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The case for Gerrit Cole and Yordan Alvarez

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Will it be a clean sweep for the monthly awards?

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Voting is in for AL Player of the Month, AL Pitcher of the Month, and AL Rookie of the Month. We await the announcement. The Astros have a legitimate claim to all three trophies. Yesterday the Hebrew Hammah made the case for our red-hot Jala-Pina, Yuli Gurriel, for Player of the Month. Today I make the case for Gerrit Cole as Pitcher of the Month, and Yordan Alvarez as Rookie of the Month.

First, a quick recap on Yuli. He led the AL in wRC+ at 232 (waaaat) BA, .398, second in OPS, 1.264, second in home runs with 12, second in RBI with 31. No one else is really that close.

Let’s look at Rookie of the Month

Rookie of the Month

The following chart shows the key counting stats and averages for the five leading rookies in the AL during July. They are Yordan Alvarez, Austin Nola, Vladimir Guerrero, Luis Arraez, and Nate Lowe.

July Rookie of the Month Stats

Rookie BA OBP SLG OPS wRC+ hits RBI HR fWAR
Rookie BA OBP SLG OPS wRC+ hits RBI HR fWAR
Alvarez . 333 .419 .627 1.142 178 25 15 5 0.9
Nola .350 .391 .633 1.024 170 21 8 3 0.8
Guerrero .284 .370 .455 .825 122 25 20 3 0.3
arraez .321 .387 .417 .804 117 27 3 1 0.5
N Lowe .313 .297 .625 1.022 170 20 12 5 0.7

In the overall statistics, OPS and wRC+, Yordan Alvarez holds a slight lead over Nate Lowe and Austin Nola. He also led slightly in WAR. He was first in on base percentage, second in BA, and second in slugging. In counting numbers he was tied for second in hits, second in RBI, and tied for first in home runs.

Alvarez was first or second in every category. The next best was Austin Nola, first or second in 6 of 9.

Winner: Alvarez.

Caveat: He won last month. Voters may want to spread the wealth.

Pitcher of the Month

The competition for pitcher of the month comes down to a two-way race, Mike Clevinger and Gerrit Cole, both with 4-0 records.

Here’s a chart comparing their vital stats.

Pitcher of the month stats

pitcher ERA xFIP SIERA Ks BBs avg WHIP xwOBA HR
pitcher ERA xFIP SIERA Ks BBs avg WHIP xwOBA HR
Clevinger 1.75 2.11 2.66 41 5 .243 1.03 .259 3
Cole 1.85 2.64 2.77 51 9 .174 0.88 .275 5

This one looks like a toss-up. The ERAs are almost indistinguishable. Cole has done a better job keeping batters off the bases, and gets more strikeouts, but he has given up more home runs and walks. Advanced stats favor Clevinger, but those are not the ones usually given the most consideration by the award voters.

Winner: No clear winner, but Cole won in June, so Clevinger gets it.