The MLB season is wrapping up, and that means award season is right around the corner. The MVP, Cy Young and other awards will be announced shortly. This article will be looking at who are the favorites to win each award.
AL Most Valuable Player
The MVP award seems to be locked up for Mookie Betts. Betts finished as the league batting champ with a .346 average as well as 32 home runs, 80 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases. The 30/30 accomplishment capped off a truly impressive season by the Boston Red Sox right fielder. Betts hit his 30th homer of the season off of Aroldis Chapman at Yankee Stadium to clinch the AL East for the Red Sox. This three-run home run cemented Betts’ spot as the 2018 American League MVP.
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez and Houston Astros superstar Alex Bregman will most likely finish two and three in voting after their impressive seasons. Mike Trout will most likely finish 4th in voting due to missing some time with injury with Khris Davis and Jose Ramirez finishing 5th and 6th.
Winner: Mookie Betts
AL Cy Young
This award should go to Blake Snell. Snell had a stellar season for the Tampa Bay Rays posting a 1.89 ERA, striking out 221 batters, as well as finishing with a 0.97 WHIP. He is the most deserving of this award. Justin Verlander and Trevor Bauer will finish in a close 2nd and 3rd with Gerrit Cole finishing behind them. Chris Sale had a fantastic season, but his problem is he did not pitch enough. Sale only pitched 17 innings in the last two months of the regular season and those last two months are typically when the award is won. A stellar final two-month performance can secure the Cy Young and Chris Sale barely pitching in those two months which will certainly hurt his chances.
Winner: Blake Snell
AL Rookie of the Year
This award is going to be a toss up between the two Yankee sluggers Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres. Both men had great seasons and really showcased their power. Miguel Andujar will most likely be the man walking away with the hardware as he did have a slightly better season. He had 27 home runs, a .297 batting average as well as 92 RBIs. Another rookie that will receive some consideration will be the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. Going into the year, it seemed like Ohtani would win Rookie of the Year fairly easily because he is a hitter and a pitcher. He was limited to 50 IP as he dealt with a UCL injury for a good part of the year, which is the reason his name fell out of the top spot. Daniel Palka, from the Chicago White Sox, will be a guy who will not get much attention, but he did hit 27 home runs in his rookie year.
Winner: Miguel Andujar
AL Manager of the Year
This vote is only going to come down to two candidates. Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Rays manager Kevin Cash are the two most deserving. Athletics’ manger Bob Melvin will get some consideration, but he should not be a favorite over Cash and Cora. Alex Cora led the Red Sox to a league best 108 wins and the Red Sox third straight AL East Division title, while Kevin Cash took a team with low expectations to 90 wins. Cash’s biggest accomplishment was his usage of his bullpen and how he turned a pitching staff of almost all relievers into contenders. Cora will most likely get the nod for the award as he turned the Red Sox into a dominant team, but Cash should not get overlooked for what he did with his team.
Winner: Alex Cora
NL Most Valuable Player
The National League MVP award came down to two players, Christian Yelich and Javier Baez. The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs fought to the bitter end to claim the NL Central, and the Brewers came out on top. Yelich played a big role in the Brewers’ performance down the stretch hitting .352 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in September. Yelich finished the year with an NL best .326 batting average as well as 36 home runs and 110 RBIs. Baez got cold down the stretch only hitting .269 with 5 home runs and 13 RBIs. Yelich outplayed Baez in September, which should seal the MVP award for Yelich.
Winner: Christian Yelich
NL Cy Young
The frontrunner for this award is New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom. He should runaway with the award pretty easily, but the one stat holding him back is his win/loss record. DeGrom finished the year with a 1.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 269Ks, but he finished 10-9. Win/loss records are typically out of the pitcher’s control and should not be used as the end all be all stat to determine a pitcher’s performance. DeGrom is a perfect example as to why win/loss record should not matter. He finished the year with a stellar 1.70 ERA and only went 10-9 record because the Mets never scored him any runs. Jacob deGrom pitched a perfect season as he never had a start where he gave up more than 3 runs, and he went 8 innings in multiple starts. Max Scherzer will steal some votes away from deGrom solely based on his 18-7 record as well as 300Ks, but deGrom had the better season and should take home the Cy Young Award.
Winner: Jacob deGrom
NL Rookie of the Year
The National League Rookie of the year award has quite a crowded field. Guys like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto burst onto the scene with their power, while Walker Buehler had an amazing season starting games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The one rookie that truly shined here was Ronald Acuna Jr. He showed great power out of the leadoff spot in the Braves’ lineup with 26 home runs. Acuna had a .293 average as well as a .917 OPS to go with his home runs. He posed a major problem for opposing pitchers, and he will certainly be doing damage at the top of the Braves’ lineup for years to come.
Winner: Ronald Acuna Jr.
NL Manager of the Year
There are a lot of great candidates for this award. Brian Snitker did a great job at managing the Braves this season and Bud Black did a fantastic job at taking the Rockies to the playoffs after falling short in the wild card game last year. The man that will most likely win this award though is Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell. Counsell took a team that just missed the playoffs in 2017 to having the best record in the NL with 96 wins. The Brewers took home the NL Central title after defeating the Cubs in a tiebreaker game. It seemed like the NL Central was still the Cubs’ division, but the Brewers proved everyone wrong. Like Kevin Cash, Counsell did a great job at managing his bullpen and getting the most out of his pitchers.
Winner: Craig Counsell
Those are the favorites in this year’s MLB award races. Once the World Series wraps up, all the awards will be announced.