It’s been awhile since I took a look at who Oliver projected to win the big year-end awards, so I figured I’d check-in with some numbers. Last time, we saw Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera winning their leagues’ MVP awards with Roy Halladay and Shaun Marcum as the Cy Youngs. Needless to say, three months later things have changed.
To be clear, I am using Oliver’s projected end-of-season numbers as of today (August 30), and plugging them into my MVP and Cy Young model, as described in The Hardball Times Annual 2010. Listed below are each player’s triple-crown stats and his projected points on a 1,000 point scale, as per the model. Remember that the model is exponential, meaning that small differences can sometimes be magnified, as they often are in actual award voting.
In the American League, Josh Hamilton looks like the clear leader as we enter September. It’s incredible how great an effect making the postseason has on MVP voting—if we projected the Tigers to come back and make the playoffs, Cabrera would easily be in the lead with 927 points.
Here again it is the playoffs which make all the difference. Votto and Pujols have just about the same exact projections, and yet Votto is comfortably ahead because we expect the Reds to make the playoffs, while the Cardinals miss the postseason. Another point working in Votto’s favor is that the writers are probably itching to give the MVP to anyone but Pujols after voting for him each of the past two years.
The American League has not had any great pitching performances this year, so a 20-win season from Sabathia should easily clinch the Cy Young.
Halladay may not win 30 games this season, or even 20, but he’s still put together a pretty incredible year, and should win on the strength of all his quality innings. Wainwright has been almost as good, but might have to settle for another top-three finish for the second straight year. Meanwhile, Ubaldo Jimenez has slowed down quite a bit in the second half, and now looks like a clearly inferior candidate. For those wondering Josh Johnson is, he gets hurt by his projected 13-6 year-end record and 0 year-to-date shutouts (Oliver doesn’t project shutouts so I just used year-to-date numbers). He has just 83 Cy Young points as it stands.