Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz Red Sox’s Best Bets For Postseason Awards

Dustin PedroiaThe American League MVP and Cy Young winners have come from the same team two of the last three seasons: the Detroit Tigers.

Pitcher Justin Verlander won both awards in 2011, while slugger Miguel Cabrera won his second straight AL MVP last season and Max Scherzer won the Cy Young as the only pitcher in the majors with at least 20 wins.

The Red Sox have a decent chance to get the double in 2014. Dustin Pedroia has the shortest odds among Boston players for MVP at 20-1 at Bovada, and Clay Buchholz has the best Red Sox odds for Cy Young at 15-1. The Sox have swept the awards twice previously: In 1986, Roger Clemens won both, and in 1967, Carl Yastrzemski (his Triple Crown season) and Jim Lonborg took home the respective honors.

Pedroia won the 2008 AL MVP when he hit .326 with 17 home runs, 83 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. His average hasn’t come close to that since, but he did set career highs with 21 homers and 91 RBIs in 2011 while hitting .307. He was ninth in MVP voting that season, while former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was a close second to Verlander.

Pedroia’s 2014 totals at Bovada are set at a .299 average and 79.5 RBIs. He has topped that average four times in his seven seasons since becoming a regular. He has exceeded that RBI total three times overall and in two of the last three years. Pedroia is tied for ninth overall on the MVP odds, with the Angels’ Mike Trout atop the list at 3-1. Ellsbury is 16-1.

David Ortiz is the only other Red Sox player with MVP odds, at 50-1. Big Papi’s best finish in MVP voting was runner-up in 2005. He did garner some votes last season, though, while hitting .309 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs in his best year since 2010.

Bovada Sportsbook also projects solid power seasons from Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks, with each player’s home run total at 25.5. New catcher A.J. Pierzynski is listed at 14.5 homers, which he has topped each of the past two seasons.

Buchholz could have won the Cy Young a year ago if not for injury problems, which often are a concern with the right-hander. Buchholz would have led all big league starters in winning percentage (.923) and ERA (1.74) had he had enough innings to qualify, but he was limited to 108 1/3 innings pitched.

Buchholz is eighth on the Cy Young odds.

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