As we wrap up the regular season, here are the front-runners for each major MLB award…
AL MVP: Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
The MVP award has basically become the WAR award, and Altuve leads the majors in that category. This one is a no-brainer, especially with the Astros winning the AL West. The 5-foot-6 dynamo has done it all for Houston this season and will run away with his first MVP title.
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
While the AL MVP vote is an easy decision, the NL MVP is quite the opposite. I’m taking Goldschmidt, but solid cases can also be made for Nolan Arenado, Giancarlo Stanton, Charlie Blackmon, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rendon, and Joey Votto. That’s seven (!) players in the running. I’d vote Goldschmidt because of his numbers, combined with Arizona’s somewhat surprising success (and the fact he’s been so close to winning the award multiple times already), but I wouldn’t complain if it went to any of those aforementioned guys.
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
Chris Sale seemed to have had the AL Cy Young award locked up in August, but Corey Kluber had other plans. The Indians ace has been the best pitcher in the AL for the second half of the season by a significant margin, and it looks like it’ll be enough to give him the edge over Sale.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
Once again, Scherzer should run away with the NL Cy Young award thanks partly to Clayton Kershaw missing time with a back injury. Interestingly enough, Scherzer’s competition for the award are his two teammates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, but there’s no question who the ace is in that trio. Scherzer defends his Cy Young title.
AL Rookie Of the Year: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
Judge made the ROtY race interesting when that whole “strike out every single game” thing was happening. He has since heated back up and broken the single-season record for walks by a rookie while approaching the 50-homer mark. This one’s not even close.
NL Rookie Of the Year: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
This one isn’t close either. Bellinger and Judge both had their ROtY awards locked up months ago. What a season for rookies as a whole, though, with guys like Andrew Benintendi, Paul DeJong, Rhys Hoskins, Matt Olson, Luke Weaver and others enjoying successful seasons.
AL Manager Of the Year: Terry Francona – Cleveland Indians
He’s the best manager in baseball. Period. The award might go to someone like Paul Molitor (Twins) due to the surprise season his team had, but if we’re talking purely about the award for best manager in the league, it’s Tito.
National League Manager Of the Year: Torey Lovullo – Arizona Diamondbacks
Lovullo’s first year as manager of the Diamondbacks has been a successful one, to say the least. Arizona finished as a runner-up to the powerhouse Dodgers in the NL West and cruised their way into a Wild Card spot. Neither of those things seemed totally plausible back in April. Lovullo deserves all the credit in the world, and he should get it when he wins this hardware.
AL Comeback Player Of the Year: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals
Moustakas missed pretty much all of the 2016 season with a torn ACL. The Royals third baseman bounced back in a huge way, breaking the team’s franchise record for single-season homers. It’s been a hell of a year for one of the cornerstones of this Kansas City squad.
NL Comeback Player Of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
Last season it was apparent that Zimmerman’s best days were well behind him. Then, he went on to have an insane 2017 in which he hit around .300 and blasted nearly 40 balls out of the yard. To put that into perspective, he hit .218 in 2016 with 15 homers. So yeah, I’d say that’s a decent comeback for the Nationals’ veteran.