This campaign has not been that year of promotion that the Detroit Tigers as a team, but at least tarik skubalwhose 2.2 fWAR is second only to the Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman (2.7), has done his part.
The 25-year-old pitcher, considered one of the most promising left-handers in the Major Leagues, has shaken off much of the inconsistency that affected him between 2020 and 2021 to now show himself as a very reliable starter. He has a 2.15 ERA and a 177 ERA+ this year. In May, he allowed just five earned runs on 21 hits with 35 strikeouts and just six walks in 31 innings. Control is key, as he is bowling just 4.4% of opponents, which puts him in the 90th percentile (ie, better than nine out of 10 pitchers) in that category. With those numbers, Skubal has become a serious candidate to fight for the Cy Young Award in the young circuit.
The Seattle Mariners have been a huge disappointment so far, but Ty France, 27, continues to establish himself as a true mainstay of the franchise. There is even talk that the young infielder is already a candidate for the MVP Award in the American League.
France has a .332/.405/.491 offensive line and his 175 wRC+ (or 75% better than an average hitter) and 2.7 bWAR rank him in the top 10 in MLB in those categories among position players. What stands out the most is France’s ability to make contact. His 11.9% strikeout rate is also in the Major League Top 10 among qualified hitters, while his contact rate in the 94.8% zone ranks second.
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MLB: Cy Young and MVP candidates who are giving the surprise bell in the American League