2016 MLB Award Finalists: Who Should Win?

2016 MLB Award Finalists: Who Should Win?

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The finalists for each major MLB award were revealed Monday and other than one surprise, they’re much all the players you’d expect.

That one surprise was virtually unhittable Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton not being in the running for AL Cy Young. Britton enjoyed a historical season in which he posted an absurd 0.54 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 74 Ks in 67 innings pitched. I’m not the kind of guy who’d vote for a reliever, but I’ll admit I’m shocked he didn’t at least make it as a finalist.

MLB will announce the winners next week, but I’ll announce my winners here. Because we all know I’ve been spot-on with my award predictions this season…..(That’s a joke. I’ve been really, really bad).

Note: Voting was conducted at the end of the regular season, so I’m disregarding anything these players did in the postseason. Obviously.

AL MVP

  • Mike Trout, LAA
  • Mookie Betts, BOS
  • Jose Altuve, HOU

Pick: Mike Trout

I’ve gone back and forth between Mookie Betts and Mike Trout, but Trout is my final answer. He had an even better season than his 2014 MVP campaign and leads Betts by a significant margin in OPS. Plus, baseball’s the one sport I don’t consider team success a factor for individual awards. If that were the case, I’d obviously choose Betts, but Trout should win his second MVP award.

NL MVP

  • Kris Bryant, CHC
  • Corey Seager, LAD
  • Daniel Murphy, WAS

Pick: Daniel Murphy

I know Kris Bryant probably will win this award because it’s kind of a popularity contest plus the Cubs were the best team in baseball. However, Daniel Murphy topped Bryant in every major offensive category except home runs. Chicks (and voters) dig the long ball, but give me the guy who did…well…pretty much everything else better.

AL Cy Young

  • Rick Porcello, BOS
  • Corey Kluber, CLE
  • Justin Verlander, DET

Pick: Corey Kluber

Possibly the biggest toss-up of all. All three candidates are deserving and actually had remarkably similar numbers this season. I’m leaning toward Kluber, though, mainly because of his advantages in FIP and ERA+. If you only pay attention to standard stats like ERA and WHIP, you’ll notice there isn’t much of a difference whatsoever between these three pitchers. This award is completely up in the air, but I’m giving Kluber the slight edge.

NL Cy Young

  • Max Scherzer, WAS
  • Kyle Hendricks, CHC
  • Jon Lester, CHC

Pick: Kyle Hendricks

If you predicted this before the 2016 season started, I’d love for you to tell me what lottery numbers I should be picking. Hendricks was the definition of mediocre in 2015 but he bursted on the scene this year by posting a 2.13 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.

AL Rookie Of the Year

  • Michael Fulmer, DET
  • Gary Sanchez, NYY
  • Tyler Naquin, CLE

Pick: Michael Fulmer

Do you pick the guy who produced at a solid level all season long? Or do you pick the guy who didn’t play until August but was the best hitter in baseball for the season’s final two months? I’m taking the former. Michael Fulmer started 26 games in his rookie campaign, posting a 3.06 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. His numbers aren’t as eye-popping as Gary Sanchez’s, but I just find it difficult to pick the hitter who played in just 53 games over the pitcher who was there from April to September.

NL Rookie Of the Year

  • Corey Seager, LAD
  • Trea Turner, WAS
  • Kenta Maeda, LAD

Pick: Corey Seager

Corey Seager is an MVP candidate, so this one doesn’t need much explanation. Trea Turner and Kenta Maeda were great, but Seager was unbelievable.

AL Manager Of the Year

  • Terry Francona, CLE
  • Buck Showalter, BAL
  • Jeff Bannister, TEX

Pick: Terry Francona

I’m not a huge fan of this award as it usually just goes to the guy with the team that most exceeded expectations. I’ll pick Terry Francona here simply because Cleveland won its division for the first time since 2007.

NL Manager Of the Year

  • Dusty Baker, WAS
  • Joe Maddon, CHC
  • Dave Roberts, LAD

Pick: Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts and the Dodgers had to deal with a ton of injuries, yet they still finished atop the NL West. I get that Joe Maddon and the Cubs won 103 games, but Maddon won the award last season and it’s not like he had to overcome much with that stacked roster.

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