The top-3 finalists for each major MLB Award were announced on Monday night. I break down who I think will win each award among these finalists.
AL Manager of the Year: Paul Molitor, Twins
The Twins were the biggest surprise in all of baseball this year, especially after they were sellers at the deadline. The Twins started off the season hot, but started dying down and decided to trade their best reliever, Brandon Kintzler, to the Nationals at the trade deadline. They also traded away veteran left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia. Paul Molitor led a sub-par team to 85 wins and a Wild Card berth. Terry Francona and A.J. Hinch are worthy of this award as well, but I think the surprise season from the Twins gives Molitor the edge.
NL Manager of the Year: Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks were kicking themselves in 2016 after they traded away top prospect Dansby Swanson in a package to the Braves for Shelby Miller. The trade may eventually go down as one of the worst ever. Torey Lovullo came into this season with a lot of question marks surrounding his team and he responded. The acquiring of J.D. Martinez helped the Dbacks cause as well, but they were led by Lovullo and Paul Goldschmidt for most of the season. Lovullo led the Dbacks to a Wild Card win in round won and 93 wins on the season.
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge, Yankees
Do I really need to get into why Aaron Judge will win this award? I think not.
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Cody Bellinger has this award locked up. I am not even going to bother explaining why. Just look at the stats.
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber, Indians
This is going to be a really tight race between Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. Kluber actually has better all around stats than Sale, but Sale’s 308 strikeouts is eye-popping. When you look at the numbers you realize that Kluber deserves this award. Kluber had an 18-4 record to go along with a 2.25 ERA, 0.869 WHIP and 265 strikeouts in 203.2 innings pitched. What a tremendous season it was for Kluber.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Once again it is a tight two-man race. This award could go to either Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer as they both deserve it. However, I think Kershaw ultimately walks away with it. The reason Kershaw walks away with it is more due to the fact that there are two Nationals in the final three, which might cause Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to split some votes.
AL Most Valuable Player: Jose Altuve, Astros
This is the toughest award to predict since both Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge are more than deserving of it. The fact that Judge will win the Rookie of the Year award will hurt his chances at winning this award. Even with that being said, I believe Altuve is more deserving of the award this year. Altuve’s consistency compared to Judge’s big slump at one point in the season helps Jose’s case.
NL Most Valuable Player: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Let me start off by saying that the voters messed this one up BIG TIME. This award should be going to Charlie Blackmon, but he is not even a finalist. With that being said, among the three finalist, Giancarlo Stanton is most deserving. Goldschmidt was the only one who actually led his team to the playoffs, but Stanton almost did so with a much worse team. Joey Votto was a surprise for me here even though he had a tremendous season. However, his team was downright awful this year and I believe team performance has a bit to do with an MVP winner. Stanton did not lead his team to the playoffs, but they were in the race late in the season.