Friday, October 7, 2011

MLB End of Season Awards & Playoff Picks

2011 MLB Season AwardsAL MVP - Justin Verlander
NL MVP - Matt Kemp Ryan Braun

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7269575/ryan-braun-milwaukee-brewers-wins-nl-mvp
 
AL Cy Young - Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw
http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7246696/los-angeles-dodgers-clayton-kershaw-wins-nl-cy-young

 AL CPOY - Jacoby Ellsbury
NL CPOY - Lance Berkman
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7095827/lance-berkman-st-louis-cardinals-jacoby-ellsbury-boston-red-sox-win-comeback-player-year-awards

AL ROY - Jeremy Hellickson
NL ROY - Freddie Freeman - Craig Kimbrel
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/y2011/index.jsp

Playoff Picks

Divisional Series
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers - Rangers in 5 (Rangers 3-1)
Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees - Tigers in 4 (Tigers 3-2)
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Phillies in 4 (Cards 3-2)
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers - Brewers in 4 (Brewers 3-2)

Championship Series
Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers - Rangers in 6
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Brewers in 7

World Series
Texas Rangers vs. Milwaukee Brewers - Brewers in 6
Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Rangers in 6

There is going to be a lot of good baseball played the next few days as 3 out of the 4 series will see a deciding game 5.

Friday 10.7.11
The Diamonbacks forced a game 5 after losing the first two games of the series, but tied it up with their backs against the wall in front of the hometown fans.  The Brewers are my world series pick, but I think they will get eliminated tonight.  Game 5 will see a rematch between Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo.  Kennedy did not have his best stuff in game 1 when Gallardo did.  Kennedy went 21-4 during the season and the Diamondbacks only lost back to Kennedy starts once and went 25-8 in games he started.  With that being said I think Kennedy comes out and will pitch well enough for the Diamondbacks to win.  He wont be spectacular but I'm saying 6-7 innings and 3 runs.  The biggest mistake for the Brewers was that they let the Diamondbacks find their stroke in Arizona.  After scoring only 5 runs in the first two games, the Diamondbacks went back home and scored 18 runs while pounding out 24 hits including 5 homeruns in games 3 and 4.  Gallardo is either untouchable or he just doesn't have anything to fool the hitters.  Tonight the Diamondbacks will be seeing beach balls thrown to them.  We all know Braun and Fielder will hit, but I still question the supporting cast.  With that being said, I think the Diamondbacks hit multiple home runs tonight coming from any of Hill, Upton, Young, and Goldschmidt.  Diamondbacks shock the Milwaukee fans 7-3, and will face the winner of Phils/Cards in the NLCS.

The Cardinals had a great run at the end of the year to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season and did not have a lot of people giving them a chance, running into a tough Philadelphia Phillies team stacked with pitching.  However were sitting here tonight as the Cards and Phils play an elimination game 5 in Philadelphia.  Unfortunately it's the end of the road for the Cards as they will face Roy Halladay for the second time this series.  They got to him early as Berkman hit a 3-run homer in the 1st, but it had no effect on Halladay as he gave up a lead off single in the 2nd and retired the next 21 batters in order and the Phils offense gave him 11 runs of support along the way.  Chris Carpenter takes the hill for the Cards but he pitched game 2, a game which the Cards won, but he only lasted 3 innings as he gave up 4 runs.  He's no Halladay and the Phils offense is stacked.  With Halladay dominating game 5 this wont even be a fun game to watch.  Look for a blow out as the Philly fans will go nuts celebrating a 8-2 game, and the Phils advance to their 4th straight NLCS.

Thursday 10.6.11
Starting with tonight we have the Detroit Tigers at the New York Yankees in a rematch of game 1 (day 2) as Ivan Nova and Doug Fister will be taking the hill.  Nova was brilliant as he shut the Tigers out from the 2nd - 8th inning, allowing the Yankees to jump out to a huge 9-1 lead before giving up a couple runs in the 9th, both of which Luis Ayala allowed to score.  But Nova's final line was 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4BB, 5K, even though he pitched better than that line score.  Doug Fister also pitched better than his line of 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.  Before allowing his first run in the 5th, Fister retired 11 straight batters including 5 strikeouts after giving up back to back hits to the first batters he faced.  So he really was dominate.  As we all know it turned into the Robinson Cano show as he gave tha Yanks a 2-1 lead with an RBI double in the 5th, than hit a grand slam in 6th to give the Yanks a 8-1 lead and the win.

Tonight I do not think either Nova or Fister will dominate this game and it will be a battle of the bats.  Look for Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to come alive as they are a combined 6-26 with 2 home runs in the series.  They both hit over .330 with a combined 130 extra base hits so it's only a matter of time before they break out.  Do not expect Cano to drive in another 6 RBI's, but expect to see more disappointment from A-Rod and Teixeira in big spots that will ultimately cost the Yanks the series.  The Yanks will lose this game 7-5, as both A-Rod and Tex strike out to end the game with the bases loaded, as Valverde celebrates in the Bronx as his prediction comes true.  The Tigers will move on and play the Rangers in the ALCS.




*Notes:

  • With 24 wins and 250 strike outs, Verlander won 12 straight starts from July 21 - September 18.  He won those 12 games down the stretch when games were important, helping the Tigers pull away in the AL Central, which is why I believe he earns the MVP award.  He wins the Cy Young hands down as he wins the triple crown in the AL (league leader in Wins, Strikeouts, ERA).
  • Clayton Kershaw also wins the triple crown in the NL
  • Craig Kimbrel was my original rookie of the year, but blowing the game in the 9th inning that ended the Braves season against the Phillies in a game that would have guaranteed a 1-game playoff with the Cardinals made me change my mind. (Yes I know he will still more than likely win the award anyways)
  • The more I think about it the more I feel like Ryan Braun deserves the MVP award.  It also helps that the Brewers won the NL Central so his chances of winning the MVP increase with that.
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