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Michael Vallone Makes His Baseball Postseason Award Predictions

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Michael Vallone Makes His Baseball Postseason Award Predictions

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MLB Awards Predictions

MVP: American League

Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

Betts ran away with the award this year. During the middle of the season, you could’ve easily argued for Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, or J.D. Martinez, but in the end, Betts was on top of the league. Betts led the league in batting average, hitting .346, and WAR, with a 10.9. On top of that, he is also part of the elite 30-30 club (at least 30 home runs and stolen bases) with 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Although that doesn’t seem like much, being able to hit for power and have extreme speed is possessed by very few players. If you were to argue that numbers aren’t everything, you wouldn’t be wrong. But Betts has gone beyond just his stat line. Whether it be his consistent stellar defensive ability in right field, or his late game clutch hitting, the impact Betts left this season reflected on the Red Sox record-setting 108 win season.

MVP: National League

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

Yes, not Javier Baez. The NL MVP race this season was incredibly close. Freddie Freeman, Matt Carpenter, and Nolan Arenado are all honorable mentions, but the two front runners are Yelich and Baez. Both put up MVP seasons; that’s not arguable. Yelich was just slightly better in a few ways. First, Yelich led the NL in batting average and OPS this year, hitting .326 and 1.000 respectively. He was only two home runs and one RBI behind the leaders. These numbers put Yelich in serious contention for the NL Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is rarely won, last in 2012 by Miguel Cabrera and before that the last win was in 1967. The argument for Baez is simple. He led the league in RBIs and was a defensive stud in not one, but three positions. There is no doubt that his impact was felt. He was a spark plug for the Cubs all season when the led the NL. But a potential triple crown tops all accolades.

Cy Young: American League

Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays

Blake Snell is the underdog for this award. Without much attention from the media, Snell has been quietly putting up a Cy Young type season. He has the lowest ERA with 1.89 and the second lowest WHIP with .97. He kept opposing hitters to a .187 batting average. Along with this impressive stat line, he led the league with 21 wins. Wins aren’t everything, but winning that many games in the toughest division in baseball is no easy task. There is no doubting the year Chris Sale has had though. His dominance is impressive, being in the same league as Snell. But breaking it down, Snell has given up only one more run than Sale in 22.2 more innings pitched.

Cy Young: National League

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

Jacob DeGrom had an incredible year that did not show in the win column. Although he had a 10-9 record, deGrom was dealing this year. To end the year, deGrom had allowed three or fewer runs for 28 consecutive starts. The previous record for that streak was 25 by Leslie Cole. That was in 1910. He allowed four runs in a game once, back on April 10th, and never allowed more than four the entire season. He led the MLB in ERA with 1.70 and had a .91 WHIP to go along with that. Without run support, deGrom wasn’t winning often. But you can’t say he wasn’t giving his team a chance. Without a doubt, this was one of the best pitching seasons in the history of the sport, even though he barely had a record over .500.

Rookie of the Year: National League

Ronald Acuña Jr, Atlanta Braves

The season belonged to Acuña. He had 26 home runs and batted .293, an impressive statline for a rookie. He also did all this on a first place team. The impact was immediately felt by the Braves as Acuña continued to impress the league. The other contender was Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals. They had a similar season when you look at the stats, but Acuña had a bigger impact on a better team.

Rookie of the Year: American League

Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees

Andujar was at the top in most categories among the rookies this year. Tied for most home runs, hits, and top three in batting average and OPS. It was a tight race among his teammate Gleyber Torres and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Torres was just behind Andujar in a majority of the categories, but he didn’t have as much daily impact on his team as Andujar. The argument for Ohtani is simple. He shined both on the mound and with the bat. His season was impressive but cut short due to injuries. Maybe a healthy Ohtani beats Andujar in the end, but there is no denying Andujar’s season.

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Michael Vallone Makes His Baseball Postseason Award Predictions