July 17, 2013

Baseball at midseason, 2013 version

Other than inexplicably touting Buster Posey over Yadier Molina for National League MVP, Jonah Keri's midseason awards are generally on the money, though I'd give more props to the Tribe as AL surprise, Angels as AL laff, and reject the idea of a Dodgers second-half surge.

More thoughts, from an email message to a friend of mine:

NL:

Wrong on Posey. (And I say that not just as a Cardinals homer, though that's in part it!) I don't overstress the "V" but there is some weight to it. The Gints aren't going anywhere, so that knocks him down a bit. Cards have best record, Molina's having a career year, and for the most part, is doing a great job with the young pitchers.

Agreed that we need to see more Yasiel Puig, even if Shelby Miller weren't otherwise No. 1 in the Rookie of the Year hunt.

Matt Harvey could ultimately win out over Waino, though it will be an uphill challenge, on the NL Cy Young.

I might bump Dodgers ahead of Nats as most disappointing, tho that's tough. And, Zona could go ahead of Pirates, perhaps, as surprise team.

And, I'd put Nats ahead of the Blue as most likely to surge in second half.

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AL:

Maybe Scherzer on Cy, yes, ahead of King Felix.

Given injuries (plus Bobby V effect) with Boston last year, I'd take the Tribe as most surprising. Might even rank A's ahead.

Would peg Angels as most disappointing, ahead of Jays.

Agreed that Yankees are most likely to slip back.

Here's his NL and his AL awards.

He doesn't mention managers of the year.

Right now, I'll put Clint Hurdle first in NL, then Kirk Gibson, then Mike Matheny. (And, why Baseball-Reference sent me straight to Hurdle's manager's page first, rather than player page, as with the other two, I don't know. And why it won't post blog links to managers' pages, either, is also a mystery.)

AL? Terry Francona first, then John Farrell.

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As for how the second half plays out?

I take the Cards to win the Central. The Pirates will fade enough for the Reds to take the first WC, but Pittsburgh will hold on enough to keep the second.  The Braves will win the East, with the Nats just out of the running. The D-Backs will win the West, and the Dodgers won't have much of a late surge. The Cards are the favorite to go to the World Series.

In the AL? The Tigers win the Central. Boston and Tampa finish as they are now, for a tight 1-2 in the East, and two playoff spots. The Rangers overtake the A's in the West, and both qualify. Cleveland stays above .500, even if missing the playoffs. The Yankees can't even do that. And, the Tigers are the favorite to go to the World Series, giving us an 81- and a 35-year "anniversary" match, if it goes down that way.

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