Here are the predictions I sent in for our collective staff article for the 2014 MLB Awards, Division Winners and World Series Champion (oops, I forgot to do the Wild Cards! My bad! My predictions are below but if you'd like to skip to the full article and see how I ranked among my colleagues the just click here! Enjoy! :-)
AL MVP: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: Trout is arguably the best player in the game today. There is no way - barring injury - that he will lose out to Miguel Cabrera for a third straight year.
NL MVP: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals: He's the best defensive catcher right now and probably one of all-time. Molina has also gotten better offensively with age, while he may not have another year as good at the plate as 2012, he hit .313/.361/.481 over the past three seasons and should easily take the award.
AL Cy Young: Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics: Sure, he is a dark horse in this category but Gray can throw just about any pitch with power and his delivery is so similar on each that it makes it almost impossible to predict what he will throw before it is already out of his hand. He amasses strikeouts and ground ball outs while not giving up many walks.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: Kershaw may be the highest paid pitcher ever but he is easily the league's best. With two Cy Young wins under his belt, look for him to win another in 2014.
**AL ROY: Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics: After only starting in 10 games last season and going head to head twice with Verlander in the playoffs and coming out of that looking strong and confident. Gray could win the Cy Young and quite very possibly Rookie of the Year.
**I made a mis-calculation. Gray did in fact pitch 64 innings last season for the A's and cannot be considered for ROY. Sorry about that. In that case my vote goes to SS Xander Bogaerts from the Boston Red Sox.**
NL: ROY: Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton is the fastest player in baseball. He can do it all - hit, field and steal. He's an easy choice for Rookie of the Year.
AL MOY: Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics: If they A's win their third straight AL West Title there is no doubt that Melvin, who won Manager of the Year in 2012 and was a runner up in 2013 will easily be MOY again.
NL MOY: Matt Williams, Washington Nationals: With an already put together team the Nats new manager should have an easy job taking them all they way.
AL Comeback Player: Grady Sizemore, Boston Red Sox: Sizemore wasn't even supposed to make the roster, fighting for his spot in CF with Jackie Bradley Jr. but he is their starter. If he stays healthy he should produce and make a great comeback.
NL Comeback Player: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers: After a season of injuries if Kemp stays healthy he could very possibly end up as the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
AL East: Boston Red Sox: It was a close call but the Red Sox will not slack after winning it all last year. If Xander Bogaerts produces as expected and Grady Sizemore makes a comeback with David Ortiz to lead the team (and probably add clutch dramatic HRs) the Red Sox will take the East.
NL East: Washington Nationals: The Nationals are in a winnable division. With pitchers like Strausburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann and now Fister (who was one of the best acquisitions of the off-season) and hitters like Werth and Harper, the Nats are well rounded and strong. They will easily take the east and possibly the entire thing.
AL Central: Detroit Tigers: Detroit didn't have the greatest off-season but it is pretty impossible to bet against a team that has Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez. The back end of the Tigers rotation is not as good without Fister but Smyly and Procello should be able to pick up the slack. Off course let's not forget Miguel Cabrera.
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals are just as strong as they were last season and are definitely playoff bound. With veterans like Wainright and Holliday to lead the team in the clubhouse and young players like Michael Wacha Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller on the rise they should take the Central again this season.
AL West: Oakland Athletics: They A's have a great team dynamic going on. Despite the injuries to Parker and Griffin, they still have a young but strong pitching staff. While there is no star hitter on the team the lineup together is strong. They also have added depth on the bench and improved the bullpen. Look for the A's to win their third straight AL Western Division Championship.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers: They are easily the best team in a terrible division. With Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu, their pitching will be tough to beat. The line up and entire team is more solid after playing last year together. They need to keep Puig leading off and under control but if they do that, winning the West shouldn't be a problem.
World Series: Nationals at Athletics with the Athletics winning in seven games.
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