At the close of the 2007 MLB season, it's time to see who deserves those coveted awards, and who's likely to snatch them from their outstretched hands.
Hands down, Alex Rodriguez, as he led the majors with a 96.6 VORP this season. His closest competitor, Magglio Ordonez, took home the batting title crown, but he has two strikes against him: his team isn't in the playoffs, and he didn't lead the league in home runs or RBIs (Rodriguez did).
Hanley Ramirez took home the VORP title this year with 89.5, second only to Rodriguez. There's no way he gets the MVP award, though, because his team isn't in the playoffs and because he didn't lead the league in home runs or RBIs. So if he's out, who gets it? There are three guys in the front-running, any of whom could take home the hardware: Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Matt Holliday. Fielder led the league in home runs, with Howard second; Holliday led the league in RBIs, with Howard second; and Holliday led the league in batting average. Since Fielder's team isn't in the playoffs, I doubt he'll get it. My guess is that Matt Holliday will probably take home the award, because RBIs seem to have more of a "most valuable" feel, and because the late-season run by the Rockies will be fresh in everyone's minds as they turn in their ballots. He's not a bad choice, as he's the fourth-best candidate in the NL, behind Ramirez, David Wright, and Chipper Jones.
AL Cy Young
The AL's best pitcher this year was C.C. Sabathia. Even though his team is in the playoffs, he just doesn't have those Cy Young tokens, also known as "wins," as Josh Beckett has. Beckett's team is, unfortunately for Sabathia, also in the playoffs. Beckett wins.
NL Cy Young
Can you believe the season Jake Peavy has had? 9.67 K/9 with a 77.0 VORP, 11 points better than his closest competitor, Brandon Webb. Even though Webb's team is in the playoffs and Peavy's isn't, the voters HATE giving back-to-back Cy Young awards (see Clemens, Roger and Santana, Johan in 2005). Peavy also won the pitching triple crown this year in the NL and led the majors in both strikeouts and ERA.
AL Rookie of the Year
The deserving candidate here is none other than Jeremy Guthrie (show of hands: who has heard of Mr. Guthrie?), pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. The award will most likely go to Daisuke Matsuzaka, and there's a small (har har) chance it goes to Dustin Pedroia. Probably Matsuzaka, though.
NL Rookie of the Year
Ryan Braun stands head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the NL, a full 17 points of VORP away from Hunter Pence and Troy Tulowitzki. Even though Tulowitzki's team is in the playoffs (and he played a full season for the Rockies, while Braun came up in late May), I think Braun still gets the award.
And just for fun, the worst hitter in MLB this year was Nick Punto, third baseman for the Twins, and the worst pitcher was Mike Maroth, who in just 38 innings pitched for St. Louis managed to outstrip every other pitcher in negative VORP. One of the main reasons St. Louis missed the playoffs this season in the NL Sucktrel.