Miguel Cabrera WILL win his second straight Triple Crown Award.
Cabrera is currently first in two of the 3 legs of the Triple Crown, RBI and Average. Cabrera is far and away leading the American League in average, .365 vs .322. Cabrera could go hitless over the next 45 at bats and still be leading the AL in hitting. Cabrera’s RBI is a lot thinner than his lead in average. Cabrera is leading Davis by only 2 RBI while hitting 7 less home runs than Chris Davis. During Cabrera’s Triple Crown season, Cabrera exploded during the second half of the season, although he had less games. Cabrera should experience the same effect because the air is warming and the pitchers are tiring. Usually, pitchers are unable to maintain their strength and stuff as the season wears on while the warming air allows the ball to travel farther. Cabrera will be given more RBI opportunities because Jackson and Hunter constantly reach base. Pitchers will be unable to pitch around Cabrera because Fielder and Martinez have the ability to hurt pitchers and drive in runs. Although Cabrera hit 7 less home runs than Davis in the first half, Cabrera has been a great home run hitter during the second half of the season. Last year, Cabrera hit 8 more home runs in the second half although he played at least 20 less games. Cabrera should be able to catch Davis because he has slowed down as of late. Before his recent home run outburst, Davis’s average significantly dipped. This decrease in average is a premonition for a decrease in home runs and RBI. Davis’s decreased numbers in the second half will lead to Cabrera taking the Triple Crown and some else (continue reading).
Manny Machado WILL break the record for most doubles in a season
The 20 year old third baseman is in his first full MLB season and already breaking a record that has stood for 72 years. In 1931, Earl Webb hit 67 doubles for the Boston Red Sox. Although Machado is not on pace to break the record, 66 doubles, Manny has great chance of breaking the record. Machado has a great chance because he is skilled, in a great lineup, and hits in a friendly park. Camden Yards’ friendly confines enable him to slap balls against the walls. Machado is a line drive hitter, which allows him to find the gaps. Machado is a fast player, which enables him to turn singles into hustle doubles. Even if Machado falls short, but records at least 60 doubles, he will be the first player since 1936 to hit more than 60 doubles.
The Rays and Orioles will make the ALDS and the Yankees and Red Sox will miss the Playoffs
Although the Red Sox have the most wins in baseball and leading the division, 2.5 games over the Rays, 4.5 games over the Orioles, and 3 games over the Texas Rangers, the Rays, Orioles and Rangers have better teams than the Red Sox.
Rays’ Case: The Rays are finally hitting this season. This is a scary thought for AL teams considering their fantastic rotation. This year the Rays offense has dramatically improved because Evan Longoria is healthy, Wil Meyers is good, and James Loney has added a solid average to the lineup. The Rays lineup has a good combination of speed and power. Although the rotation was shaky at the start of the season, most of their starters are healthy and pitching well. After returning from the DL, David Price has returned to his Cy Young form, 3 starts, 25 innings, and 3 ER. The emergence of Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer, and especially Matt Moore has soften the loss of James Shield. The Rays have won 14 of their last 16 games because of their great pitching and hitting. Expect the Rays to continue their success and make the ALDS this season.
Orioles’s Case: The Orioles have scored the third most runs in the AL because of their intimidating lineup. The Orioles’ lineup has 4 All-Stars and other quality hitters. The addition of Brian Roberts will add a new dimension and impact to the Orioles lineup. The lineup is lead by superstars Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado. The Orioles lineup does not have any weaknesses, which will lead it to the playoffs and possibility a World Series run. If the Orioles are able to add another starting pitcher, they will be an extremely scary team. The addition of Scott Feldman and the emergence of All-Star Chris Tillman will lead the Orioles into the playoffs. When Chen returns after the All-Star break, the Orioles will have another quality starter, which only strengthens their case.
Rangers’ Case: The Rangers are one of the most complete teams in the AL because they have a good lineup and pitching depth. Although the pitching rotation has experienced injuries, Derek Holland and Yu Darvish have pitched well and are carrying the rotation. The emergence of Martin Perez has helped the Rangers’ stay in the playoff race. The Rangers have the best minor league system, which will enable them to obtain a pitcher at the trade deadline. The Rangers are probably going to trade for a Matt Garza or another top end starting pitcher. The Rangers’ offense is extremely dynamic and intimidating. The Rangers have a great offense because they have stars like Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar. The Rangers have a great mixture of power and speed, which has enabled them to win dozens of games.
AL Coach of the Year
The manager of the Boston Red Sox is doing a great job. Before the season, the Red Sox were predicted to be the fourth best team in the AL EAST by the ESPN “experts. However, the Red Sox have exceeded everybody’s expectations. They are leading the AL East by 2.5 games and possess the most wins in MLB. The key to the Red Sox’s success is their hitting. The Red Sox’s are ranked one or two in Runs, Batting Average, On Base, and Slugging. Farrell has gained the trust and challenged his hitters. Farrell has done a great job with the pitchers as well. Farrell has been known has a pitching guru for the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Last year, the Red Sox’s ranked third to last in the AL in pitching with a 4.70 ERA. This year, there ERA is a solid 3.91. Farrell has even been able to turn around Clay and John Lackey, which Bobby Valentine could not accomplish.
NL Coach of the Year
During Clint’s third season, the Pirates are having a great season and will end their 20 year streak of finishing under .500. Although many people predicted the Pirates to finish fourth in the NL Central, the Pirates have exceed expectations, possessing the second highest winning percentage in MLB. The Pirates have been able to maintain their success because of their great pitching. The Pirates are ranked top two in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against. Although the Pirate’s offense does not scare many pitchers, the pitching can continue leading them to victories. Clint Hurdle has done a great job with his bullpen. Hurdle’s trust in his bullpen has repaid greatly repaid him. The Pirates have some of the best relievers, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and Justin Wilson.
AL Rookie of the Year
Unlike last season, the rookie class is not very impressive. Currently, there is not one rookie, who is worthy or has distanced himself from the field. However, the pitch who is having a solid season and has the ability to continue his success is Chris Archer. The 24 year old right hander is having an good year for the Rays. Although he has only recorded 9 starts, Chris Archer has 4 wins and a solid 2.96 ERA. Chris Archer has the lowest ERA among starters who have started more than three games. The starter with the next closest ERA, who has started as many games as Archer, is Dan Strailey, 4.28. Although Archer is not leading rookies in strikeouts, he will be competing for that title at the end of the year, when he gets more starts.
NL Rookie of the Year
Yasiel Puig has been one of the most exciting players in baseball since being called up last month. Although Puig has been injured and struggled lately, he is batting .391 with 8 HR, 19 RBI, and 28 Runs in 38 games. As long as Puig’s hip injury does not hamper him much longer, Puig should earn the Rookie of the Year award. If the Dodgers rebound and make the playoffs, Puig will be given more credit. Since Puig’s promotion, the Dodgers have winning baseball, they won eight more games than they lost. This surge has catapulted them into the playoff race, 2.5 games behind the Diamondbacks. Puig has a 2.7 WAR because he is great offensive and defensive ball player. Puig will experience great success in the future because he has all five tools.
AL Cy Young
The 2010 Cy Young winner has a good chance of winning his second Cy Young Award. King Felix is a legitimate ace, who can go deep into games and dominate lineups. Hernandez strikeouts more than a batter per inning. Hernandez’s stats are great, 2.53 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 4.7 WAR, 10 W, 140 K, and 138.2 IP. Unlike previous years, Hernandez has a decent amount of wins, which helps his Cy Young case. Hernandez is top six in every major statistical category, including first in innings and ERA. As long as Felix does not stop his success, Felix will be winning the 2013 Cy Young Award.
NL Cy Young
The 2011 Cy Young Award winner is only 25 and has a great chance of winning his second Cy Young Award. Kershaw is top five in MLB in ERA, WHIP, WAR, K, and IP. Kershaw is the only pitcher in baseball, who an ERA under 2, WHIP under 1, or WAR over 5. Also, Kershaw is leading the league in shutouts. Although Kershaw does not have many wins, 8, he is worthy of winning the CY Young Award. Since the Dodgers have been winning of late, Kershaw will be garnering more wins to support his effort. Kershaw will be winning the 2013 NL Cy Young Award.
Miggy is an absolute beast and one of the best hitters in MLB history. Miggy was the first player to ever hit 30 home runs and 95 RBI by the All-Star break. Cabrera is on pace to hit .365/165RBI/52HR/127R, which would be one of the greatest seasons of all-time. Miggy has a great chance of winning his second straight MVP and Triple Crown, which would be the first time in MLB history. Cabrera has risen above every other batter. He is leading the AL in AVG, R, H, RBI, BB, OBP, OPS, and WAR. Although Cabrera is not a great defensive player, Cabrera is one of the best hitters of this generation.
Molina is the heart and soul of the Cardinals, who own the best record in the majors. Molina is a great two way player. Molina is the best defensive player at any position in MLB. Besides for shutting down the running game, Molina is able to manage a pitching a staff better than any other catcher in the league. Although the St. Louis rotation does not have the talent like other teams, the Cardinals have the third best ERA in the league. Molina has become a better hitter every year of his career. Molina is looking to become the second catcher in a row to win the batting title. Molina is batting over .340 and should be rewarded with the NL MVP
Stats and Pics from ESPN.com