My 2013 CMA Awards Predictions

My vote would’ve gone to the selection of each category in bold.

Entertainer of the Year:
Blake Shelton
George Strait
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Taylor Swift

Single of the Year:
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line. Republic Nashville.
Highway Don’t Care – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban. Big Machine Records.
Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert. RCA Nashville.
Merry Go Round – Kacey Musgraves. Mercury Records.
Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker. Capital Records Nashville.

Album of the Year:
Based on a True Story – Blake Shelton. Warner Bros. Nashville.
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood. Artista Nashville.
Red – Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records.
Same Trailer Different Park – Kacey Musgraves. Mercury Records.
Tornado – Little Big Town. Capital Records Nashville.

Song of the Year:
I Drive Your Truck – Written by: Jesi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary. Performed by: Lee Brice.
Mama’s Broken Heart – Written by: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves. Performed by: Miranda Lambert.
Merry Go Round – Written by: Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne. Performed by: Kacey Musgraves.
Pontoon – Written by: Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby & Luke Laird. Performed by: Little Big Town.
Wagon Wheel – Written by: Bob Dylan & Ketch Secor. Performed by: Darius Rucker.

Female Vocalist of the Year:
Carrie Underwood
Kacey Musgraves
Kelly Clarkson
Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Blake Shelton
Eric Church
Jason Aldean
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan

Vocal Group of the Year:
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year:
Big & Rich
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Sugarland
The Civil Wars
Thompson Square

Musical Event of the Year:
Boys Round Here – Blake Shelton Feat. Pistol Annies
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line with Nelly
Don’t Rush – Kelly Clarkson Feat. Vince Gill
Highway Don’t Care – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
The Only Way I Know – Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church

Musician of the Year:
Brent Mason – Guitar
Dann Huff – Guitar
Mac McAnally – Guitar
Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar
Sam Bush – Mandolin

Music Video of the Year:
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood. Directed by: Randee St. Nicholas.
Boys Round Here – Blake Shelton Feat. Pistol Annies. Directed by: Trey Fanjoy.
Downtown – Lady Antebellum. Directed by: Peter Zavadill.
Highway Don’t Care – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban. Directed by: Shane Drake.
Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert. Directed by: Trey Fanjoy.
Tornado – Little Big Town. Directed by: Shane Drake.

New Artist of the Year:
Brent Eldredge
Florida Georgia Line
Kacey Musgraves
Kip Moore
Lee Brice

Thoughts:
Entertainer of the Year selection came down to Blake Shelton vs. Luke Bryan. Ultimately I chose Shelton due to his role on The Voice.

Cruise for Single of the Year was one of the easiest decisions for me.  However if someone made an argument for Merry Go Round I would not fight it.

Same Trailer Different Park from Kacey Musgraves is an incredible album.  From top to bottom I gave it the edge of Blown Away.

Song of the Year was probably the toughest decision for me to make.  I Drive Your Truck, Merry Go Round and Wagon Wheel are all favorites of mine.  I Drive Your Truck is my dark horse that could win this category due to the great story it tells.

Female Vocalist of the Year was a tight race as well.  I ultimately decided I like what I’ve heard this year from Carrie Underwood the most.  I’ll admit a little celebrity crush bias might have played into this decision though….

Luke Bryan was my gut decision for Male Vocalist of the Year, but the more I think about it the more my mind starts trying to sway me to each of the other candidates.  So I’ll stop trying to sway myself and go with my which of the group sounded best right away.

Last year the Vocal Group of the Year category would have been much tougher, but when I think about what has happened in just the past year I liked The Band Perry here by a long shot.

What do you get when you throw together three the most popular country music male talents for one song.  The Only Way I Know getting my vote for Musical Event of the Year.

The music video for Blown Away I felt like was superior to the others in the Music Video of the Year category.

Just like all the other categories, New Artist of the Year had a lot of worthy candidates.  Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves are two new favorites of mine, but it is hard to argue with Florida Georgia Line’s success this year.

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Start of 2010 – Now Stat Dump

Since the beginning of the 2010 season nobody has more hits than Robinson Cano.  The Yankees second baseman has 540 hits since the beginning of the decade.

Joey Votto’s 19.08 Fangraphs WAR is the highest over this time period.  Chone Figgin’s -1.0 WAR is the lowest.

Austin Jackson’s .374 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is the best of qualifying players.  Vernon Wells is on the opposite side of the with a .242 BABIP.

Derek Jeter has hit the lowest percentage of fly balls hit at 17.2%.

Ichiro has the most infield hits, 113, since 2010.  Second place Derek Jeter, has 76 infield hits.

Since the beginning of 2010 Brett Gardner has only swung the bat at 33.2% of pitches he has seen.

Joey Votto has the highest OPS, 1.034, in road games since 2010.  Nobody else has a OPS over 0.988 in this time frame.

Since the beginning of 2010 Carlos Gonzalez has a home 1.087 OPS but only a 0.749 OPS in road games.

Roy Halladay’s 17 complete games are the most since the start of 2010.  Cliff Lee has 7 shutouts leading Major League Baseball.

Bronson Arroyo has allowed the most home runs, 98.

A.J. Burnett has hit the most batters, 34, and wild pitches, 46.

Justin Verlander has thrown 10,771 pitches since the start of 2010 to lead the MLB.

Cliff Lee has the best first pitch for strike percentage at 68.4 percent.  Edinson Volquez has the worst percentage at 53.6 percent.

 

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*Statistics from Fangraphs and are through August 28, 2012.

Interesting MLB Stats Dump

Yankees SS, Derek Jeter leads the MLB with 167 hits.

White Sox DH, Adam Dunn leads the MLB with 36 home runs.  Dunn is also the MLB leader at both:  33.8 K% and 16.9 BB%.

Angels OF, Mike Trout leads the MLB with 96 runs scored and 39 stolen bases.  He has done this in only 99 games.  His 7.4 Fangraphs WAR is also the MLB’s best.

Tigers 1B, Miguel Cabrera leads the MLB with 104 RBI.

White Sox SS, Alexi Ramirez has the lowest BB% in the MLB at 2.3%.

Pirates OF, Andrew McCuthen leads the MLB with each of his .403 BABIP, .355 BA, and .418 OBP.

Cubs OF, Alfonso Soriano has seen the lowest percentage of fastballs in the MLB at 44.8%.  Twins INF, Jamey Carroll has seen the highest percentage of fastballs at 68.3%.

Angels 3B, Alberto Callaspo swings at the fewest percentage of pitches outside the zone at 20%.  Rangers OF, Josh Hamilton has swings at the highest percentage of pitches outside the zone at 46.0%

Rangers OF, Josh Hamilton has the highest swing percentage of all pitches at 59.3%.  Twins C, Joe Mauer however swings at the lowest percentage of pitches at 36%.

Rangers OF, Josh Hamilton has the highest swinging strike percentage in the MLB at 18.9%.  Rockies/Giants INF has the lowest swinging strike percentage at 2%.

Royals RF, Jeff Francoeur has the worst Fangraphs WAR, -1.7, in the MLB.

Tigers RHP, Justin Verlander leads the MLB with 181.2 innings pitched.

Tigers RHP, Max Scherzer leads the MLB with an 11.39 K/9 (Innings Qualified).  Indians/Yankees RHP Derek Lowe’s 3.33 K/9 is the lowest in the majors (Innings Qualified).

Athletics RHP, Bartolo Colon has thrown the highest percentage of fastballs in the MLB at 89.2%.  Mets RHP, R.A. Dickey has thrown the lowest percentage of fastballs at 14.0%.

Nationals RHP, Stephen Strasburg has the highest average fastball velocity in the majors at 95.7 mph (Innings Qualified).

Pirates RHP, A.J. Burnett has thrown the highest percentage of curveballs in the majors at 33.3%.

Yankees LHP, CC Sabethia has batters swing at the highest percentage of pitches outside the zone at 34.9%.  Indians RHP, Ubaldo Jimenez has the lowest percentage of this at 20%.

The lead for first pitch strike percentage goes to Phillies LHP, Cliff Lee at 71.2%.  Padres RHP, Edinson Volquez throws the worst percentage of first pitch strikes at 50.8%.

Tigers RHP, Justin Verlander’s 5.2 FanGraphs WAR leads the MLB among pitchers.  Angels RHP, Ervin Santana’s -0.5 Fangraphs WAR is the lowest.

Mike Trout made his 2012 debut on April, 28.  Here are Albert Pujols splits based around Trout’s 2012 debut:
Before April 28:  20g, .225 avg, .279 obp, .313 slug, .592 ops, 0 hr, 4 rbi.
Since April 28:   99g, .289 avg, .353 obp, .571 slug, .924 ops, 28 hr, 81 rbi.

The Yankees have hit the most home runs in the MLB, 190.  The Giants have hit the least, 77.

The Rangers have scored the most runs in the MLB, 612.  The Cubs have scored the least, 453.

The Marlins lead the majors with 121 stolen bases.  The Orioles have the fewest stolen bases, 39.

The Angels lineup sees the highest percentage of fastballs at 61.2%.  The Padres see the lowest percentage of fastballs at 54.7%.

The Cubs lineup swings at the highest percentage of pitches outside the zone at 33.9%.  The Indians lineup swings at lowest percentage of pitches outside the zone at 26.8%.

The Brewers pitching staff has the best strike out rate in the MLB at 8.53 K/9.  The Twins have the lowest strike out rate at 5.92 K/9.

The Brewers pitching staff has thrown the most pitches in the MLB with 18,478.  The Cardinals have thrown the least with 17,021.

As a pitching staff the Diamondbacks have thrown the highest percentage of fastballs in the MLB at 65.2%.  The Mets pitching staff has thrown the lowest percentage of fastballs in the MLB at 50.7%.

The Nationals pitching staff has thrown the highest average fastball velocity in the MLB so far in 2012 at 93.2 mph.  The Giants pitching staff has thrown the slowest average fastball velocity in 2012 at 89.9 mph.

The Cardinals pitching staff has thrown the highest percentage of first pitch strikes at 62.5%.  The Rockies pitching staff has thrown the lowest amount of first pitch strikes, throwing one 56.6% of the time.

*Statistics from Baseball-Reference/Fangraphs and are through August 21.  Season stats leaders are based on being qualified.