Photo courtesy of mlbtraderumors.com | Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber has had an impressive second-half showing and is hoping to win his second career Cy Young award.
The Major League Baseball season is starting to wind down, and the award races are getting tighter by the minute.
In the American League, things should not be this close. At the All-Star break, all three awards looked like they were decided. Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale was running away with the Cy Young award, and Yankees rookie Aaron Judge had a stranglehold on the MVP and Rookie of the Year honors.
Now, Indians pitcher Corey Kluber is taking the Cy Young away from Sale, while Judge has let the MVP race become wide open. To compare the stats, Kluber has a 15-4 record (ERA) with a 2.56 earned run average, a 0.88 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) and 235 strikeouts. Chris Sale, meanwhile, has a 17-6 record,with a 2.76 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 278 strikeouts.
Judge, Sale, Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve are all in the race for AL MVP. In terms of hitting, Altuve blows everyone away. He has a .351 average, best in the majors.
Despite missing time due to injury, Trout is still posting MVP numbers. His .320 average is among the best in baseball, along with 27 homeruns and 61 runs batted in (RBIs).
Judge, before the All-Star break, was incredible. He had a .329 average with 30 homeruns and 66 RBIS. Since the All-Star break, he’s batting .191 with 11 homeruns and 24 RBIs. Even if he has ROY, MVP is far from a sure thing.
On the National League side, the Cy Young race has been tight for a while. Perennial contenders Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Zack Grienke lead the pack. Kershaw has a 16-3 recordwith a 2.15 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 182 strikeouts. Scherzer, on the other hand, has a 14-5 record with a 2.32 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 239 strikeouts.
Prior to getting injured, Bryce Harper appeared to be well on his way to his second MVP award. Now, Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rendon appear to be the front-runners.
Goldschmidt is having an average season for him, but now his team is in the national spotlight. His .312 average with 34 homeruns and 111 RBIs is one of the best stat lines in the majors.
Rendon’s line doesn’t look as good as Goldschmidt’s. He has a .302 average with 23 homeruns and 91 RBIs. But he is a major part of one of the best teams in baseball.
Most of these races won’t be decided until the end of September, and it should be an interesting ride.
By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~