Top Candidates for CyYoung Award
Clayton Kershaw 2.450 – Los Angeles Dodgers
This selection is a no-brainer. Kershaw has won three Cy Young Awards in the last five seasons, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the two seasons he didn’t claim the award. There is no signs of slowing down Kershaw, who has averaged 18 wins, 250 strikeouts, 226 innings and an ERA of 2.11 over that span.
Madison Bumgarner 9.500 – San Francisco Giants
Bumgarner has put together back-to-back 18 win seasons, finishing 4th in the Cy Young Award voting in 2014 and 6th last season. He’s averaged 218 innings and 222 strikeouts, to go along with a very solid 2.95 ERA during that time. This could be the season Bumgarner hits 20 wins and makes a serious run at the award.
Jake Arrieta 8.000 – Chicago Cubs
Arrieta won the Cy Young Award last season, posting incredible numbers of 22 wins, 229 innings, 236 strikeouts, 1.77 ERA and a 0.865 WHIP. He had never surpassed 10 wins in his previous five seasons, although posted a 2.53 ERA in 2014. It’s hard to fathom a season like 2015, but believe it was not a fluke and Arrieta could post a 15 win season, 2.50 to 2.70 ERA, 200 strikeouts and another run at the Cy Young Award.
Chris Sale 3.500 – Chicago White Sox
Sale has been in the Cy Young Award conversation each of the past four seasons, finishing in the top six in voting each year. His win total has been less than stellar, averaging 12 per season over the last three years, but Sale has averaged 236 strikeouts per season and a WHIP of around 1. Should Sale get into the 15-17 win range and continue to dominate in other categories, he could push through and claim his first Cy Young Award.
Corey Kluber 4.500 – Cleveland Indians
Kluber claimed the 2014 Cy Young Award with an 18-win season and an EAR of 2.44. He lost 16 games last season, although pitched better than that number indicated. His ERA was still solid at 3.49 and struck out 245 in 222 innings. Although 2014 was Kluber’s first good season in the Major Leagues, he should improve over last season, finishing in the neighborhood of 15 wins, 240 strikeouts and a serious consideration for his second Cy Young Award.
David Price 4.000 – Boston Red Sox
Price was stellar in 2015, winning a combined 18 games with the Tigers and Blue Jays, while leading the league in ERA at 2.45. He finished second in the Cy Young Award vote, falling just short of claiming his second award. Pitching now in Boston, Price has all the tools to finish with 15 to 20 wins, post another mid-two ERA, strike out over 200 and make a push at the award again this season.
Projected Top Home Run Hitters in 2016
With the start of the Major League Baseball season just around the corner, it’s always fun to predict who the top players will be for the coming season. It’s also helpful when building fantasy rosters, so I will run down my top four selections for most home runs hit this season.
Mike Trout 13.000 Bryce Harper 12.500
Look for the home run title to come down to young outfielders Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, who are very similar players. The edge goes to Trout mainly because he’s proven to be much more durable. Trout has played in 157 games in both 2013 and 2014, while appearing in 159 last season. His home run total has increased from 27 in 2013 to 36 to 41 last season. As pitching is becoming more dominant recent seasons, another 40 home run season for Trout is not expected, although certainly not out of the question.
Harper had a phenomenal 2015 season, leading the league in home runs with 42 and earning MVP honors. If Harper can stay health for an entire season, he could take the home run title. The problem is that Harper appeared in only 118 games in 2013 and 100 games in 2014. He has to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke in terms of staying on the field. Even if he misses some time, Harper should hit 30-plus home runs and be in contention for the home run title.
Giancarlo Stanton 7.00
Giancarlo Stanton lead the league with 37 home runs in 2014 but appeared in only 74 games last season. He hit an incredible 27 home runs during that span and was well on his way to leading the league. The addition of hitting coach Barry Bonds can only help Stanton, who could top everyone on the home run list if he can play a full season and get protection in the lineup, forcing opposing pitchers to pitch to him.
Josh Donaldon 21.000
Josh Donaldon was a solid home run hitter in 2013 and 2014 with the A’s, and exploded last season to belt 41 homers with the Blue Jays. Toronto is a much more hitter-friendly environment, which undoubtedly will help Donaldson. One must wonder if this production can be repeated or was it a career-season? He has plenty of power to hit 25 to 30 home runs every season, but predicting 40 home runs again is far-fetched. Expect Donaldson to hit enough to put him in the upper echelon of home run hitters this season.