Upcoming Match-ups

Brandon Lowe Favored to Win AL Rookie of the Year Award, But Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Isn’t Far Behind After Impressive Home Run Derby Performance

Brandon Lowe goes yard.
Brandon Lowe is turning heads during his first full year in the big leagues. Photo by @RaysBaseball (Twitter)
  • Brandon Lowe has posted a .276 batting average with 16 home runs, 49 RBI’s, and 40 runs so far this season
  • John Means has seven wins, which is 26% of the Baltimore Orioles total 27 team wins
  • Eloy Jimenez clubbed eight home runs and had 20 RBI’s in the month of June

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe is off to a fast start and is the current favorite to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Is he the best bet or will Vlad Guerrero Jr., John Means, or Eloy Jimenez give him a run for his money in the second half of the season?

Odds to Win 2019 American League Rookie of the Year

Player 2019 AL Rookie of the Year Odds at Bovada
Brandon Lowe +135
Vlad Guerrero Jr. +300
John Means +500
Eloy Jimenez +550
Michael Chavis +700
Spencer Turnbull +1200
Yordan Alvarez +1200
Oscar Mercado +1400
Daniel Vogelbach +1500

*Odds taken 07/10/19

Lowe Has Starred for Rays

Lowe has had a strong start to the 2019 calendar as he has batted .276 with 16 home runs, 49 RBI’s, 40 runs scored, and five stolen bases. He was named to the 2019 All-Star Game but was replaced by Gleyber Torres when he pulled out with a right shin contusion.

The good news for Lowe is that his numbers are way ahead of those put up by Guerrero right now, who has the second best AL Rookie of the Year odds at +300. Sure, Guerrero hit 91 home runs in the Home Run Derby, but he’s only hit eight in regular season action. He’s also batting just .249. He has a 0.7 WAR compared to Lowe, who is at 2.8.

Lowe Cooled Off in June

One of the key factors to consider with these types of futures props is the trajectory. In that regard, Lowe is a bit of a concern. He had six home runs and 17 RBI’s in April, five home runs and 18 RBI’s in May but dipped to four home runs and 12 RBI’s in June. His batting average has also dipped progressively by the month.

Means Worth a Look

John Means is a longer shot here but he’s been pitching very well for the Baltimore Orioles. He’ll be hard to ignore if he keeps this up.

Means has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts. Even in the two misses, he only gave up three earned runs. Yes, he plays for the crappy Orioles, but he has a 2.50 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 7-4 record. A 7-4 record on the O’s is probably like an 11-2 record on a normal team. Think about it: the team has just 27 wins and he has participated in seven (26% of them).

One key stat where he trumps Low is WAR, which is at 3.4 compared to Lowe’s 2.8. That could be significant in the end-of-year voting.

Jimenez in Contention?

Eloy Jimenez started slow for the White Sox but has come on strong recently. He batted just .250 in April and .182 in May, but cranked that up to .284 with eight home runs and 20 RBI’s in June. We have to see if he can keep it up but he’s now up to 16 home runs and 38 RBI’s on the season. The 16 home runs matches Lowe’s production.

If he continues his ascent, he’ll surpass Lowe in terms of power numbers soon. However, he hasn’t really been consistent enough to back, so you’d merely be taking a flier.

Bet on Means

There’s no question that Lowe has been the best rookie on the best team. However, if voting happened today, I think he’d only slightly edge Means. As the season progresses, if Means continues his stellar pitching, he’s going to be hard to ignore.

The difference here is you get Means at +500 while Lowe only pays +140. I’m willing to take a shot with Means at +500 to come out on top.

Pick: John Means (+500)

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.