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Saturday, March 26, 2011

2011 MLB Awards and Postseason Predictions

Here is our picks for the major National and American league post-season awards, as well as the playoff tree and how we think things will transpire this October.

American League Awards

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NY- He's looked terrific this spring and says he feels as healthy as ever. A .330/40/130/1.000 version of ARod is more of what I'm expecting, as long as that healthy holds up all year. Plus, the Yankees should be in the playoffs too, which will certainly help his case. (Others To Watch: Adrian Gonzalez, Bos; Joe Mauer, Min)

AL CY YOUNG: Jon Lester, SP, Bos.- He's quietly been getting better and better as the season's go on, and he's still mighty young at 26. After his 19-9, 2.72 era, 222 K performance in '10, I expect another step in the positive direction for Lester, who with that Boston team, could easily win 22 games this year with increasing strikeout numbers and a further dropping era. (Others to Watch: David Price, TB; Justin Verlander, Det)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TB- I'm not the only one who's high on this youngster, who most people have as their favorite for rookie of the year. He's already 4-0 with a 3.47 big league era and has really impressed in his 4 big league starts. He seemingly a ton of big league experience for a rook already, plus, he's starting the year off with the big club, which a lot of other candidates won't have the luxury of doing. (Others to watch: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Min; Mike Moustakas, KC)

AL BATTING CHAMP: Joe Mauer, C, Min- With his protection (Justin Morneau) returning to full health, and guys developing around him, Mauer will see more pitches to hit this year than ever. I fully expect a rebound to the .350+ range, while Morneau and Delmon Young help lead the Twins past the ChiSox in the Central. (Others to Watch: Josh Hamilton, Tex; Robinson Cano, NY)

AL HOME RUN CHAMP: Adam Dunn, DH, Chi- The former NL home run beast makes his switch to the AL, a league much more suited to his style of play, and I'm expecting him to flourish. Now that he doesn't have to worry about playing the field, 50 home runs is entirely possible, as Dunn has been one of the most prolific home run hitters not linked with the steroid era. Plus he more protection now than he ever had in Washington with Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin surrounding him. (Others to Watch: Adrian Gonzalez, Bos; Nelson Cruz, Tex)

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Bob Geren, A's- I really think the A's are in for a nice season, and Geren should get a lot of credit as he's been instrumental in bringing these young players along. As long as he gets good health, I think he has enough to work with to win the AL West, especially with that strong young staff. Plus, if they need a hitter at the deadline, there aren't many better than Billy Beane to go searching for one? (Others to Watch: Ozzie Guillen, Chi; Ron Gardenhire, Min)

COMEBACK P.O.Y.: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Bos- After an injury cut Ellsbury's season down to just 18 games, the 27 year-old looks primed for a breakout, comeback season. Not only do I expect this to be a great bounce-back year for him, I'm expecting it to be the best season of his career to date. I'm looking for 15 HR, .315 avg., 120 R, 70 RBI, 75 SB season out of the center fielder. The BoSox have a stacked lineup and Ellsbury will be setting the table for guys like Carl Crawford, AGon, Big Papi, Youkilis and Pedroia. (Others to Watch: Grady Sizemore, Cle; Brian Roberts, Bal)

National League Awards

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, OF, Mil
- Braun has had 4 really good seasons so far, and he's only 27 years old, so just think of what the next 4-8 years will bring? I think this year he takes a big step forward in the power department after hitting just 25 jacks last year. Look for something along the lines of .325/40/125 with 20+ stolen bases and terrific on-base/slugging numbers. He's also getting better in the outfield too, becoming a true 5-tool player. It won't hurt that the Brewers have a pretty nice club to make a postseason run too. (Others to Watch: Buster Posey, SF; Carlos Gonzalez, Col)

NL CY YOUNG: Tim Lincecum, SP, SF- I'm trying not to be biased, though I'm sure it appears I am a little with this pick, but Timmy looks great right now, and looked very good in the postseason. Plus, now he has the best Giants team around him he's had since he arrived in 2006, so 20 W - 2.50 era - 240 K's looks very reachable again as long as he stays healthy and avoids another month long stretch where he can't find the plate. (Others to Watch: Roy Halladay, Phi; Josh Johnson, Fla)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Belt, 1B, SF- I think it's going to be a tight battle between Belt and Atlanta's first-sacker, Freddie Freeman. Belt has looked better this spring, but Freeman is guaranteed a job out of Spring, whereas Belt may not play everday until June. Still though, like Posey did in 2010 and Sandoval did for 6 weeks in 2009, I expect Belt to arrive on the scene ready to contribute, like he's shown this spring. (Others to Consider: Fred Freeman, Atl; Aroldis Chapman, Cin)

NL BATTING CHAMP: Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Col- This guy really is something else and I think he's going to win himself an MVP or 2 before his playing days are done. He can essentially do it all. Hits for power (36 HR) Avg. (.336) has speed (26 SB), as a matter of fact, he's probably your best bet at triple-crown in 2011 if you ask me. Very well could be in the MVP race too if the Rockies are in the thick of things late into the season. (Others to Watch: Joey Votto, Cin; Albert Pujols, Stl)

NL HOME RUN CHAMP: Albert Pujols, 1B, Stl- Speaking of triple crown candidates, outside of Gonzalez, this man is your best bet. He doesn't have quite as good of team surrounding him this year, and I think opposing pitchers will approach him a little more carefully, but you can still bet he'll get his 40+ jacks and have his .300 avg at years end. (Others to Watch: Ryan Howard, Phi; Prince Fielder, Mil)

: Dusty Baker, Reds- He really should have won it last year, talking a Reds team that had been in the dumps for the better part of the past 15 years, and made them a playoff team with a less than spectacular roster. However, those players proved to be something, as Bake, known for getting the most out of his talent, certainly was pushing the right buttons then, and I expect the same in 2010. I also think the Reds make their 2nd straight postseason appearance. (Others to Watch: Ron Roenicke, Mil; Fredi Gonzalez, Atl)

COMEBACK P.O.Y.: Jason Bay, OF, NY
- There are a lot of different guys who could go here, but Bay had to be the most dissipointing in 2010, and I think he'll be much better in '11. He had injury problems all year, like most of the Mets regulars, but looks healthy and primed to return to form this year. (Others to Watch: Carlos Beltran, NY; Edison Volquez, Cin)

AL Playoff Bracket

Red Sox over Twins (in 5)
Yankees over A's (in 4)

Red Sox over Yankees

NL Playoff Bracket

Giants over Brewers (in 4)
Reds over Phillies (in 5)

Giants over Reds (in 6)


Red Sox over Giants (7 games)

I think the BoSox are the best in the AL and the Giants are the top dogs in the NL. Although I hate to do it, the Sox, with the addition of Crawford and Gonzalez to go with incumbents Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury and that ridiculously good pitching staff may be a little too much for the Giants to handle. The Giants beat the Rangers last year, but the Sox have a better offense and better pitching than Texas, but the Giants are improved too. It would be one helluva series, and I certainly hope my pick is wrong, and it's the Giants in 7. Either way, when looking at things like we have over the past few weeks, getting to know all the different teams around the league, I have more confidence than ever in the Giants making it back to at least the NLCS.

Back to Giants Talk: Finally, we've completed all our season previews, and for the final 5 days of spring, we'll be fully devoted to getting ready for the Giants upcoming season, including answers to our pre-spring questions, coverage of the Bay Bridge Series with the A's (Springs final tune-up), the Giants projected roster and opening day lineup, as well as LA's (injuries included), and of course, full Brandon Belt coverage between now and the March 31st opener. We may take 1 day off, but look for us to be posting daily, as we've been lately, up through opening day, and probably through the season's first week or so before we return to the every-other-day schedule. There's just so much excitement around this team right now, there is too much to talk about and way too much going on. It's like the holiday season and Christmas eve is just a few nights away, as I certainly can't wait for the World Series Ring Ceremony!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Carl said…

    What! No Giants Repeat!!!

    That would be a great World Series though wouldn't it, Giants vs. Yankees... A lot of history there.

  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Rachmaninoffski said…

    Exqueeze me. Just a couple of minor things, like Manager of the Year (Bochy) and, Yankees win the World Series? I don't THINK so. Not against the Giants. Sounds delicious. Bring it.

  • At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Brady Jones said…

    I'll admit, I haven't heard of Fredi Freeman, Or Mike Moustakas.
    What about Doug Drabek's son? I went to High School with Dough, and he was a stud. We always knew he'd go onto be great. Go St. Joes Flyers (School in Texas)!!!

    Very interested to see how his son does. I hear he has a shot at winning rookie of the year for the Blue Jays. That true?

  • At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Noah said…

    Yankees-Giants World Series would be off the chains.

  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    OK, I changed it up a little. I' now thinking Giants vs. BoSox in the Series. But same outcome. I didn't pick the Giants to win the series last year, and look what happened, so I'm going to stick with that logic for the time being, lol.

    I could even change it again before opening day, but I think I'm set on this one.

  • At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Talking Giants Baseball said…

    I can't argue with any of your predictions here except for Lincecum. I don't think he has a better season than Cain or Sanchez. His fastball isn't fast enough for me -- not enough mph difference between fastball and changeup. But who knows?

  • At 10:03 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Talking Giants Baseball-

    You make a valid point about the velocity, but he pitched the postseason with similar velocity, and was just fine. I think that rough stretch he went through in August tought him how to pitch without a 96 mph fastball.

    I also don't see a bunch of other candidates for NL Cy Young. I don't think Halladay repeats his huge 2010, and the rest of the Phils staff have some issues. I like Josh Johnson, as I said in-post, but will he be able to win enough games with Florida?

    Timmy will have the Wins, the era and the K's, so as much as I sound like a homer, I think he's the top dog going in.

    Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo is my sleeper pick.

  • At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Noah said…

    Watch out for Ubaldo Jimenez if the Rockies get over 90 wins.

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Thanks a lot for sharing the information....

    check the Latest information about MLB 2011 like Dates, Schedule, Winners, MLB 2011 Rosters , and MLB 2011 Standings

  • At 11:44 AM, Anonymous MLB Expert Picks said…

    Best NFL Predictions by the professional team of sports experts.

  • At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kershaw cy young. Kemp MVP. Vogelsong comeback poy. Verlander cy young. Adrian gonzalez MVP. Damon comeback poy. Yankees-phillies WS. Phillies take it in 6.


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