CY Young: Max Scherzer
Despite Detroit’s loaded rotation, Max Scherzer’s statistics still shine on a staff where all five members have logged over 150 innings with an Earned Run Average (ERA) of 3.44. It might even be safe to say that Detroit would still be a contender without their ace. However, even if you ignore his MLB leading 20 wins, Scherzer clearly edges the rest of the competition. The only other pitchers worth consideration are Felix Hernandez and Yu Darvish, who both trail Scherzer in innings pitched and don’t come close to his sparkling 0.965 WHIP.
Dark Horse: Chris Sale
Arguably the only bright spot in what has been a depressing season for the White Sox, the 24-year old Sale has managed to build upon his breakout 2012 campaign this year. Although his 11-13 record isn’t pretty, Sale has been quietly terrific this season, posting a 2.97 ERA with 221 strikeouts. Sadly, due to an anemic level of run support from his team, Sale’s otherwise impressive season will be overlooked by voters who still over-value the win as a statistic. Look for him to seriously contend for the Cy Young in 2014.
Rookie Of The Year: Wil Myers
The AL ROY award is a one-horse race this year. In what has been a weak season for young talent in the American League, especially compared to the National League, 22-year-old Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays has blown the competition away. Since being called up mid-June, the outfielder has posted a .291/.352/.480 line with 13 home runs in over 80 games. His spot in the heart of the Rays’ batting order shows the respect he has earned from veteran manager Joe Maddon. His numbers will only continue to improve as his already prodigious power develops over the next few years.
Manager Of The Year: John Farrell
Farrell has done a fantastic job righting the ship in Boston a year after Bobby Valentine steered the team to a fifth-place finish through a sea of controversy. The former skipper of the Toronto Blue Jays’ skipper has helped the storied Red Sox franchise rekindle its former glory by clinching their first division title since their championship season in 2007. The Red Sox currently own the best record in baseball, as Farrell has turned a team of off-season and pre-season has-beens into a legitimate threat to win the World Series.
Dark Horse: Joe Girardi
With less than half a month of baseball left to play, the New York Yankees are still in the thick of the Wild Card race. Yes, this is the same team that has witnessed its aging core be decimated by injuries. The pitching staff, including ace C.C. Sabathia, has posted a lackluster collective effort. Girardi has managed a team-record 55 players over the course of the season, and yet, without making any excuses, he has kept the team’s off-field issues separate from what really matters: winning games. Girardi’s no-nonsense professionalism and savvy managing are sure to pull in some votes.
MVP: Miguel Cabrera
Despite opinions from the sabermetric community, Miguel Cabrera will defend his MVP title in 2013. Cabrera has been considered the clear favourite for the award since the All-Star break. At the plate, the superstar infielder has put up outlandish numbers that cement his status as the most feared hitter in the league. Cabrera leads the league in many of the traditional categories, including batting average (.349) and RBIs (136). If we look at the more advanced offensive metrics, we find that Cabrera still leads the pack—his 195 wRC+ means he created 95 per cent more runs than the league average. When the statistics are coupled with the Detroit Tigers’ impressive record atop the American League’s Central Division, Cabrera’s case is iron-clad.