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Be The GM Finals: Mike Trout vs. Clayton Kershaw

By Andrew Perna

We've finally made it. Nearly three months after Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts kicked off RealGM's 2014 'Be The GM' contest we have reached the finals.

The contest, which is being brought to you by the Original Retro Brand, is described and previewed here: RealGM's 2014 'Be The GM' Contest. You'll want to check the link for rules on how to enter to win a $50 Retro Brand gift card and to see the full contest results.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is facing off against Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the right to be the ultimate franchise cornerstone.

Drafted five years ago by the Angels in the first round, Trout is already building a Hall of Fame resume. He has hit .314/.403/.559 in 429 games and ranked first in the American League in WAR in each of the last two seasons.

It's easy to forget that Trout, 22, is still among the youngest players in the game. The 2012 AL Rookie of the Year, he has finished second to Miguel Cabrera in the MVP voting two years running. If you rank all active players in WAR, Trout is 74th despite completing just two full seasons. He's already ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played in the Major Leagues twice as long.

Kershaw is arguably the best pitcher of his generation, having won a pair of Cy Young awards (with a second-place finish mixed in) over the last three seasons. The 26-year-old has a 2.55 ERA, 1.072 WHIP and 1,340 strikeouts over 1,283.1 career innings with the Dodgers. He has led the National League in ERA three years running.

The left-hander was second among all NL players in WAR (8.4) last season and first among pitchers (7.9). Kershaw is still approaching his prime, but already ranks eleventh among all active pitchers in career WAR (36.4). The only knock you can find on him are his postseason numbers, but the sample size is small. In nine playoff appearances, six starts and 38.1 innings, he has a 4.23 ERA, 1.278 WHIP and 39 strikeouts.

Vote In This Matchup: Trout or Kershaw?

Don’t forget to Tweet your pick along with #BeTheGM to be entered to win a $50 Retro Brand gift card.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 21

By RealGM Staff Report

The Opsera is a statistic RealGM Executive Editor Chris Reina created in order to objectively rank teams by how well they hit (OPS) and pitch (ERA). 

In order to determine the Opsera rating for each, we take their OPS, multiply that number by 10 to move the decimal point over one place to the right and then subtract their ERA from that number.  

All statistics are through Sunday, July 20

Rankings from last week are in parenthesizes.

1. (1) Oakland Athletics – 4.18

The Athletics lead a division with three teams at least six games over .500. Even Seattle would be within two games, in the win column, from first place in any other division.

2. (2) Los Angeles Dodgers – 3.94

Yasiel Puig has contributed a team-best 3.4 WAR to the Dodgers in 2014.

3. (3) Washington Nationals – 3.93

Washington has maintained the best ERA (3.10) in baseball despite nothing spectacular from Stephen Strasburg (3.55) and Gio Gonzalez (3.74).

4. (5) Los Angeles Angels – 3.80

The Angels continue to chase the first-place A's. They have the second-best record in the Major Leagues.

5. (4) Detroit Tigers – 3.72

Detroit has been average as of late, but still have more than a five-game edge in the American League Central.

6. (6) Seattle Mariners – 3.61

7. (T8) Atlanta Braves – 3.54

8. (13) Pittsburgh Pirates – 3.53

T9. (T11) San Francisco Giants – 3.52

-- (T11) St. Louis Cardinals – 3.52

11. (7) Baltimore Orioles – 3.47

12. (T8) Milwaukee Brewers – 3.44

T13. (10) Cincinnati Reds – 3.43

-- (14) Toronto Blue Jays – 3.43

15. (17) Tampa Bay Rays – 3.34

16. (16) Cleveland Indians – 3.33

17. (15) New York Mets – 3.28

18. (19) Boston Red Sox – 3.21

19. (18) Kansas City Royals – 3.10

20. (21) New York Yankees – 3.08

21. (20) Miami Marlins – 2.98

22. (22) Chicago White Sox – 2.96

23. (24) San Diego Padres – 2.95

24. (23) Chicago Cubs – 2.88

25. (28) Arizona Diamondbacks – 2.76

26. (25) Colorado Rockies – 2.75

27. (T26) Philadelphia Phillies – 2.68

28. (T26) Minnesota Twins – 2.62

29. (29) Houston Astros – 2.56

30. (30) Texas Rangers – 2.10

 

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Be The GM Final Four: Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout

By Andrew Perna

Over the past several weeks RealGMBaseball has been holding our 2014 Major League Baseball ‘Be The GM’ Contest to determine which player would be the best selection to build a franchise around.

The contest, which is being brought to you by the Original Retro Brand, is described and previewed here: RealGM’s 2014 ‘Be The GM’ Contest. You’ll want to check out the link for rules on how to enter to win a $50 Retro Brand gift card and to see the full contest schedule.

We have advanced to the Final Four and will determine our champion next week.

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels are featured in Monday's matchup. Voting will extend through July 21.

Over 12 seasons, Cabrera is a .320/.397/.566 hitter. He has won the last two AL MVP awards and has been named to eight All-Star teams. At just 31, Cabrera has 379 home runs and 1,335 RBIs during his time with the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers.

Never considered a strong defender, Cabrera has been negative in dWAR in each of his full seasons. He's at -0.1 early on in 2014, but is still about as valuable a player as you'll find in Major League Baseball. He has ranked among the top 10 players (AL) in WAR in each of the last four seasons and sits twelfth among all active players (57.7). He's also remarkably durable. He has played in at least 148 games in each of his full seasons.

Drafted five years ago by the Angels in the first round, Trout is already building a Hall of Fame resume. He has hit .313/.403/.557 in 426 games and ranked first in the American League in WAR in each of the last two seasons.

It's easy to forget that Trout, 22, is still among the youngest players in the game. The 2012 AL Rookie of the Year, he has finished second to Miguel Cabrera in the MVP voting two years running. If you rank all active players in WAR, Trout is 76th despite completing just two full seasons. He's already ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played in the Major Leagues twice as long.

Vote In This Matchup: Cabrera or Trout?

Next Matchup: July 16 – Jose Fernandez vs. Clayton Kershaw

Don’t forget to Tweet your pick along with #BeTheGM to be entered to win a $50 Retro Brand gift card.



MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 14

The A's are first in our rankings for the eighth-straight week, but the Angels are threatening. Oakland leads the AL West by less than two games.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 7

The Athletics continue to dominate, but the Dodgers and Nationals have made up ground in this week's rankings.


Be The GM: Mike Trout vs. Felix Hernandez

Mike Trout takes on Felix Hernandez with a spot in the Final Four on the line. Trout may be the best player in baseball, but can you pass on the chance to build around Hernandez?


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning June 23

The Dodgers are making a run at the top spot and Josh Beckett has been one of the many reasons why. His 2.28 ERA is the best of his Major League career.


Be The GM: Salvador Perez vs. Mike Trout

Salvador Perez faces the unenviable task of trying to advance past 'Be The GM' favorite Mike Trout in the Sweet Sixteen. Who would you rather build a franchise around?


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning June 16

The Athletics continue their dominance, while the Pirates, Royals and Rays make significant moves in our weekly rankings.