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It's Never Too Early for Magic Number

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:03 PM
Just a little Spreadsheet fun for those interested in knowing how many wins/losses the Twins need to clinch a playoff spot  ...
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Game Thread: Twins @ Tigers 9-23 5:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:58 PM
  ANNND Welcome! To Minnesota Twins Whine Line: Re-write edition! I am your host for the next 2 days, Vanimal. How NEAT was that ga...
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Article: MIN 10, DET 4: Twins Blow Out Tigers Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:49 PM
One moment it looked like the Twins were going to blow a quality start from Ervin Santana, the next moment they were blowing out the Tige...
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Walt's daily odds

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:40 PM
Here is daily odds for Twins make playoff levels. Is base from win percent and binomial function.   Win Second Wall Car: 0.62 Win To...
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Happiest surprise for you this season?

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:49 PM
Since there isn't a lot going on in the minor leagues right this second, I figured I'd ask what your favorite surprise was this season fo...
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Verlander, Dickey Ascend List Of Aces

At the conclusion of every season, the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) are asked to submit their ballots for the top awards across baseball. Each of these awards is named in honor of a player that epitomized the role in Major League Baseball. Over the course of the week, I will release my ballots for each award and I will post the official announcements from the BBA with the combined votes of all member blogs.

Below is the list of awards that have been announced and the others that will be announced in the coming days. The links lead to my choices for each.

Walter Johnson Award for Top Pitcher
American League

Attached Image: Justin+Verlander+Tigers.jpg

1. Justin Verlander- RHP - Detroit Tigers
W-L (17-8), 2.64 ERA, 1.057 WHIP, 239 SO, 60 BB, 238.1 IP, 6 CG

It would have been tough for Verlander to match his MVP season from 2011 but he still showed the American League why he was the best pitcher on the planet. He was tops in the American League in complete games, strikeouts, and ERA+. His win total was a little less than in 2011 but sometimes a pitcher can't control the final outcome of the game. It could be the second straight Cy Young for the right-handed hurler and it most likely won't be his last.

2. David Price- LHP - Tampa Bay Rays
W-L (20-5), 2.56 ERA, 1.100 WHIP, 205 SO, 59 BB, 211.0 IP, 2 CG

Price sits at the top of the American League in wins and ERA so there is a chance the writers will name him the Cy Young winner. The Rays were suppose to have a strong pitching staff and Price lead the way in a disappointing year for Tampa Bay. He finished second in the Cy Young award two seasons ago and it might be his turn to end up on top in 2012.

3. Jered Weaver- RHP - Los Angeles Angels
W-L (20-5), 2.81 ERA, 1.018 WHIP, 142 SO, 45 BB, 188.2 IP, 3 CG

Weaver finished tied with Price for most wins in the American League even though he missed some time with an injury. His other numbers are a little lower since he missed time so there isn't much of a shot for him to finish at the top of the awards voting. It would have been interesting to see how good of a year he could of had if the injury bug didn't bite him. Weaver finished second to Verlander in 2011 and he will be behind the ace from Detroit in 2012.

4. Fernando Rodney- RHP - Tampa Bay Rays
W-L (2-2), 0.60 ERA, 0.777 WHIP, 76 SO, 15 BB, 74.2 IP, 48 S

The year Rodney put together was one of the best in the history of the game for a relief pitcher. It was especially amazing since he is 35 years old and his career ERA was 4.29 before this season. If there were no other dominant pitchers in the American League, this could be Rodney's award to win. The three men ahead of him on this list had more of an impact for their teams so his season for the ages won't be honored with the top-pitching award.

5. Chris Sale- LHP - Chicago White Sox
W-L (17-8), 3.05 ERA, 1.135 ERA, 192 SO, 51 BB, 192.0 IP, 1 CG

In previous seasons, Sale had been used primarily as a relief pitcher but it looks like the White Sox made the correct decision to move him to the starting rotation. In his first full year as a starter, there were some rough moments as the innings started to add up near the end of the year. He still was a strong starting presence on a team that was fighting for a playoff spot through September.


National League

Attached Image: R+Dickey+New+York+Mets.jpg

1. R.A. Dickey- RHP - New York Mets
W-L (20-6), 2.73 ERA, 1.053 WHIP, 230 SO, 54 BB, 233.2 IP, 5 CG

It was a fantastic year for the 37-year old pitcher as he made his first All-Star appearance and he seemed to have a rebirth with the Mets. He finished the year with the most strikeouts in the league and he was the leader in innings pitched for the NL. There was a chance for him to finish near the top in most of the statistical categories in the league but he barely finished behind Clayton Kershaw for the ERA crown and he was third in WHIP. His five complete games were tops in the NL and he also had the most shutouts so Robert Allen deserves the award.

2. Johnny Cueto- RHP - Cincinnati Reds
W-L (19-9), 2.78 ERA, 1.171 WHIP, 170 SO, 49 BB, 217.0 IP, 2 CG

His season was great for one of the best team's in the National League and it might go slightly unnoticed because of the market he plays in during the year. Out of the top three men on my ballot, he was the only player to help his team reach postseason play. He is also forced to play half of his games in a very hitter friendly ballpark, which makes his season all the more impressive. It will be a close vote and he could finish in the top spot if the voters appreciate his contribution to a first place club.

3. Clayton Kershaw- LHP -Los Angeles Dodgers
W-L (14-9), 2.53 ERA, 1.023 WHIP, 229 SO, 63 BB, 227.2 IP, 2 CG

A year after winning the first Cy Young of his young career, Kershaw did his best to try and take home the honor again in 2012. He finished one strikeout behind Dickey for the league lead and he had six fewer innings to add to his total. His ERA and WHIP were tops in the National League for the second consecutive year. In what is shaping up to be a three-man race, Kershaw could slip in and steal the top spot from Dickey and Cueto.

4. Gio Gonzalez- LHP - Washington Nationals
W-L (21-8), 2.89 ERA, 1.129 WHIP, 207 SO, 76 BB, 199.1 IP, 2 CG

On a team where Stephen Strasburg was the most talked about pitcher, Gonzalez quietly went about his work and pitched his way to a league high 21 wins in 2012. He barely missed the 200 IP mark but he still managed to strikeout over 200 batters in his time on the mound, which translated to the highest strikeouts per nine in the NL. One of the biggest improvements with his switch to the NL was his ability to reduce his amount of walks. The 2012 season marked the first time in the last three years he had fewer than 90 free passes.

5. Kris Medlen- RHP - Atlanta Braves
W-L (10-1), 1.57 ERA, 0.913 WHIP, 120 SO, 23 BB, 138.0 IP, 2 CG

When Atlanta inserted Medlen into the starting rotation on July 31st, it was almost like they had traded for one of the best pitchers in baseball but he had been part of their team for the entire year. Medlen looked like an ace over the course of the last two months of the year and the Braves seemed to gain confidence with him on the mound. He rattled off six consecutive victories in August and September and Atlanta didn't lose a single game he started from the end of July to the last day of the regular season.

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