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Baseball

MLB Award Predictions

DGS baseball analyst, Daniel Fox, predicts MLB Award winners.

A.L MVP:

  1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
  2. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
  3. D.J LeMahieu, New York Yankees
  4. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
  5. Fransisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

Even with Trout missing the last two weeks with a foot injury, he still has a stranglehold on the A.L MVP race. He leads the A.L in home runs and OPS while playing his usual terrific defense. Three young players who continue to progress follow Trout, as Bregman, Bogaerts, and  Lindor each have the ability to hit for both average and power and play above-average defense on the left side. In between them is veteran LeMahieu, who has at times carried the Yankees through an injury-plagued season after signing with them in the offseason.

N.L MVP:

  1. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
  2. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
  5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves

For a while, this was a two man race between Bellinger and Yelich. But with Bellinger failing to play at an elite level since May and Yelich missing a crucial stretch with a season-ending injury, the race is wide open. Of course, Arenado is in the conversation, just as he has been every season of his major league career, and although he will likely set career highs in home runs, average, and OPS, he won’t bring home the award this year. Acuna Jr. might join Arenado as a perennial MVP contender, but a .278 average and so-so defense diminishes his case in an MVP race as deep as this one. Above all these stars is Anthony Rendon. Long underappreciated in Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper’s shadow, Rendon has taken his production to another level, leading the league in doubles, RBIs, and average. Rendon doesn’t have the big home run totals or flashiness of some of his peers, but he has been the most valuable player in the NL this year

A.L Cy Young:

  1. Gerritt Cole, Houston Astros
  2. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
  3. Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays 
  4. Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
  5. Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox

Cole and Verlander are the clear frontrunners here, and while Verlander might seem like the obvious choice, I’m going with Cole. Though Verlander has the lower ERA, Cole has more strikeouts and a much lower FIP, proving that he has not benefited from the same defense and luck as his teammate. And while Verlander has continued to be an elite pitcher throughout the season, Cole has been otherworldly in the second half (1.68 ERA in his last 15 starts). Behind the two Astros is their former teammate Morton,  who’s top six in the league in hits per nine, strikeouts, wins, and ERA. The list is rounded out with two young pitchers, Bieber and Rodriguez, who have stepped up as their more established rotation-mates have gone down with injuries.

N.L Cy Young:

  1. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
  2. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  4. Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves
  5. Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds

Out of all the awards, the NL CY young has had the most twist and turns. Ryu was running away with the award through midseason, earning the All-Star game start with a 1.73 ERA. However, a disastrous August (7.48 ERA) has closed the gap between Ryu and his counterparts. Scherzer looked to be next in line, but the fact that he only through 20 innings over a two-month span starting in July has hurt his candidacy. Soroka and  Gray have both had surprisingly excellent seasons, but not quite Cy Young caliber. That leaves deGrom, who is looking for his second straight Cy Young award. He started fairly slow but has had a quietly excellent season, leading the league strikeouts and WHIP while placing third in ERA. Ryu might still be ahead due to his other-worldly first half, but deGrom has been a consistently better pitcher throughout the entire year. 

A.L ROY:

  1. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
  2. Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox 

With all the hype surrounding Guerrero Jr. and Jimenez, it has been Alvarez who has looked like the generational talent. Though he was called up on June 9, Alvarez already has 25 home runs and his 178 OPS+ makes him arguably the best hitter in baseball since his callup. Guerrero Jr. and Jimenez have been fine for their age, but they haven’t been close to as productive as Alvarez.

N.L ROY:

  1. Pete Alonso, New York Mets
  2. Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves
  3. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

This might be the strongest rookie class in a generation. There’s Alonso, who could set a rookie record for home runs, Soroka, who is an ace for a likely division winner, and Tatis Jr. who was arguably the most electric player in baseball before a season-ending injury in early August. That said, the clear winner is Alonso, who has almost single-handedly put the Mets on his back for the entire season.

A.L Manager

  1. Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
  2. Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
  3. Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics

The obvious answer might be Boone, who has had to deal with an abundance of injuries to key players in route to the best record in baseball. However, the Yankees still had so much talent on the roster despite the injuries that deserve more of the credit for the team’s success than Boone. On the other hand, Cash has had to battle through injuries as well and has had to manage a team with much less talent than the Yankees, which he has done remarkably. As always, Melvin deserves praise for taking the low budget Athletics to the playoffs. 

N.L Manager

  1. Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Dave Martinez, Washington Nationals
  3. Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers

The only two truly elite teams in the N.L are Roberts, who is managing a team with loads of talent and back to back NL pennants, and Braves manager Brian Snitker, who won the award last year. This is a very difficult award to decide, but I think it’s between Mike Shildt, who in his second year of managing the Cardinals has led them back to playoff contention, and Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who has helped the Nationals recover from a horrendous start to a possible wild card spot. Manager of the Year is an extremely subjective award, but I’m going to give the edge to Shildt due to the remarkable turnaround the Cardinals have had under his leadership.

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