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| Hitters || American League || Stat || National League || Stat |
| AVG || Ichiro Suzuki || 0.342 || Hanley Ramirez || 0.336 |
| OBP || Miguel Cabrera || 0.434 || Albert Pujols || 0.432 |
| SLG || Miguel Cabrera || 0.636 || Prince Fielder || 0.618 |
| OPS || Miguel Cabrera || 1.070 || Albert Pujols || 1.042 |
| R || Curtis Granderson || 152 || Jose Reyes || 136 |
| H || Ichiro Suzuki || 229 || David Wright || 226 |
| 2B || Nick Markakis || 49 || Jeff Francoeur || 52 |
| 3B || David DeJesus || 18 || Jose Reyes || 25 |
| HR || Alex Rodriguez || 48 || Ryan Howard || 49 |
| RBI || Miguel Cabrera || 152 || Jeff Francoeur || 138 |
| BB || Jack Cust || 138 || Albert Pujols || 121 |
| SO || Jack Cust || 195 || Mark Reynolds || 192 |
| SB || Carl Crawford || 62 || Michael Bourne || 65 |
| CS || Grady Sizemore || 14 || Jose Reyes || 23 |
| || || || || |
| Pitchers || || || || |
| IP || Joe Blanton || 244.1 || Aaron Harang || 235.2 |
| W || Justin Verlander || 23 || Johan Santana || 20 |
| L || Jeremy Guthrie || 18 || Barry Zito || 16 |
| ERA || Erik Bedard || 2.92 || Johan Santana || 2.42 |
| H || Joe Blanton || 252 || Jeff Francis || 236 |
| K || Erik Bedard || 236 || Aaron Harang || 228 |
| HR || Livan Hernandez || 42 || Rich Hill || 33 |
| BB || Daniel Cabrera || 112 || Carlos Zambrano || 106 |
| Sv || Francisco Rodriguez || 42 || Billy Wagner || 46 |
| LSV || J.J. Putz || 6 || Billy Wagner || 7 |
| Awards || American League || National League |
| Most Valuable Player || Miguel Cabrera (.325-38-152) || Jeff Francoeur (.322-36-138) |
| Cy Young || Justin Verlander (23-7, 3.18, 208 K) || Johan Santana (20-6, 2.42 ERA, 215 K) |
| Rookie of the Year || Evan Longoria (.313-23-82) || Jair Jurrjens (14-7, 3.63) |
| Comeback Player || Rich Harden (13-10, 2.99, 175 K) || Pedro Martinez (17-5, 2.75, 195 K) |
| Surprise Player || Alberto Callaspo (.317/.370/.437) || Ryan Church (.291-22-101) |
| Disappointing Player || Joe Blanton (9-15, 5.01) || Brandon Phillips (.262/.318/.422 -13-75) |
| Dave Kingman || Josh Fields (.256/.316/.432 - 22-81) || Pedro Feliz (.239/.279/.418 -24-78) |
| Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins || Gary Mathews Jr (.313-12 / .236-4) || Eric Byrnes (.322-13 / .249-6) |
| Mark Redman || Joe Blanton (7-5, 3.68 / 2-10, 6.46) || Braden Looper (9-4, 3.33 / 4-7, 5.63) |
| Josh Towers || Cliff Lee (3-9, 5.89) || Adam Eaton (4-12, 6.02) |
| || American League || National League |
| Division Series || Detroit over Seattle 3-0 || New York over Chicago 3-2 |
| || Los Angeles over New York 3-2 || Arizona over Atlanta 3-0 |
| || || |
| League Championship || Detroit over Los Angeles 4-2 || New York over Arizona 4-1 |
| || || |
| World Series || Detroit over New York 4-3 || |
Comments on the Upcoming Season
When the Tigers traded six young players to the Marlins in exchange for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, many took it as a sign that Detroit was looking to win and win now. But with long term extensions given to both Willis and Cabrera, the Tigers look to be serious about being competitive for the next several years. Look for that trade to begin paying dividends immediately, as 2008 brings Detroit their first World Championship since 1984.
With Cabrera in the middle along with Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, and Curtis Granderson joined by Edgar Renteria at the top, this Tiger lineup should find itself scoring runs at a prolific pace. Meanwhile, Willis joins holdovers Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, and veteran lefty Kenny Rogers to form one of the gameís best rotations. The combination should result in the Tigers running away with the AL Central, with Cabrera taking home the leagueís MVP Award and Verlander winning the ALís top pitching honors.
Elsewhere around the league, you can expect the Yankees, energized by the fiery Joe Girardi, to once again take the AL East, while the BoSox end up a disappointing second. The Angels as expected will take the AL West while the Mariners, backed by a solid rotation led by Cy Young runner up Erik Bedard, will unexpectedly sneak by both Boston and Cleveland to grab the Wild Card.
In the NL, the Mets led by new ace and NL Cy Young winner Johan Santana, as well as a rebounding Pedro Martinez, will recover from their historic í07 collapse to take the tough Eastern division. Look for Atlanta however, led by MVP Jeff Francoeur and a strong veteran pitching staff, to make it back into October baseball by winning the Wild Card ahead of the Phillies, Brewers, and Dodgers. The Cubs have enough to grab the Central, though not enough to end their World Series drought, while the young Diamondbacks, led by dual aces Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, will lead the way in the wild, wild West.
Among the other award winners in 2008, you can expect to see Rich Harden rebounding along with Martinez to win their respective leagueís Comeback Player Awards while Jair Jurrjens and Evan Longoria take home top rookie honors.
And Iíll bet you didnít know that new Mets right fielder Ryan Church wacked 43 doubles in 2007. Expect the unexpected from him as the surprise player of the year in the NL, while the surprising Alberto Callaspo will help lead the Royals out of obscurity and out of last place.
And Iíll bet even further that you didnít know that Brandon Phillips, according to Hit Tracker, led the NL in long balls that travelled just far enough and was third in ďluckyĒ dingers. Donít expect a repeat of his 30 home run season unless you want to be disappointed. You can also look for Joe Blanton to repeat as the AL leader in hits allowed, although his luck will run out in the second half as he garners both the AL Most Disappointing Player distinction as well as the leagueís Mark Redman Award.
Josh Fields was a close runner-up last year in the race for the AL Dave Kingman Award, and Pedro Feliz was robbed of a deserved third straight in the NL. Expect both to rectify that in the coming year, unless of course the White Sox fail to trade Joe Crede. In that event, Fields may not get enough at bats to win the award but Crede himself makes a fine backup choice. Can we just give the award collectively to the Sox third basemen?
Also, you can bank on Ichiro, just 130 away from collecting his 3,000th professional hit, winning his third major league batting title, while Hanley Ramirez will win his first. Jack Cust will pull a rare double by drawing the most walks in the AL while also setting a new league record for strikeouts, while Mark Reynolds will whiff in prolific quantities in the NL. Oh, and that troublesome elbow of Albert Pujolsí? Expect him to battle through yet again and put up, well, Pujols-like numbers. But donít expect the Orioles to get by just fine without Bedard. Pseudo-ace Jeremy Guthrie will lead the league, but not in a category youíd like to see; most losses. Meanwhile Livan Hernandez might end up on the DL with a neck injury from watching so many of his pitches leave the yard in Minnesota.
Indeed, unless youíre a fan of the Oís, Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Astros, Cards or Giants, you can expect your team to provide you with plenty of excitement and be competitive at least into August. For the aforementioned teams however, the hope that springs eternal every baseball season isnít likely to survive past spring. Well at least the Cardinals will have Pujols to look forward to. That is unless that troublesome elbow finally gives out.
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