to Tulowitzki. I really liked what I saw from Tulo's this season. He made the jump from AA-MLB last year and came out "sluggish" in '07 batting just .244 in April but really picked it up in May to raise his average which ultimately had him flirting .300 by season's end. He did this while playing a very important position for a Rockies team which came out of nowhere to shock the world in making the playoffs for just the clubs 2nd time in its 14 year existence and it's first in the last 12 years. He did all of this while playing Gold Glove caliber defense. He may even end up walking away with that award as well.
Runner Up: Ryan Braun
Mid-Season Winner: Hunter Pence
Mid-Season Prediction: Ryan Braun
National League Most Valuable Player
Player: Matt Holiday
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Left Field
Season: .340 avg., 36 HR, 137 RBI, .405 OBP, .607 SLG%
Could it be that two Rockies beat out two Brewers for Awards? Well to me, this award isn't really close. Although that's not to say that others players such as Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez or Prince Fielder didn't have impressive seasons. But if you look at it, Matt Holiday indeed had the better season of all of them. Holiday was the true leader of the NL Wild Card winning Rockies team which kept improving as the season went on. He lead the NL in two very important stats; Average and RBI's. He also finished 2nd in SLG % and 4th in HR's. He also played Gold Glove caliber defense in Colorado and he too may walk away with two awards just like his teamate.
Runner Up: Prince Fielder
Mid-Season Winner: Prince Fielder
Mid-Season Prediction: Chase Utley
I was going to wait until later this week to make my post-season predictions and such, but I have a bunch of stuff that I'm going to try and get caught up on, and since I have time right now, I'm going to just make my points right now.
Post Season Predictions - AL Divisional Series/ AL Championship Series
ALDS: Anaheim Angels vs. Boston Red Sox.This is a very interesting series to me, mainly because I can see either team win it. Both teams have experience in the post season and both have won championships recently. I personally think that it will come down to pitching and the Boston Red Sox have one of the best staffs in the league and their "Big 3" of Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, and Daisuke Matsuzaka all have experience in the post season (Dice-K in the Olympics & World Baseball Classic). That's not so say that the Angels don't have a good rotation, because they do, but I think that the experience is a big factor. My Prediction: Red Sox in 4 games.
ALDS: New York Yankees vs. Cleveland IndiansI also have a tough decision in this series as well. The Cleveland Indians have been a very strong team all season, which has its flaws as well as its perks. The team may have beaten itself up over the coarse of a very long season. But also too, they haven't really shown many signs of decay which is a definite positive. Although Travis Hafner has not really been a strong contributor until having a magnificent September where he hit .316 and had 5 of his 24 home runs. The Tribe will need him to stay hot in order to over take the Yankees. But, I honestly can't count against the Yankees. They came from nowhere and surprised everyone by almost overtaking the Red Sox late in the season. But that also can be a flaw, the Twins came from nowhere last year to win the division only to get swept by the Oakland Athletics. A comeback like that can definitely takes it toll on a team. But with the experience that all the Yankees players have and the fact that I think that this is the year that Alex "Mr. October" Rodriguez arises to the challenge. My prediction: Yankees in 5 games.
ALCS: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red SoxI know that many either really want to see this match up, or really don't. But I think that this would really be a fun series to watch. Both teams have a great history of memorable battles in the post season, but I think the Yankees get the best of them this time around. Prediction: Yankees in 7 games.
Post Season Predictions - NL Divisional Series/ NL Championship Series
NLDS: Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona DiamondbacksThe Cubs have suffered probably more than any other organization in the Majors. Miss fortune after miss fortune has given the Cubs very deep wounds that have just gotten deeper over time. But the 2007 season offered a ray of hope for the Cubbies as they also finished off a relatively frustrating season to rally and take the division with just a few games remaining. The Diamondbacks have also been a big surprise this season as they have a very (very) young team with a pluthera of talent, but little to no experience. The long season may (or may not) take its toll on the young players and I'm expecting either a very enthusiastic lineup or a very lethargic lineup for the "Baby Backs." My Prediction: Cubs in 5 games.
NLDS: Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia PhilliesBoth of these teams really played hard to get here. Neither teams were really though of as realistic choices to make the post season, but truth-be-told, both made it. I'm really excited for this series. I'm not a big fan of the Phillies (although I still like their team), but I really have "Rockies Fever " right now, even before their exciting (but controversial) sudden death game against the Padres on Monday night. The Rockies have a great lineup surrounding an MVP candidate in Matt Holiday, a veteran in Todd Helton, and a Rookie of the Year candidate in Troy Tulowitzki. But the Phil's also have a great lineup surrounding an MVP candidate in Jimmy Rollins, a real big popper in Ryan Howard and one of the best hitters in the league in Chase Cutley. Both teams have mediocre rotations, but both set of starters have flashed brilliance at times this season. Although I think the Phillies lineup may look more realistic to "break out" in the post-season, I can't get over the way the Rockies kept battling to make the playoffs. My prediction: Rockies in 5 games.
NLCS - Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago CubsThis is my ideal match up as well for the NLCS. Both teams weren't really looked at as favorites at the beginning of the season, but both had great years. I really like the Rockies, but I like the Cubs pitching more. It's a tough decision, though. My Prediction: Cubs in 6 games.
Post Season Predictions: 2007 World Series
Chicago Cubs vs. New York YankeesThe Yankees have been here before, and I really think that they have the most momentum (along with the Rockies) heading into the post-season. I think that the rotation of the Yankees is much more superior (especially in the playoffs) compared to the Cubs. I also think that the lineup of the Yankees is going to "light up" the playoffs as most of the team has been there before and have succeeded. My prediction: Yankees in 6 games.
- Make sure to check out SethSpeaks.Net to see his recent posts. He is asking his readers to submit a "Post-Season Fantasy Baseball lineup" for the playoffs which begin today. I submitted mine and here it is: The Batters: C - Victor Martinez, 1B - Ryan Howard, 2B - 3B - SS - OF - Matt Holiday, OF - OF - DH - David Ortiz. Pitchers: SP - SP - SP - C.C. Sabathia, SP - Fausto Carmona, SP - RP - Jonathan Papelbon. He also updated the "Experts" Football Panel, and as you can see, I have a lot of catching up to do.
- Roger posted his "Season ending Pitching Ratings." And as in years past, he did a great job!
- Also make sure to check out Joe Christensen's Blog. He has some very good discussion and posts over there. So check it out!
- As posted before, there is speculation going around the league that there are teams such as the Mets and the Dodgers that are willing to make a strong run at acquiring Twins' hurler Johan Santana. And in this story by La Velle E. Neal III, it discusses Johan's reaction to a possible new location.
- Speaking of Johan Santana, ever wondered how it'd feel to stand in the batters box against him? Well this video may give some of us something that we never will be able to actually experience. Excellent commentary by Matthew LeCroy (batter) and Rick Stelmaszek (coach).
- Want more playoff predictions? Check out Taylor's Twins Talk for his predictions.
- Also check out Nick Nelson's of "Nick & Nick's Twins Blog"2007 grades for the Hitters, as well as for the Pitchers. Make sure to view the comments to see their grades for Michael Cuddyer.
- Wonder what happened with Pat Neshek? Check out his site as he gives what he's been up to and what he's going to be doing this off-season.
Until next time. Have a great day and take care.