- MVP - Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas - It's a bit of a limb, but if you look at most "projections" for fantasy or otherwise, most of the big-time stat guys (Miggy Cabrera notably excluded) are in the NL... Hamilton hit a ridiculous .359 last year and would've been a unanimous MVP possibly had he not gone down late in the year... I think he repeats it with a more reasonable .325-ish number with 40 bombs and 120 RBIs... Other possibilities: Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Miggy Cabrera, Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz
- Cy Young - Jon Lester, SP, Boston - Felix Hernandez is the best pitcher in the AL... it's almost universally agreed on... but I'm banking on another lackluster season in terms of wins (likely with that abysmal offense and a bad bullpen), and a monster year from Lester on a possible 100-win Red Sox team... 18-20 wins, ERA in the mid to high 2s, and he gets it done... Other possibilities: Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Francisco Liriano, CC Sabathia
- Rookie of the Year - Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay - Guaranteed rotation spot... big-time prospect, and he was decent enough last year... Lack of real candidates in the AL with playing time being the main issue, but Hellickson has a star-like makeup, and that's a good team around him.... Other possibilities: JP Arencibia (TOR), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (MIN)
- MVP - Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee - Bold, huh?... Hear me out... First of all, I have Milwaukee winning the division (a virtual must for an MVP), and secondly, I think there's a little voter apathy working against Pujols (AND his team is taking a step back IMO)... I think Braun goes .315/35/120 with 15 steals and 100 runs... wins it... Other possibilites: Pujols, Hanley Ramirez (if they win enough), Troy Tulowitzki, Joey Votto
- Cy Young - Roy Halladay, SP, Philly - Sometimes it's simple... best pitcher alive on the likely best team in the NL... he wins 20+ again with ridiculous splits (i.e. 2.50, 1.05), throws 250 innings, and runs away with it again... Other possibilities: Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, Chris Carpenter (sleeper), Tommy Hanson (my mega-sleeper)
- Rookie of the Year - Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta - Sorry, Freddie... I didn't want to put the jinx on you, but I had nowhere else to go... he's got the guaranteed playing time that no other NL rookie has, and I think he's a guy that goes for .275/16/80 and that's enough to win it unless someone breaks out of nowhere... Other possibilities: Aroldis Chapman (if he was the closer or a starter, I'd pick him), Brandon Belt (the Giants 1B is a better hitting prospect, but doesn't have guaranteed PT), Craig Kimbrel, Danny Espinosa
To the playoff predictions...
- Boston over Minny
- Tampa over Texas
- Atlanta over Colorado
- Philly over Milwaukee
- Boston over Tampa
- Philly over Atlanta
- Boston over Philly
It's absolutely insane to try and "break down" these series right now... so I won't do it... but I feel like Boston has the best team in the league with that gauntlet of a lineup, a deep bullpen, and enough starters to get by (plus my CY winner).... Congrats to the Sox on getting my jinx...