It’s the postseason, so why not include some award predictions?
MVP: Mike Trout
Mike Trout is the best player in the world (I think “in the world” is a little too broad. I would say in baseball, but that is my opinion – it’s your call).
End of story. He deserves to win MVP. Missing the final month of the season does not bode well for him, however, and because of that Alex Bergman will probably win the award.
But again, Mike Trout deserves it. He’s on an average (I’m feeling generous) team with a so-so lineup, and yet he puts up the best numbers in baseball. He led the American League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging percentage, and finished second in home runs and walks. All of that despite ending the year a month early.
Unfortunately for Trout, being on a bad team has also been bad for MVP candidates. The Baseball Writers Association may not want to give it to a player that missed the final month of the season and the entire postseason. But it’s Mike Trout. He deserves it.
Cy Young: Justin Verlander
The Astros have two Cy Young candidates on their team. Verlander, and Gerrit Cole. And in all honesty, Cole deserves it just as much as Verlander. But Verlander was so close last year to winning the award, it would be a crime to not give it to him this year.
Verlander put up monster numbers, leading the league in wins, innings, WHIP, and batting average against. Given, Cole beat him out in ERA and strikeouts, but there’s something to be said about leading the league in wins and innings.
That means you not only pitched a lot for your team, but your team won a lot when you pitched. Quality AND quantity.
Again, Cole is second in both of those categories. So this is a tough call. Verlander simply has the edge because of his dominance for the past two years.
Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez
See, this is how ridiculous the Astros are. They could have players on their team win all three of these awards. Alvarez is almost a lock for this one, though. Eloy Jimenez and Brandon Lowe will finish in the top three, but Alvarez was dominant for a really, really good team.
Jimenez was pretty good, and he will be a phenomenal player, but Alvarez almost matched his home run, RBI, and hit totals despite having more than 100 fewer at-bats. Alvarez’s OBP, OPS, and SLG are all filthy.
Lowe could have a case if he hadn’t spent so much time on the IL. He was an all-star, but like I said, Alvarez was just dominant this year. He’s already one of the most dangerous hitters on the Astros. Alvarez is the best rookie right now.
Reliever of the Year: Roberto Osuna
Another Astro? What? It’s ridiculous, but he genuinely has the numbers to back this up. He has a sub-2.50 ERA, leads the AL in saves, and has a ridiculously low WHIP. Aroldis Chapman could win this, so could Liam Hendricks, but Osuna just has the numbers.
Osuna is genuinely a bad person, as he was suspended for domestic violence last year. But hey, he can throw that ball real good. And that’s all people seem to really care about.
MVP: Cody Bellinger
Oh man, I would love to give Ronald Acuña Jr. this award. He had a phenomenal year. He was top five in bombs in the NL and led the NL in stolen bases and runs. He’s the most dominant lead-off hitter in baseball.
But Bellinger was tearing it up at the beginning of the year, and he continued to be the best player on arguably the best team in baseball. There’s something to be said for that.
There was a bit of a drop towards the end of the year in Bellinger’s numbers, but not drastic enough to really take him out of the conversation. Christian Yelich’s injury realty hurt him, and I know I disregarded it for the AL, but there’s just so many more strong MVP candidates in the NL that it’s easy to find another MVP guy for the NL. Sorry, Yelich. But I choose Bellinger.
Cy Young: Jacob deGrom
Back-to-back. He’s second in the NL in ERA, number one in strikeouts, and top five in WHIP, innings, and batting average against. Simply put, he’s the best pitcher in the NL on a so-so team. Thus, he lacks the win numbers that other candidates have.
But who even cares about wins anymore? The voters certainly didn’t last year when they gave this award to him. Sure, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg could easily win it. But again. JD has the numbers to back it up.
Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso
Most home runs by a rookie. Ever. Yeah that’ll do it.
Reliever of the Year: Kirby Yates
The NL is so much more fun to write about. It’s not just the Houston Astros. Very refreshing.
But, Kirby Yates has been phenomenal this year. He has 41 saves, which lead the NL, and 1.19 ERA is absolutely ridiculous. And this was all on a very average Padres team in a tough division, the NL West.
Every team in that division has a pretty good lineup, with the Dodgers probably having the best in the NL.
So his competition was tough, and yet he put up the best numbers of any reliever in the NL, maybe even the MLB. So yeah. He gets the nod.