Key X-Factors Who Will Decide Which Teams Clinch MLB’s Final 2014 Playoff Spots



We've reached the final week of the 2014 MLB season, and there are still five postseason spots up for grabs heading into Tuesday's slate of games.

The National League field is essentially set, with the Milwaukee Brewers all but eliminated at five games back in the wild-card standings. The big question is who will host the Wild Card Round game, as the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates are currently tied atop the standings.

Those teams could still conceivably catch the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to win their division titles, but at this point it looks like they'll be battling it out for a spot in the NLDS.

The American League picture is a bit cloudier, especially with the Cleveland Indians making a late-season push for the No. 2 wild-card spot.

The Oakland Athletics currently hold a one-game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the wild-card standings, with the Seattle Mariners (two games back) and Indians (3.5 game back) on the outside looking in for a playoff berth. The Royals are also just a game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central standings, so a division title is well within reach.

One way or another, only three teams are going to emerge from that group of five, and these next few days are what September baseball is all about.

So to recap, there are currently seven teams, two NL and five AL, that are legitimately still in the hunt for what boils down to five postseason spots.

With that in mind, what follows is a look at the biggest X-factor for each of those clubs that will determine whether they punch their tickets to the playoffs before the week is over.

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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 1 Week Remaining



We've reached the final week of the 2014 MLB regular season, and there are still five playoff spots up for grabs.

Only the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers have officially punched their ticket to the postseason to this point, so there will be no shortage of action in the season's final days.

With the season on the line for some, and a chance to play spoiler for others, there was once again plenty of shuffling in this week's rankings.

When putting the following rankings together on a weekly basis, the following four factors are considered:

  • Previous week's record
  • Recent performance beyond the last week
  • Quality of opponents
  • Key injuries/trades

With that in mind, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams stand with one week remaining. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

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Updated 2014 MLB Playoff Odds with 1 Week Remaining



There is just over one week left in the 2014 MLB regular season, and while the playoff picture has started to take shape, there is still a lot to be decided between now and October.

In the American League, the East and West divisions have been clinched, but the Central is still a dog fight between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. Whoever loses out there will battle the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and perhaps Cleveland Indians for the two wild-card spots.

Over in the National League, the East has also been locked down, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to at least clinching a playoff spot in the West. The San Francisco Giants are still very much in the hunt for the NL West title, though they currently sit atop a wild-card heap that also includes the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers. Meanwhile, those two are both chasing the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

What follows is a look at each team's chances of reaching the postseason, with the following factors taken into account:

  • Current standings
  • Recent performance
  • Remaining schedule

So with the regular season set to wrap up Sunday, Sept. 28, here is a division-by-division look at the playoff chances of all 30 MLB teams.

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Each MLB Contender’s Biggest Roadblock to Reaching the 2014 Postseason



There are less than two weeks to go in the 2014 MLB regular season, and while teams have begun to punch their tickets to October, a number of playoff spots are still up for grabs.

The Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals have all secured their spots in the postseason, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are not far behind, as their magic number shrunk to four Wednesday night.

That leaves six spots up for grabs, three in each league, and entering play on Thursday, four teams on each side appear to be battling for them.

There is at least one area that can be pointed to as a clear issue for each of those eight teams. With that in mind, what follows is a look at the biggest roadblock to each MLB contender reaching the 2014 postseason.

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Predicting Each 2014 MLB ‘Bubble’ Team’s Record Down the Home Stretch



The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals punched their playoff tickets Tuesday night, but there are still a number of races yet to be decided with less than two weeks to go in the 2014 MLB season.

Add the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers to the list of teams that look to be a lock to be playing in October. But that leaves three playoff slots in each league to still be sorted out.

In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are battling it out for the NL Central title. Whoever misses out there will contend with the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers for the two wild cards, so there are essentially four teams fighting for three spots right now.

It's a similar story in the American League, where the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals are neck and neck in the AL Central. The runner-up there will battle the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners for the wild cards, making it four teams and three spots on the AL side of things as well.

What follows is a complete breakdown of each remaining game for those aforementioned eight teams, complete with the starting pitcher they are expected to face as of now and a win-loss prediction for each game.

Obviously, things can change on the projected pitcher side of things, as guys return from injury and teams shuffle their rotations around off days, but this is simply a preliminary look at how things could shake out over the next week and a half.

 

*Note: The stats given alongside each projected starter reflect how that pitcher has performed on the year against the team being highlighted. Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference and current though play on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

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Stating the Case for Each Top 2014 MLB MVP Candidate



MLB award talk is heating up here with just a few weeks remaining in the 2014 regular season, and this year's crop of MVP candidates in both leagues should bring about some good debate.

In the American League, the storyline is Mike Trout once again, as he looks to finally take home some hardware after finishing second to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Over in the National League, it's a wide-open race once again. The past two NL MVP winners Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are both viable candidates, but everyone may be chasing the game's best pitcher Clayton Kershaw at this point as he has put together a season for the ages.

What follows is a look at the case for each of the top MVP candidates to take home the award this season. Only players with a legitimate shot at receiving first-place votes were considered "top candidates," and included is also a look at players who just missed the cut and why.

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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 2 Weeks Remaining



There are just two weeks remaining in the 2014 MLB regular season, and this year's playoff race is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory.

A handful of teams have started to separate themselves from the pack, but three division races (AL Central, NL Central and NL West) are still very much up for grabs, and the same can be said for three of the four wild-card spots.

When putting the following rankings together on a weekly basis, these four factors are considered:

  • Previous week's record
  • Recent performance beyond the last week
  • Quality of opponents
  • Key injuries/trades

With that in mind, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams stand with two weeks remaining. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

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Ranking the Top Possible 1-Game MLB Wild Card Playoff Pitching Matchups



The addition of a second wild-card spot in each league has made for a wider field of MLB contenders once again this year. As many as 16 teams can still claim to be in contention, and that should make for an exciting final two weeks of the season.

Not only has the implementation of a second wild-card spot made for more contenders, but it has also given us an exciting winner-take-all one-game playoff prior to the start of the respective division series.

Ideally, a team would be able to throw its ace in that game, though it doesn't always work out that way, evidenced by the fact that Joe Saunders (Baltimore Orioles, 2012) and Danny Salazar (Cleveland Indians, 2013) have both taken the ball with their respective team's season hanging in the balance.

Pretending for a minute that rotations do line up so that each team is able to start its stud, what are the best possible pitching matchups we could be in store for this time around?

Let's start in the National League.

 

National League

At this point, there appear to be four teams legitimately in the running for the two NL wild-card spots, 

The current standings are as follows:

The San Francisco Giants are making a strong push to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings, as they've cut their lead to just one game.

For the sake of this exercise, though, let's assume the Dodgers take the NL West. That leaves the Giants as a shoo-in to claim one of the wild-card spots and likely to host the Wild Card Game.

As good as Jake Peavy has been since coming to the Giants in a July trade, going 5-4 with a 2.29 ERA in nine starts, the team's first choice to take the ball with the season on the line would undoubtedly be Madison Bumgarner.

The 25-year-old southpaw is quietly having another brilliant season, and he's made some Giants franchise history in the process.

He finished up his last start with 208 strikeouts to go along with an 18-9 record, 2.91 ERA and 1.088 WHIP in 204 innings of work.

So, who would the other three contenders throw at the Giants and Bumgarner if given the opportunity?

The Pittsburgh Pirates played in the Wild Card Round last year, picking up the win behind seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball from Francisco Liriano, and he'd likely be the leading candidate to start the game once again.

His overall numbers don't look great, as he's 5-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 26 starts. However, he's gone 4-4 with a 2.47 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 in his last 12 starts, dating back to a DL stint in the middle of June that cost him roughly a month.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been in a tailspin over the past moth or so after leading the NL Central standings for most of the year, but they are still just 1.5 games out of a wild-card spot if they can right the ship down the stretch.

Mike Fiers has been their best starter in the second half by a decent margin, but chances are they'd opt to hand the ball to one of their veterans, and longtime Brewer Yovani Gallardo is probably the closest thing they have to a bona fide ace.

After posting a career-high 4.18 ERA a year ago, the right-hander has gone 8-9 with a 3.61 ERA. He has five career playoff appearances (four starts) to his credit and has pitched well, posting a 2.08 ERA.

Finally, we have the Atlanta Braves, who have been suffering through a late-season slide of their own and are actually in danger of finishing below .500 if they don't turn things around quickly.

If someone had to be pegged as the ace of their rotation, it would probably be All-Star Julio Teheran, but as far as who would give them the best chance to win right now, it would have to be Alex Wood.

The 23-year-old lefty actually spent time in the bullpen in the first half, but he's been lights-out as a full-time starter since the break. He's currently working on a string of nine straight quality starts, going 3-2 with a 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 over that span.

Now let's move over to the American League

 

American League

The AL field is a bit deeper, with five teams legitimately still in the running for a wild-card berth.

The New York Yankees are technically still in contention, sitting five games back. However, they have essentially been a .500 team for the past month, and four teams/five games seems like too much for them to overcome.

So, with that said, the current standings are as follows:

Once again, we are assuming a division winner here, as the Detroit Tigers hold a slim half-game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central. This is not to suggest that the Royals don't have a chance to win the division, but for the sake of this exercise, let's assume they don't.

That leaves the Royals counting on a wild-card spot to give them their first postseason appearance since 1985.

Their rotation has been a strength all season, and while you can make a case for someone like Danny Duffy based on his 1.91 ERA in the second half, the clear choice to take the ball for them would be workhorse James Shields.

The upcoming free agent is 14-7 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.177 WHIP in 207 innings of work, and he didn't earn the nickname "Big Game James" for nothing.

Then we have the Oakland Athletics, who went all-in at the trade deadline and looked like a juggernaut heading into the final two months of the year but are now in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. They are just 15-25 since the beginning of August, when they pulled the trigger on a number of trades, including shipping slugger Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for ace Jon Lester.

The collapse has been no fault of Lester's, as he's gone 4-3 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts. And based on his postseason track record, he's the obvious choice in an elimination-game situation. In 13 career playoff games (11 starts), he's 6-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.043 WHIP, including a brilliant October a year ago.

The Seattle Mariners have been a pleasant surprise this season, and with perhaps the best pitching staff in baseball (2.70 ERA, first in MLB), they are a team that appears to be built for postseason success.

There may not be a more dangerous draw in the Wild Card Round thanks to the presence of AL Cy Young front-runner Felix Hernandez, who is having the best season of his already storied career and finds himself in a playoff race for the first time.

"I'm really excited. It feels different," Hernandez told Jorge Ortiz of USA Today. "Every game counts and the environment is different."

The 28-year-old is 14-5 with a 2.12 ERA and AL-best 0.915 WHIP, reaching the 200-inning mark for the seventh straight season in the process and putting himself in prime position to win a second Cy Young Award.

An improved overall rotation has helped the Cleveland Indians claw back into contention, but there is little question who would get the ball with the season on the line, as Corey Kluber has been the clear-cut ace of that staff all season.

He's gone 15-9 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.096 WHIP and 230 strikeouts in 212.2 innings of work, and outside of King Felix and Chris Sale, he's been perhaps the best pitcher in the American League this season.

Finally, we have the Toronto Blue Jays, who have the worst starter's ERA (3.94) of any of the nine teams we've highlighted here.

There is no obvious choice for them as far as choosing a starter is concerned, but veteran Mark Buehrle has the most experience on the staff, and he's righted the ship after a rough couple of months.

The 35-year-old is 12-9 with a 3.31 ERA on the year, and he has six postseason games (four starts) on his resume from his time with the Chicago White Sox.

So that gives us our potential starters, now let's do some ranking.

 

Ranking the Potential Matchups

Assuming the Giants are a lock for one of the NL spots, we have three possible matchups on the National League side and 10 possible matchups on the American League side of things.

The easiest way to rank all 13 matchups is to first rank the nine starting pitchers that have been pegged for each team. 

This could have been done using some complex formula of statistics, but instead, we've opted to go the purely subjective route, so here is my take on how those nine pitchers line up:

  1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
  2. Jon Lester, OAK
  3. Corey Kluber, CLE
  4. Madison Bumgarner, SF
  5. Francisco Liriano, PIT
  6. James Shields, KC
  7. Alex Wood, ATL
  8. Mark Buehrle, TOR
  9. Yovani Gallardo, MIL

From there, we can order each possible matchup in both leagues, based on the average rank of the two starting pitchers:

 

NL Matchup Rankings

  1. Madison Bumgarner vs. Francisco Liriano
  2. Madison Bumgarner vs. Alex Wood
  3. Madison Bumgarner vs. Yovani Gallardo

 

AL Matchup Rankings

  1. Felix Hernandez vs. Jon Lester
  2. Felix Hernandez vs. Corey Kluber
  3. Jon Lester vs. Corey Kluber
  4. Felix Hernandez vs. James Shields
  5. Jon Lester vs. James Shields
  6. Corey Kluber vs. James Shields
  7. Felix Hernandez vs. Mark Buehrle
  8. Jon Lester vs. Mark Buehrle
  9. Corey Kluber vs. Mark Buehrle
  10. James Shields vs. Mark Buehrle

So there you have it, a quick overview of how the one-game Wild Card Round pitching matchups could play out and a completely unscientific ranking of them.

Last year saw the Pittsburgh Pirates best the Cincinnati Reds in what was their first playoff appearance since 1992 on the NL side.

In the AL, the Tampa Bay Rays needed a win on the final day of the regular season to force a Game 163 with the Cleveland Indians. They then won that game to earn a spot in the Wild Card Round and won that game to move on to the ALDS.

This year's wild-card picture is shaping up to be just as exciting, and there is certainly no shortage of intriguing pitching matchups on tap once we do finally reach the Wild Card Round.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Updated 2014 MLB Playoff Chances with 2 Weeks Remaining



There are just over two weeks left in the 2014 MLB regular season, and while the playoff picture has started to take shape, there is still a lot to be decided between now and October.

In the American League, there are a total of nine teams that can still be called legitimate contenders. The Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels look like safe bets to win their respective divisions, but the AL Central is still up for grabs, and both wild-card slots are wide open.

The National League picture is similarly cloudy, as there are seven teams that can be called contenders. The Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants all seem to be in a good position to play in October, but the NL East is the only division that looks to be locked up. One wild-card spot figures to go to whoever finishes second in the NL West, but the other is still up for grabs.

What follows is a look at each team's chances of reaching the postseason, with the following factors taken into account:

  • Current standings
  • Recent performance
  • Remaining schedule

So with the regular season set to wrap up Sunday, Sept. 28, here is a division-by-division look at the playoff chances of all 30 MLB teams.

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Highlighting the Top 10 MLB Prospect Breakout Performances of 2014



Prospect evaluation is far from an exact science in baseball, and even the most highly regarded prospects labeled as "can't miss" sometimes wind up doing just that.

On the other hand, there are always a few guys that come out of nowhere to burst onto the top prospect scene, and this season has been no different.

So here is a look at the top 10 prospect breakout performances of 2014, based on expectations for the player entering the season and his prospect profile moving forward.

 

*Note: Prospect rankings reflect preseason ranks from the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, MLB.com's Prospect Watch and Minor League Ball's team prospect rankings from John Sickels.

*Unless otherwise noted, all stats and draft/signing information courtesy of Baseball-Reference and MLB.com's Prospect Watch, respectively.

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10 Crucial MLB Players Who Will Decide September Pennant Race Outcomes



As MLB pennant races reach their boiling point around the league, a handful of players on each team can be pointed to as potential X-factors for one reason or another.

Many of those key players are the team's high-profile superstars, as this is the time when they earn their big contracts, but they are not the only ones counted on to make an impact down the stretch.

The following list of players won't feature any superstars. It is instead a collection of guys capable of stepping up and pushing their respective teams over the top in the race to reach the postseason.

So with that said, here are 10 crucial players who will help decide September pennant race outcomes.

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10 Disappointing 2014 MLB Stars Who Are Peaking at the Perfect Time



An entire season of struggles can be easily forgotten if a player steps his game up down the stretch and helps his club reach the postseason.

With so much riding on the final month of the MLB season this year, and with so many teams still in contention both for their respective division titles and one of the four wild-card spots, finishing strong is all that matters for a number of teams.

What follows is a look at 10 star-caliber players who fell well short of expectations early on this season but have turned things around of late and are playing a big part in helping their teams contend for a postseason spot as a result.

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Key Takeaways, Changes from the 2015 MLB Schedule Release



As the 2014 MLB season hits its boiling point with under a month to go before the postseason kicks off, the league released its schedule for the 2015 regular season on Monday afternoon.

This may seem like an odd time for baseball fans to be turning their attention to next season, and for contenders that is admittedly true.

Tom Hart of ESPN was quick to point out the questionable timing of the schedule release.

It's a fair point, but the majority of teams fall under the category of non-contender at this point, and those fanbases were already looking ahead to 2015 season to begin with.

This puts a face to who they will be squaring off against when "next year" begins. So let's kick things off with a look at how all 30 MLB teams open the season next year:

Two matchups that immediately stand out are the Angels vs. Mariners in the American League and the Cubs vs. Cardinals in the National League.

As things stand right now, the Angels/Mariners series would be the only matchup between postseason teams, while the Cubs/Cardinals get underway with a rivalry series right out of the box.

It has yet to be determined who will play in the Sunday night opener this year, but all 30 teams will be in action the following day on Monday, April 6.

That may not seem like a significant date on the surface, but looking down the road that puts the final day of the regular season on Oct. 4.

That means the earliest the World Series could begin would be Oct. 21, according to MLB.com. Depending on how things play out, we could potentially see baseball in November for the first time since the 2010 season. 

The San Francisco Giants wrapped up their title run with a Game 5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Nov. 1, 2010.

So what type of bearing could the schedule play on who reaches that aforementioned postseason and potentially the World Series?

First off, there is no shortage of in-division drama that could unfold on the final day of the season, as MLB.com was quick to point out on Twitter that there are 12 divisional games slated for the final day of the season.

Here is a full look at how each team will wrap up the 2015 season:

The other big item of note surrounds interleague play, which has become a daily staple this season as opposed to the midseason event it was in years past.

The 2015 interleague schedule will line up across divisions, with the NL East facing the AL East, NL Central facing the AL Central and NL West facing the AL West.

The presence of the designated hitter continues to be perhaps the biggest dividing line between the two leagues, and there is a notable disadvantage to AL teams that are forced to go without the DH during a crucial series down the stretch.

The Toronto Blue Jays (at ATL), New York Yankees (at NYM), Baltimore Orioles (at WAS) and Houston Astros (at ARI) are the four American League teams with road series against a National League opponent after Sept. 1 of next season, so that's something to keep an eye on as well.

More storylines will obviously emerge following an offseason of free agency and trades, but already there are a few games each team's fanbase can circle on next year's schedule.

It may seem like a long way off, but for teams already looking ahead to the 2015 season, the schedule release gives a first look at what they'll have to look forward to.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Power Rankings: An Updated Look at Where All 30 Teams Stand



The final month of the 2014 MLB season is here, and this year's playoff race is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory.

A handful of teams have started to separate themselves from the pack, but three division races (AL Central, NL Central and NL West) are still very much up for grabs, and the same can be said for all four wild-card spots.

When putting the following rankings together on a weekly basis, these four factors are considered:

  • Previous week's record
  • Recent performance beyond the last week
  • Quality of opponents
  • Key injuries/trades

With that in mind, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams stand one week into September. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

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MLB Position-by-Position Player Rankings, September Edition



Position-by-position MLB power rankings have once again become a staple this year, and now that we've reached the final month of the season, it's time for another update.

My preseason rankings came out March 7, with subsequent updates coming April 17June 3July 4July 11 and August 6.

What follows is a look at the best players at each position based on their performance this season. Past reputation and future projections mean nothing here; it's all about what these guys have done in 2014.

I have taken into account players' all-around offensive abilities, their defensive contributions and what they have meant to the success of their respective teams.

Included in my statistics is each player's Baseball-Reference.com's wins above replacement or WAR. While WAR is a useful stat in gauging a player's value, it is not the be-all, end-all stat that some view it as. As such, do not expect this to simply be a list of the top 10 in WAR at each position.

With that said, here is a look at the best players each position has to offer here in September, as we enter the stretch run and teams try to shore up a playoff spot.

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MLB Playoff Picture: Breaking Down the Most Likely AL and NL Scenarios



After Wednesday's article offered up 25 predictions for the final month of the 2014 MLB season, including full predictions on who will reach the playoffs, it's time to dive a bit deeper into those potential October matchups.

Obviously, much can change between now and the end of the season, as there is still an awful lot of baseball to be played, but based on the most likely outcomes, we can take a quick look ahead at how the Wild Card Round and Division Series could play out.

What follows is a quick overview of how the most likely Wild Card Round games could unfold, followed by a complete overview of each subsequent Division Series matchup—looking at the hitting, starting pitching and bullpen of each team.

Again, these matchups are based on predictions made Wednesday, and things could certainly play out differently. This is just a quick look ahead at how things could shape up to kick off October baseball a month from now.

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25 Predictions for Rest of 2014 MLB Season



The final month of the MLB regular season is here, and this year's stretch run promises to be as good as any in recent memory.

There are a number of playoff races still up for grabs in both leagues, and the second wild-card spot has once again made more teams contenders heading into the final month.

Even on non-contending teams, there is no shortage of interesting storylines to follow, as September also brings an influx of young talent with expanded rosters.

At any rate, it's prediction time once again, and what follows are 25 predictions both on the team and individual side of things for this September around Major League Baseball.

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Bleacher Report’s Complete 2014 MLB Awards Predictions With 1 Month To Go



Few things stir up more debate during the course of each MLB season than who should take home their respective major awards, and as we enter the final month of the season, those races are heating up around the league.

The following are full predictions as to how the voting will shake out for each of the five major awards:

  • Manager of the Year (top 3)
  • Comeback Player of the Year (top 5)
  • Rookie of the Year (top 10)
  • Cy Young (top 10)
  • Most Valuable Player (top 10)

The predicted results are not necessarily a reflection of who is most deserving, but instead simply a best guess as to how the voting will play out once the season wraps up.

I've also included a look at how I would vote if the season ended today and I had a ballot for each of the major awards as a way to separate my personal opinion from my predictions.

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Bleacher Report’s Complete 2014 MLB Awards Predictions With 1 Month To Go



Few things stir up more debate during the course of each MLB season than who should take home the major awards, and as we enter the final month of the season, those races are heating up around the league.

The following are full predictions as to how the voting will shake out for each of the five major awards:

  • Manager of the Year (top 3)
  • Comeback Player of the Year (top 5)
  • Rookie of the Year (top 10)
  • Cy Young (top 10)
  • Most Valuable Player (top 10)

The predicted results are not necessarily a reflection of who is most deserving, but instead simply a best guess as to how the voting will play out once the season wraps up.

I've also included a look at how I would vote if the season ended today and I had a ballot for each of the major awards as a way to separate my personal opinion from my predictions.

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Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Cubs’ Top 10 Prospects for Week 22



The minor league season wraps up this week, and it's been an exciting season down on the farm for the Chicago Cubs and their bevy of high-upside prospects.

Jorge Soler became the latest prospect to get the call this past week, joining Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kyle Hendricks as key pieces of the future to debut here in 2014.

With the season wrapping up, here's an updated look at the team's current top 10 prospects and how they performed at the minor league level over the past week.

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